Back in 1999, Mrs Gnomepants V1.0 and I went to visit her granddad who lived in Scarborough. I think I’d never been to Scarborough before, let alone it’s Fair although we may have got the train there once before a few years previous, I can’t remember. I do have some vague memories of catching a train somewhere but that may have just been Wakefield.
Anyway, on this particular occasion we drove. As I hadn’t driven a car since 1995 (which felt like an aeon previous then) and, I think then, we didn’t own one so we may have hired one. Added to this, being a wary driver, I didn’t really fancy driving on motorways so we drove to Scarborough along A and B class roads instead which was fun, especially as we got to see parts of the UK we’d never seen before and that I’ve completely forgotten about since.
I think it took us 6 hours. Stan, Mrs Gnomepants v1.0’s grandfather, pissed himself at the totally unnecessary drive and route we had taken to visit him. A standard Motorway drive would have taken just under 3 hours.
This was the noughties. At that time there was no cheap satnavs, no smart phones and no Google Maps instead we used old fashioned AA roadmaps (dated 1992) and vague directions printed out from the pirated copy of the fledgeling Microsoft Routemap we had on floppy disk.
One place we drove through was Sledmere in East Riding of Yorkshire. I was so taken by this monument I stopped the car to take this photo with my newly acquired fancy Canon wind up camera with electronic zoomy lens. I later added it to my now defunct Haunted Inns of Great Britain website along with pictures of the Three Mariners in Scarborough.
The monument is a replica Eleanor Cross and you can read more about it here:
So we got to Wakefield on Friday, stayed the night and played with little Merrie May (or Bonnie as she is known o_0 dont ask) Then Saturday morning we set off up the A1 to the lovely village (or really tiny town) of Masham.
Masham has not one, but two brewerys (Blacksheep & Theakstons) , a lovely river running through it (the River Ure), a church, a cricket pitch and several music festivals a year. This weekend was billed as the Blacksheep Music Festival which was mainly folk based but also had Morris men and rappers (didnt see any sword dancers).
Once we had arrived, greeted Becky, Jim, Becky’s dad, Rachael, Beckys sister and brother Sarah and Ricky and a few new faces, navigated the minefield of cow pats and erected our “stand up inside” tent, we sat down for a brief lunch and beer before setting off to the Bruce Arms to watch a troupe of rappers with their sticks dance merrily to contemporary music while supping fine ale. We then made our way to the town/village hall where the band Waking the Witch did their bit then on to the White Bear where the heat forced us to sit in the cool interior and listen to the Hall Brothers through the window.
We then tootled back to camp in the searing heat, had a crazy barbeque and a few tinnies then set back into town for an evening in the Blacksheep Brewery and the god awful racket that was Stanley Accrington (if anyone says hes good, theyre telling big huge Everest size porkies) and the lovely Flossie Malavialle. More beer was imbibed then we undertook a futile quest for chips resulting in us returning to the camp for bacon sandwiches.
Then the real fun began. Jim and Beckys dad got out their guitar and we started a good old sing along to be joined by a fair few other campers with their instruments. angelhands and I snook off to bed at about 1am but the campside fun went on until the early hours of the morning. As we said often, “In preparation for the annual Anglesey sojourn in 5 weeks time”
Sunday was just too hot. We broke camp and returned to Wakefield for lunch but the heat and lack of sleep got the better of me so I ended up having a “siesta”. Back on the road at 3pm and just as we got to the highest point on the M62, the heavens decided to open and we ended up floating down the other side of the Pennines. At home I tucked into a good old chippy dinner in front of the last episode of Dr Who, a well deserved shower followed. Then a bowl of popcorn and Sarah Michelle Gellar inThe Grudge which was an interesting slant on the original Japanese version Ju-On. Good none the less.