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John’s Jottings of the ISLE OF MAN trip    

 June 2009

1The Club’s overseas trip this year was to the Isle of Man,   it is  -- we caught  a ferry !!!Six cars entered,   Brian & Teresa, Brian & Lynn, Paul & Pat, Adrian & Moyna, Tony & Jane and John & Mo.   Four started from Gloucester and we all met up at the Little Chef at Shrewsbury with no hiccups.
I keep reminding  everyone that the MG in front is lost and that you must adhere to instructions issued; be they Tulip Diagrams, Maps or Verbal/written words. Adrian followed a MG and arrived late at the pre
-booked Premier Inn after crossing the Runcorn Bridge twice (we were scheduled to do that next day) Tony worked to his own route and arrived even later !!!    Still, we were all on time for the evening drinks and meal.

Next morning we all set off together and with special dispensation from John, followed  Paul, with his Sat-nav plugged in for Liverpool. No problems until we got to the Strand  which we needed to cross to catch the Ferry ---- Oh no, there is a Triathalon underway and the road is closed.   

5Brian waved down a  Police Motorcyclist who generously offered to show us the way through Liverpool –-- “just follow me” he said  ---  after about a mile, we had four Bikes escorting us with  Blues and Twos on when traffic lights were red against us. How the Liverpool Police knew we were coming I don’t know: just goes to show MGs have Class and to a lesser extent Mazdas too !!!


In line with the Courier’s order for fine weather, the crossing of the Irish Sea was absolutely smooth, even on the high speed catamaran. On the other side  at Douglas, finding the Hilton was easy, since it was on the Promenade.   However, all our rooms were not ready and the hotel could not accommodate our twelve for dinner.  Adrian to the fore --- rooms were readied and dinner was laid on for us with four bottles of wine, free.  Must remember to invite Adrian on future trips.
With the island being so small, the Courier had not planned any itinerary other than for Wednesday evening when we meet up with the IOM MG Club. To find out what the others did or done on this trip, you must read their reports.
3

Monday, caught the Manx Electric Train to Laxey where we change to catch the Snaefell Mountain Train and go to the top at over 2000ft. The courier, having failed to notify what time he wanted the sunshine, saw the mountain covered in mist and  changed the plan and decided to visit the Laxey Wheel first.  This is the world’s largest working Water Wheel and very impressive it was too; originally used for pumping out water from the local copper, silver, zinc and lead mines. Afterwards onto the train to the mountain top, now in sunshine; very scenic and we could clearly see the TT circuit over the mountain where the bikes must reach 200mph to meet 130mph average over the 37 miles.  Back to the hotel, not for  dinner --- we went to a non-licensed restaurant that was virtually next door to an off-license --- good food and cheap drink.


5Tuesday, sunshine and in the MGs, said we would go round the TT circuit and divert off  if we saw something interesting. First divertion was to Peel, with its castle and marina  on the west coast,  onto Ballaugh where we stopped for lunch in a pub run by Thai.  Skirted round Ramsey and  to Maughold Head where we thought we were back home on the Caper run with its narrow lanes and rough roads. All done very leisurely in brilliant  warm sunshine.  Followed the coast road to Laxey again, but this time down by the sea.  Back up to the Circuit at  Creg–ny-Baa and to the hotel.  Evening meal was taken at a Chinese buffet style restaurant.

 

Wednesday, sunshine and again in the cars, went to the Southwest corner of the island looking for pretty villages by the sea and minor roads away from the tourist traps. It must be reported we crossed the Fairy Bridge AND said our hellos to the little people.  We also visited  Castletown,  Port St Mary and  Port Erin.  At Magnetic Hill, cars are supposed to roll up-hill but ours didn’t : the little people are not on our side.   


In the evening, we met up with Joan Walker from the IOM MGOC at the Grandstand, start point of the TT and together with their five cars embarked on a run,  I guess about 25 miles, again in the Southwest of the island but on narrow and rough roads we failed to find in the afternoon. Ever heard of Tin-bath racing ?  They have a massive meeting once a year, in the dock at Castletown,  with crowds of over 5,000. We are led to believe, few finish the course and the winner is decided by who rows the furtherest --- sounds as daft as chasing a cheese down a steep hill.  We ended the run at the Highwayman at Peel where we had an excellent meal.  We all thanked Joan for organising an excellent run and were pleased to hand over a Club pennant.  Again the little people were not with us --- I blew a thermostat gasket and lost most of my water.  Temporary repairs were completed at the hotel.

 

 


Thursday,  sunshine and we spent most of the day relaxing on the steam train running between Douglas and Port Erin. The two hours at Port Erin including lunch in a sea front cafe was very enjoyable.  With an early morning ferry to catch next day, the ladies were keen to start packing so we did not venture far for the evening meal --- back at the unlicensed restaurant we had previously visited.


Friday, sunshine even at the unearthly hour of 6o’clock --- our Courier must have been very persuasive;  every day for this trip, sunshine.  Again a mill pond sea.  No Blues and Twos for us this time at Liverpool.  Home via the Queensway Mersey Tunnel.
All arrived back OK,  I completed 513 miles.  The one hiccup we had on this trip was at the hotel and was satisfactorily resolved by Adrian.  A very relaxing trip and I believe all enjoyed the event and especially the island.  Perhaps worth another visit in a couple of years time.  
 

John C

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