Explorer 297

Explorer Map 297 – Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley

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Baby, You Can Pull My Car

Submitted by on Monday, 2 August 2010No Comment

Right, so at some drunken Wharfedale Group Committee Meeting (back in 1989 we held them in the pub, they were more entertaining that way) someone came up with the idea for a publicity stunt that would raise a bit of money for charity as well, and that idea was to pull a car up from the middle of Otley to the top of the Chevin – for those who don’t know the area it’s just over 3 miles in total, about half a mile on the flat, one and a quarter miles up a steep hill and then a mile and a bit along the top to The Royalty pub… and when I say steep, the road rises 760ft in that mile and a quarter so that’s an average slope of 1 in 8.5, and much steeper in places.
The idea was deemed to be a good one and as all it needed was a few people a car and a rope…

We didn’t want to use any of our own cars, we wanted a shiny new car, so how do you get hold of a shiny new car for a publicity / charity stunt ? You go to the local garage and ask to borrow one, and strangely enough, without hesitation we got the use of a brand spanker, unregistered, MG Metro, I guess all publicity is good for car sales !
Then one Saturday morning we got about 20 of us together, collected the car, got a rope and away we went.
(There probably was a little more organisation than that, that I wasn’t involved in, but I don’t think there was that much more)


The brand new MG Metro that we were lent for the stunt
Well it was for Charity and all in a good cause

The route took the car from the bus station, through the main streets of town… stopped off at the pub… and then on around the town to the bottom of the Chevin


The Wadd leads the car pullers through the town
Hang on, haven’t they just made an illegal left turn at the lights ?


40.2pence per litre for Petrol… Those were the days !

As well as getting sponsors from friends, family and colleagues we collected money from passers by on the streets… I don’t suppose we had a Street Collecting Licence, we certainly didn’t have identification badges or follow any of the other red tape you need to do street collections these days.


Malibu Mell harasses car passengers for their money

I assume that the car was still covered by the garage’s insurance, we certainly didn’t have any special insurance… I’m not sure the groups standard public liability insurance would have covered this – we didn’t carry out a ‘Risk Assessment’ and send it to the insurance company… and as for health and safety, I guess you could say that some of the bright fluorescent 80’s colours count as Hi-viz clothing, but is anyone wearing safety boots ? and have we got the correct equipment for the car pull ? No, we’re using washing line and some scaffold poles.


Cheryl gets the easy job… steering the car !

On the flat the car was actually very easy to keep moving, only requiring a few people pulling, when we got to a slope however a few more bodies were needed, the next picture is at the first bit of a slope you come to… really an artificial ramp taking the road up to the railway bridge over what is now the Bypass… for those of you who can’t make out the faces past the glare of the day-glo clothing we have Tobias and Dicky in the front row, The Bush and Hubert behind, The Git and Wendy-woo in row three and bringing up the rear DL, Andy Animal and Roger

The Nook is holding a collecting tin, not a beer glass… honest !

Now you may have noticed that I am doing none of the work here… but as we got to the hill it was all hands to the rope and so there were no more photographs taken until we got to the top…. Even The Wadd passed the notice board onto The Nook and helped with the pulling


With The Nook in the lead we made it to the top of the Chevin…

Once we had reached the top of the hill it was just a short stretch along the top to the pub !


What is Cozbert doing on the verge ? Dancing it looks like !

I find the fashion in these old pictures quite entertaining… I mean would the Wadd or anyone where shorts that short these day ? and what is the significance of DL’s rolled up trouser leg ? was he a member of the Mason’s on the quiet or something ?

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