North Yorkshire Moors Tour – Guisborough, England

Sept 1-4, 2016

Our girls were super excited when we told them we would be traveling to England, where Daddy grew-up.  That excitement grew even more when we told them we would be driving around England in a Model T!  We began planning our first real trip to England as a family of four, when Frank called Ross to invite him to the September tour.  Ross didn’t need much convincing to get out of the Texas late summer heat.  We booked our flights and Ross shipped over a 1927 Tudor Sedan.  We have found that the Tudor is the perfect family car (especially for cold and wet places like England!).  The girls’ carseats fit nicely in the back and everyone (especially Mommy!) stays warm and dry.  We don’t have to worry about anyone or anything falling out of the back either. 

  We flew into London and made our way up to Neil Tuckett’s where he was so nicely keeping our car.  After a few adjustements and a “once over” we started our journey to North Yorkshire via Chesterfield.  We arrived in Guisborough Thursday night just in time to check into the lovely Gisborough Hall Hotel and go to dinner.  The girls thought we were in a real princess castle, but mostly just enjoyed playing with their cousins on the front lawn.  The weather was fantastic and it was super to see all the old familiar faces of our Model T friends! 

Friday, September 2nd

Friday morning the jet lag had finally caught up to us.  After a nice full English breakfast and more than a few cups of coffee we headed out with the tour to Whitby.  The first stop was Goathland, which we missed.  So much for the navigator being able to read English!!  The roads were especially gorgeous in the late summer harvest season.  And while I was busy gazing at the countryside, Ross was enjoying himself driving on the hills and narrow windy roads.  In Texas we have long, straight, flat roads that go on for miles!  We made it to Whitby a bit early since we missed the coffee stop.  So we had tea and scones at one of the sea side restaurants.  We enjoyed a harbor boat ride and although we debated whether or not to make the treck up the steps to the abby, we thought better of it with two small girls.  No one wants to walk those steps carrying a 40lb child!!  We decided to have some fish and chips instead.

Saturday, September 3rd

The tour headed  to Castle Howard on Saturday.  We were all excited to see a real castle as we drove through the moors.  We made it to our morning break at Beadlam Grange Farm Shop and Tea Room.  It was a great chance to get to visit some more with everyone we miss so dearly.  After dodging the cow patties in the parking field, we were met with cups of tea and biscuits in the farm shop and gift stores.  As we were leaving we got our first taste of English rain.  It drizzled all the way to Castle Howard, and forgoing the picture opportunity we decided to head on in to the village near by for a pub lunch with the Meakins.  The drizzle had stopped after lunch so we went back to Castle Howard for a look around.  They had a great children’s activity book with a find and seek.  So all four Lilleker kids scowered the castle for the items on the list.  The Chapel and the Great Hall were favorites.  It started to rain again so we loaded up to travel back to Guisborough. 

The banquet was especially nice!  Ross was able to see Philip and Betty Clements, who came up just for the evening, and once again we visited with old friends and new.  We were able to share a table with newer members, Richard and Laura Wray, and thus got to know them a little better.  The girls were super excited that we won the trophies for the longest distance traveled to the tour and the entrants award.  Ross was also able to present, in memory of his father Bruce Lilleker, the cup for best restoration to Dave Campy.  It really was a special night for all of us.

The morning came early, and after the morning coffee stop, we were headed to Frank’s for a short visit.  He was unable to make the tour he worked so hard to make wonderful for everyone and we didn’t want to miss seeing him.  We said a hard goodbye to our Model T friends either at breakfast or at the coffee stop in East Cowton.  Thank you, Frank, for all the hard work on the planning and organizing of the tour, and thank you Andrew Varley and Myles Lilleker for stepping up to help once Frank couldn’t be there.  It was such a nice English T Tour, that I am sure our girls will cherish the lifelong memories. After attending the tour we headed down to Chesterfield, where Ross is from.  We visited with his mother, Granny Barbara, his Uncle Pete, his brother Myles’ family and his college friend Wayne and his family.  We were able to show the girls some English countryside, some village shopping and some country estate farm and playground areas.  We really enjoyed our time with our cousins and were sad to leave.  We were excited to be headed into London for a wedding and ride on a doubledecker bus!
Once we figured out the public transport system and got our cards we were off on a double decker bus and the tube.  We took a quick trip to parliament and Big Ben before attending Grace and Owen’s wedding.  Ross was chauffeur for the day in our Tudoor.  Grace was a flower girl in our wedding almost 13 years before!  She and Owen had a lovely white wedding and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  
Last stop was Austen and Nicky’s to pack-up say good byes and have a little fun with the cousins and a digger!  Good-bye England!  Ta ta for now.  Cheers for the great trip and lifelong memories!!