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" Vintage Sports Car Club - Honister Hill Climb 2021 "


Date & start time:      Saturday 13th November 2021.   All day event - for us a 2.30pm start.

Location of Start :     Honister Slate Mine, Honister Pass,  Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211)

Places visited :          The mine road up from Honister Hause to Hopper Quarry (and back).

Walk details :              1.2 miles, 650 ft of ascent, 2 hours including spectator stops.

Highest point :           The top of the mine road, 1750 ft - 538 m.

Walked with :              Loes and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal, plus other spectators and event staff.

Weather :                      Broken cloud with some nice sunshine, dry after recent rain.



© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


This weekend in November is traditionally busy, with the Vintage car Event on the Saturday and Remembrance on the Sunday.

As Loes is a bit of a vintage car enthusiast I thought I would introduce her to this annual, but not over-advertised local event.

- - - o o o - - -

The Vintage Sports-Car Club organise a day of car trials with several special stages in forestry sections and off road locations locally,

but they encourage spectators to concentrate on the Honister Hill Climb due to the spectacular nature of this location.

Well, who are we to turn down such an opportunity . . .

Making our way up Honister Pass.
Giving way to traffic coming down . . . for a change.
Take a photo quick before the other car blocks the view.
Paul Homes and passenger in an Austin 7 Chummy (101)

Not too many cars to distract on the rest of the climb to the Honister Mine complex.

We parked in the last vacant spot in the National Trust car park, and walked through to the main vehicle entrance.

As we stood there several old cars arrived.

(137)  Chris Need in a Riley 9 . . . behind was (232) Joanne White in a Riley 12/4 special.

[  If you think I'm good knowing everyone, be assured I'm just reading the event sheet handed out by the organisers ! ]

Not all old cars were taking part today.

Arrival at Honister gave some folk time to do maintenance of adjustments

This was probably the oldest car in the event today, a GN Sports (136) to be driven by Peter Kite.

The lady was reducing the tyre pressures for the rough section ahead.

The GN Sports car was a two cylinder engine in a body manufactured by Godfrey / Fraser Nash.

It had a wonderful, deep engine noise like a large motor bike.

Perhaps (146) was stopping for a change of driver ?
The young lad was happy to pose for the press.

Loes and I and the dogs made a start on walking the hill climb section, as more cars arrived.

There were approximately a hundred cars entered for today's event.   We would see about half on our time here.

- - - o o o - - -

The daunting task ahead for the cars and their drivers

is to make it up to the top of the mine road.

It gets steeper the further you go

and has multiple hairpin bends and rougher surfaces

as the height increases.

This is one of the rare occasions that the dogs were

on the lead for the whole of the walk !

- - - o o o - - -

The first section is a shallow climb to the start of section.

Here was a race marshall and support vehicles.

Just compare the size of (133) Nigel Coulter's Austin 7 Chummy to the 4x4 the other side of the ambulance.

Ready to go . . . a look of apprehension on the face of the passenger

and determination on the face of (136) Peter Kite in his Austin 7.

It is the turn of  (137) Chris Need' s Riley 9  that we saw at the car park, to pitch his efforts against the hill.

This is not a timed event, point are awarded on the day according to the number of the highest flag you pass on the course.

Flag 3 being passed by the other Riley (232) Joanne White.

(153) The 1927 vintage Austin 7 driven by William Mc Vicker will get five points by passing the flag

but is going well and will claim a lot more by the end of his run.

Into the hairpins and that looks like another Riley storming up.

Another lady drive (134) Miss Georgia Talbot . . .
. . . in her Austin 7 Gordon England.

She round the first hairpin in style and bounces over the iron girder road drain . . . Flag 8 on the way up.

A short lull as some of the cars descend, which allows us to walk higher up the track.

(163) Noel Hughes 1930's Austin 7 Ulster.    

The passenger is known as a "bouncer"and it is his job to bounce the car up and down should it need to gain a little extra grip in muddy conditions.

He is not allowed to step out of the car to help.     An individual's run ends when the car comes to a stop and unable to proceed further.

Additional hazards include a low angle of the sun . . .
. . .which causes (112) Sebastian Welsh to rather take to the rough.

A better line for (140) Jamie Quartermaine in his 1930's Austin 7.

[ All the cars today must have been built before the war. ]

There's a happy chap after reaching the top and gaining the maximum 25 points.

His 'bouncer' poses for a photo.
Loes flashes a smile and is allowed to sit in the car for her photo too.

We've reached the top of the section and those that have made it up successfully are parked to one side.

(162) is Paul Batty in his Model T Ford from 1929 arives at the finish.

The impressive frontage and headlights of (214) Robert Beebee's Chrysler B70 Tourer from 1925.

- - - o o o - - -


A make still going today and

still using the same manufacturer's badge on the bonnet . . .

A Vauxhall 30-98 Tourer

belonging to (230) Paul Jeavons.



The available space up here is full now so time

to let the cars descend, back to the start.



The marshalls radio down and

direct the drivers to start their descent.



- - - o o o - - -

I won't re-name them all but just enjoy the pictures.

When a car has rear wheel only braking then the descent can be a bit hazardous as all the weight is on the front wheels.

For safety they are reverse towed down, the owner fixing the tow rope so that he's the one getting dirty

and he's the one responsible for attaching the rope to a strong place.

The GN descending under tow.

We chat to one of the marshalls, Chris whom I know from 'Loweswater Farmers'
After a short time we head up just a little further to enjoy the view.

Loes really enjoying the cars, the weather, the views and the afternoon in general.

Hopper Quarry, with the giant heap of chipped slate awaiting sale.

It is used for everything from garden projects to road fill.

The view across Black Sail Pass, west to the Irish Sea.

Time to head back . . . we'll reverse our outward route, down the mine road and hopefully see more cars.

The top marshalls await the later arrivals as we look  down 650 ft to the mine car park below.

(231) John Higgs in a 1929 Morris Cowley gets full marks for the climb.

Loes stands aside for (166) Bob Thompson in his Austin 7 Chummy.

- - - o o o - - -


With the sun dropping low in the sky

the lower roads are in shadow and folk are starting to walk down.



The section will close at 4pm but there is still time

for more cars to attempt the climb.


- - - o o o - - -

This is (205) a superb looking Ford A Series Tudor Sedan.

They were not built for these sort of roads but is taking the hill in its stride.

On the other hand, perhaps lots of roads were like this back in the 1930's when this car was built.

Full of enthusiasm, number (116) jessica Smith in her Austin 7 Sports.

Sadly it failed to make the rough section and had to retire with just 17 points.

The '7 Sports' beat a hasty retreat as the next car was close behind.

(206) Thomas Clynes in his green Model A Ford Saloon.

The engine note changes as the Chrysler 75 of James Baxter rounds the hairpin.

Four up, they seem to be enjoying the ride to the top.

They were followed shortly after by another Chrysler, that of (223) Stuart Baxter, again with a car full in the back.

Roof and windscreen down . . . the girls power the Austin 7 ever upward.

(164) Mary Baxter and her red headed 'bouncer' enjoying the drive.

(217) Julian Hindle's Ford Phaeton doesn't really sound 'in tune'. . .
. . . and sadly only makes it to flag 6.

Time to head back to race headquarters at the end of their rallying day.

Some of the last cars clear the section.

. . . and head off down Honister Pass to Lorton.
A big thanks to the Honister Team for their involvement today.

- - - o o o - - -

Here are the Event Notes for those with a technical interest . . . what a grand day out for all.

- - - o o o - - -

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- - - o o o - - -

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- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . the thrill of the climb.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - Next walk - 8th November  - Haweswater Angela & John

A previous time up here - 9th November 2013 - VSCC Lakeland Hill Climb at Honister

Also 11th November 2017 - Vintage cars on Sale Fell with Sherran and Bill

Next walk - 14th November  Castle Crag For Remembrance