2017 Newcastle Annual Tour - Maitland
There were not a lot of entrants for the run this year. Partly due to members having being involved in the National M/C Rally at Nuriootpa or the National Vehicle Rally at Clare. There were also a few involved in the Tour based in the Riverina.
Non the less, those that attended seemed to enjoy driving about the country side, even with a few showers of rain and a bit of wind thrown in. Whilst the rain my have tarnished the brass and dampened a few of those in the more open cars, it was certainly appreciated by the locals, who like many of us, would like to see some more rain before summer.
The Saturday morning tour took us to Bolwarra Lookout for a tasty morning tea whilst looking across towards Morpeth contemplating whether we were going to cop the approaching rain - thankfully we didn't. The lowlight of the morning run was crossing the Melville Ford Bridge - a low level timber bridge that was in a particularly bad state this year. So much so that the 1914 Cadillac came to an abrupt stop half way across after an ignition wire shook loose. Thankfully it didn't take too long to rectify the problem - much to the relief of other motorists, given it is a single lane bridge.
After morning tea we continued to Morpeth, busy as usual with lots of day visitors enjoying the shops and cafes. After regrouping at the reserve near the Morpeth Common we travelled another 40 odd kilometres to Maitland Park for afternoon tea. Karyn managed to set up in a fairly large, newly constructed picnic shelter which was handy as there was a bit of a passing shower whilst we were there. Unfortunately a few of group didn't manage to locate us until after we had packed up and were about to leave.
It was then a short run back to the motel.
Sunday was again rather overcast, with a few rather threatening looking clouds about. John & Sue in the Sizaire et Naudin were first to set off, given it was going to take them a bit longer than they are accustomed to when travelling in the Benz.
Most of the group avoided the rain en route to Paterson for morning tea. From there we travelled through Vacy and over Wallarobba Hill (which John found wasn't as much of a challenge for the Sizaire as he thought it might be!) to our regular lunch stop with the wonderful ladies at the Clarence Town Senior Citizens Centre.
After lunch it was another nice drive back through Seaham, Hinton and Morpeth to the motel, where cars were loaded on trailers and a few quiet drinks enjoyed, and stories told.
The overall winners of the event this year were Mick & Denise in their Chalmers. Quite deserved having never won before and being a regular supporter since the event was being held at Morpeth in the mid 1970's.