the 13th July dawned with the temperature already up
to 20°C when we decided to emerge from beneath the duvet,
therefore all looked well for a wonderful day out with like
minded people in the Cheshire countryside.
Having fuelled KKH 182 D the day before and after a bite of
breakfast we set out for Congleton just after 9.00 am. As we
joined the M6 the traffic was already quite busy with the
majority heading north towards Blackpool and the Lakes.
Following negotiating three sets of road works without any bother
we departed the M6 at junction 17 and headed along the A534
towards the rendezvous at the Tesco car park in Congleton. It was
wonderful to get onto an A road and away from all that noise on
the motorway. Having made good time we expected to arrive there
before anyone else at around 10.20 am. This was soon found not
to be the case, as there were already two "Big"
Healeys parked in an unoccupied section at the far side of the
car park. Within a few minutes various cars began to arrive
until there were around ten Big Healeys and two Frogeyes and one
lone "Triumph TR".
duly arrived and distributed the route instructions together
with a few verbal instructions to ensure we all went the correct
A few minutes before the appointed hour of 11.00 am. various
cars began to leave. We duly got under way just before 11.00 only
after applying more copious amounts of sun cream, as by this
time the temperature was really starting to climb.
After a short scenic run of around eleven miles my navigator
brought us to the car park of Biddulph Grange Gardens were we
parked up under the shade of the trees along with the rest of
the run participants. Our first stop was the Tea Room for a much
needed cup of coffee. Now feeling revived from our intake of
caffeine we set off on our tour of the gardens. What a wonderful
tranquil and relaxing arrangement of gardens. Even though there
were a good number of people about it didn't seem crowded. The
more energetic of our group walked the full length of "Wellingtonia
Avenue" or "Lime
Avenue". The more "Aged" strolled around
the picturesque areas of the garden with the romantic names of
"Egypt", "China", "Watchtower",
"Cheshire Cottage", and "The Glen" all with
plants and flowers appropriate to their names. It was a pity
that "The Great Wall of China" was closed for repair.
The gardens weren't quite as colourful as had been expected as
we seemed to have caught the gardens between seasons. Following
the obligatory visit by the ladies of our party to the
"Gift Shop" we returned to the cars under the trees.
The run from Biddulph Grange Gardens to Denis and Margaret’s
was most enjoyable even though it was only of some 12.9 miles
duration. The run up the ridge to the village of Mow Cop was
quite wonderful with some spectacular views to both east and
west. In todays glorious weather the village of Mow Cop seemed
almost idyllic, but I would hate to see it in the depths of
winter. The descent down the western side of the ridge was also
quite exhilarating in a different sort of way. A good test for
the Healey's brakes and gearbox. Arriving at Alsager we
were welcomed by the "Host" and advised where to park.
Some four or five cars having already arrived we chose to park
on the grass verge by the gate.
After finding a spot to sit in the shade by the "Balinese
Bed" we enjoyed a most satisfying barbeque with Sgt Major
Curran in control of the cooking. As the sun moved across the
sky members were moving tables and chairs to find some shade
from the blistering sun. Following some complimentary words from
our chairman John, the time came all too soon to pack up our
traps, climb into the "Healey" and head north again up
the M6 to Lancashire. The run home was uneventful except for the
fact that it was extremely hot and noisy.
once again to Denis and Margaret from Clare and I for all the
time and effort you must both have expended in organising
today’s event. A big thank you also on behalf of all Austin
Healey Club members who attended today's event. See you all