Rotary Retro Automobile Fellowship
Hosted by Rotary Clubs of Upper Eden and Appleby
Over 100 Rotarians and partners travelled from 5 Countries to take part in the annual Rotary Retro Automobile Fellowship (RRAF) car tour when it was based at the North Lakes Hotel and Spa in Penrith in 2005. The 3 day event held at the beginning of June took the form of a clover leaf Tour and was organised by the Pink Ice Cream Van duo of Roger Frank of Upper Eden and John Taylor of Appleby duly assisted by other Club members.
Day one of the Tour, the Dales run, was flagged away by DG Albert as the cars headed South via the upper reaches of the Eden Valley and Mallerstang into Herriot Country and lunch at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes. After a visit to the museum and viewing gallery and suitably well fed on the World famous cheeses the return trip was via the Buttertubs Pass before rising up to Tan Hill, England's highest Inn and then descending into Brough to the Ice Cream Parlour for afternoon tea. A leisurely trundle along the Eden valley back lanes had the cars safely back into Penrith with plenty of time for fellowship and the odd drink, prior to a Yorkshire themed dinner with the traditional Yorkshire Pudding and gravy starter.
The second, signature day, saw the challenge of the mighty Lakeland passes. After the tranquil scenery of Lake Ullswater, Kirkstone Pass was crossed before coffee at Skelwith Bridge. After a few moments rest the route headed West over the tortuous Wrynose and shortly thereafter Hardknott Passes which proved to be a real challenge to the 15 Dutch cars in the tour. Lunch at Dalegarth Station allowed plenty of time to view La'l Ratty before the cars headed North and then East up the Lorton Valley climbing Honister Pass for a well earned afternoon tea stop in the Sky Hi Mine Café. The return trip to Penrith passed through Seatoller and Keswick.
A Border Reivers raid took place on day three. Crossing into Scotland, coffee was taken in Gretna Green with the route continuing through the Border villages leading to a lunch halt at Greenhead. Housesteads was the first stop after lunch with time to walk the Wall and visit the museum. The route then turned South to Alston and afternoon tea in the Hartside Café with it’s panoramic views over the Solway and the Lake District Fells. The final gala dinner had a Scottish theme with the haggis starter piped in, much to the bemusement of the foreign contingent. After a brief prize giving ceremony the event was rounded off with a whisky nosing that extended late into the evening.
The Tour was a great fellowship success with many new Rotary friendships being forged across Europe and highlighted the spectacular scenery in our District.