2006 Ford England
On Saturday, May 6, along with my wife, Rhoda, I was privileged to be invited to join a party of Norwegian owners of classic Ford cars, mainly Anglias, during what has become a regular Heartbeat pilgrimage to England. Because Heartbeat is so popular in Norway, with classic Fords often appearing either as police cars or in other roles, and because this happy group are all ardent fans of the programme, their focus last Saturday was on Aidensfield, the North York moors and the surrounding district.
On a beautifully mild and sunny day, therefore, I decided, in the spirit of occasion and in keeping with Heartbeat, to give my 1968 Mark II Jaguar an airing, and after a superb drive across the North York Moors, arrived at our lunch venue. That was the Inn on the Moor in Aidensfield (in real-life Goathland) where my old car joined a line of sparkling classic Fords, some older than my Jaguar but all adorned in their best livery. In addition to Norwegian cars there were two equally historic Ford Anglias from England and a handsome military jeep complete with shovel and axe. The hotel car park looked like part of a scene from Heartbeat - in the series, such background vehicles are known as dressing cars and it was interesting to see tourists arriving from the village to view our cars after passing the nearby Scripps Garage in its own full 1960s Heartbeat livery.
This display of classic cars was fascinating and, of course, the talk was all about them and their foibles, with my Norwegian friends recounting their surprise, when crossing the moors, when seeing a sign which announced "Ford". We might call it a watersplash or a wath but it meant much more to them and provided a lovely touch of humour.
In close attendance in the hotel car park was a three-man television crew from Norway who filmed the entire proceedings, including the greetings, meetings and lunch, but their chief interest was the splendid collection of old cars. The crew works in Norway for TV Vestfold's "Kardang" programme (the name means "drive-shaft", we were told), which specialises in historic cars and so all our vehicles were subjected to evident admiration coupled with close scrutiny and highly technical questions. In my wildest dreams, I never thought that either I, or my old car, would take part in a Norwegian specialist programme about historic cars! (Click the V logo to see the programme).
All too soon, our day was over as my new friends continued their tour of Aidensfield before returning to their hotel in Thirsk to later continue their pilgrimage by visiting Keighley, Burton Agnes and Burton Constable Hall near Bridlington, then on to Gretna Green and Kielder Water before returning to Norway via Newcastle.
It was a memorable day and a wonderful means of meeting some very charming people. Our thanks go to Birger Giaever for organising and inviting us to share this event, and to Jean and Roger who work so hard in maintaining this website.