Twenty five Wakefield and Barnsley MAG members met up at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms on Sunday 15th March, for the first Wakefield MAG rideout of the year. Our destination was the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, York, and we fully intended to take the scenic route to get there. We had 3 floating marshals (Mark, Lorna & Daz), as well as a lead (Steve) and tail marshal (Mo) for the run.
Twenty two bikes and one trike set off at 10:00, taking the A642 out of Wakefield through Stanley, before taking the Methley road to Castleford. A detour round Methley due to road works, then through the Castleford Potteries and onto the A656, Lock Lane. Right at the Allerton Bywater cross roads, then the most picturesque route through Newton, Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve, Fairburn village then the unmarked road to Burton Salmon. Left onto the A162 heading towards Tadcaster, passing across the A63 at the roundabout then a right onto the B1222, then a left towards Church Fenton village.
Lovely quiet country roads in this part of North Yorkshire. Just before RAF Church Fenton, we took a right heading towards Ryther, then joining the B1223 towards Cawood. At Cawood crossroads, we took a left onto the B1222 towards York. This road meets up with the A19, but we weren't on it for very long, before turning off towards Wheldrake village.
In true Wakefield MAG fashion, we sailed right past North Lane (which we should have taken to Elvington), and 3 villages later realised that we had missed the turning. A quick check of the map and an alternative route back was found. We took a right so we could double back on ourselves, only to find a dead end, and several amused children at a house in the middle of nowhere. Oh, how we laughed. A quick U turn then retraced our steps back to Wheldrake village, where we found North Lane quite easily this time. North Lane becomes Greengate Lane heading towards Elvington village, and we took the B1228, and arrived at the Yorkshire Air Museum gates at 12:00.
A group discount had been negotiated in advance, one of the museum staff came out to greet us and we all got in for £3, instead of the normal fiver entrance fee.
The Yorkshire Air Museum is located on the site of the old RAF Elvington, which housed British and French Bomber crews in the Second World War. Many exhibits recreate the wartime airfield, including the control tower, French Officers mess and barracks. The museum has won many tourism awards and it is not hard to see why, as it's a real gem in Yorkshire's crown.
Most of our Group had a go on the Lancaster Bomber rear gunner simulator. To be judged to be an adequate tail gunner, you had to achieve a score of 200. Igor managed a mere 30, so it's unlikely he'll be getting his RAF call-up papers !!!
We all had a good look around the hangars, containing lots of famous planes, both from WWII, and before, right up to modern fighter jets and helicopters.
All in all, a cracking day out, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the run, lovely dry weather and we didn't really get lost, more enjoyed a detour, with style !!!!