Sunday, 30 March 2014

I Began Bagging my Autocar Test Hills Today

I Began 'Bagging' my 152 Autocar 'Test Hills' Yesterday

Back in February I Blogged a page about the Autocar lists of 1920's Test Hills and I created a map of what I think are there locations.

Here is a link to that Blog :

Here is a link to my First Test Hills Map :

With the fabulous weather today, I decided to take the Morgan out for a run around the lanes in the Chiltern Hills where a number of these 1920's Autocar Test Hills are located.

I set out from home in Beaconsfield and headed first to Princes Risborough where Hill No. 73. Kop Hill is located. The Kop Hill Climb has become famous again as a revival Hill Climb Weekend, celebrating the original 1920's events, takes place there in September each year. (20/21st in 2014)

One of the early realisations I had when putting the map together is that to drive these hills in one journey would require doubling back. To get to the start of Kop Hill I would first have to drive down Hill No. 101 Pink Hill. Do a loop around later to come back up it again.

So. Here we go. My first Photos going down from the top of Pink Hill.

A lucky overhead reverse shot of part of the 'Pink & Lilly Public House' presumably where the Hill Climb got its name from.  

 The road bends to the left followed by a sharp Hairpin Turn and Drop to the right. Tricky even today when climbing the hill. Too Tricky to do one handed taking photos.

 After the Hairpin the slope drops away to the left and then right before reaching the sharp left hander at the bottom as we approach the beginning of Kop Hill.

Turning Right to begin the ascent of Kop. 

 This is where the Hill Climb Event Start Line is located. The hedge on the right is where the 'Grandstands' are lined up in the photo below

aerial view of site

 This Red Kite was diving down trying to get at some 'Road Kill' and determined not to be put off by me.

 The Hill is fairly straight with just a couple of slight bends getting steeper as it nears the top of the 3/4 mile run.

 The steepest part right at the top.

 Right at the top is the T Junction opposite the Whiteleaf Water Tower. Here we have to turn left to go down the third of the Hills today. Hill No. 147 White Leafe.  Normally I would turn right to head back to Beaconsfield so I got quite a surprise when I saw the hill for the first time going down. 

 At 1/3rd mile long it twists and turns with some very steep spots and is quite narrow in place. More challenging than Kop but no good for spectators.

 Having completed my loop through Princes Risborough I begin to climb Pink Hill. In the distance you can just see the Sharp Left Hand Hairpin.

 The Hairpin is actually a junction where the Hill Turns to the left.

 Hairpin done, it up the last of the hill.

 At the top of the hil is the Pink & Lily Pub in full view this time. The Hill actually gets its name form the Lane which is Pink Lane.

 A quick U Turn and its back down the hill all the way into Princes Risborough this time so that I can get to the bottom of Whiteleaf Hill.

 Heading into Princes Risborough 

The dome of the Roman Catholic Church located on the edge of town.

 Here I have just turned into the village of Whiteleaf on Peters Lane

 The Hill Climb begins almost immediately and the incline begins slowly and increases rapidly. 

 The lane begins to narrow and the first of a series of S bends approaches.

 Now the climb starts to hurt, or would have done in 1920, 

 On the lft I just about get a quick snap of the base of the famous Whiteleaf Cross, visible for miles from further back

The Cross

The Hill has more to give as we near the top and I can give the Mog a spurt now that I can see ahead is clear.
 White Leafe for me was the steepest and most interesting of these 4 hill climbs including Kop.

 It was now time to make a long loop towards Wendover via Butlers Cross but first I would pass through the small village of Great Hampden passing the Hampden Arms Public House along the way. No time for Beer. 

The Route to Butlers Cross with more soft hills in the background

 Ahead on the Right Hand bend are the main gates of Chequers, The country retreat of Britain's Prime Ministers. It was not possible to see the house from the car without stopping, but that may have caused a Security issue I would rather not have???

 A nice long run around the border of the Estate.

 I tried to get a shot across the fields but the best was the gate house below to the Chequers Estate farm

Heading down the hill to Butlers Cross itself.

 Looking across the Vale of Aylesbury towards Aylesbury itself.

 Approaching The Cross Roads at Butlers Cross

The road to Wendover through Elswood is a bit of a switchback. Great driving roads in the Mog and so quiet for a Saturday. 

Running down the long hill into Wendover, one of the Gems of the Chilterns 

 The Town Square and Market Cross. - Below is the lovely Old Post Office Antique Centre

 Just down the Hill on the right is the lovely old Red Lion Hotel - a good place to stop for lunch or coffee

The clock tower land mark is now the local tourist office.
I have to take a right turn and head towards the village of Aston Clinton, UK home of  Australian F1 driver Mark Webber and the hill climb was the origin of the Aston Martin car marque - read the comment in the link below.

 So here we are at the start of Hill No. 2 Aston Hill. 

 The Hill is quite mild by comparison to the other three and is quite short at 1000 yards.

 The top quickly comes into view and then reduces to a single lane some distance hence. 

While this lane got Narrower & Narrower I was reminded of some of the lanes on my Around the Coast trip, dreading meeting someone coming in the opposite direction with no passing places. Fortunately today I did not have that problem

I had no idea at this point where the road led only that it was going generally east which was Ok for me as I approached civilisation once more. 

 More civilisation as I approach The Old Swan Pub & Restaurant. Sadley no time to stop and taste.

 Ah! Directions at last. Straight on will take me to 'The Lee' a small and pretty village just down the lane.

 The Village Green ahead.

Views around the Village Green at the Lee

A call of nature being the driving force, I pulled into the Cock and Rabbit Pub with its seemingly special Graziemille Restaurant. My Diet Coke was just right.

Out in the Gardens I met the Cock, but no sign of a Rabbit anywhere? 

 After my quick refreshment,  I am back on the road and heading down yet another hill for home via Great Missenden.

 Frith Hill is a nice climb if you happened to be going in the other direction to Chesham.

 Into Great Missenden for a left turn through the old village.

 Great Missenden, once the home of Children's Author Roald Dahl. There is a museum in one of the buildings here.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

 They say that Pubs make great sign posts as I need to turn sharp right here to head across country again via Great Kingshill, Holmer Green, Haslemere and Penn .

 Up one hill and down another. The Chilterns are fun to drive if the roads are a little rumbly for the Morgan.

 And lastly a steep burst up the hill again to Holmer Green

 Through Penn passing the Church on the right and the Crown Pub on the left before traversing the series of s bends that run between here and Beaconsfield

The village of Penn being famous for the home of Sir William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania

 Dodging oncoming arrows through the S bends

 Passing the Red Lion Pub at Knotty Green,

 The final run into Beaconsfield and home

 Some of the New Town Shops on this quiet Saturday

 Passing Bekonscot Model Village towards St Michael's of All Angels Church Green

The last few hundred yards .

I hope that you enjoyed the journey over my bonnet