Sad News: 2020 Andy Mort Tour Will Not Run

Sadly, the 2300 Club has today decided that the 2020 Andy Mort Tour will not run. We were confident that the changes that we had made for 2020 would allow the safe running of the event. The new restrictions that become law on Monday, regarding larger gaterings, mean that we now see continuing with our plans as being irresponsible. We apologise to all our many friends who were looking forward to the October 17th. We hope to see you in 2021 when the work that we have done in 2020 will bear fruit.
2300 Club, 9th September 2020.

Andy Mort Tour – some more details …

THE 2300 Club of Blackburn is pleased to announce that the 2020 Andy Mort Tour will take place on Saturday, October 17. The event will comply with all current Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines issued by the Government and Motorsport UK. The organising team, led by Walter Bateson, have devised a 125-mile route which promises to be both picturesque and enjoyable, utilising some of the best driving roads in the North West.

“We are looking forward to seeing friends old and new in October,” said Cliff Simmons, assistant clerk of the course. “The current Covid restrictions means that this year’s event will be very different from previous years, to ensure the safety of everyone taking part.”

The start and finish venue has been moved from West Bradford village hall to the Hanson Cement car park in Clitheroe, which will allow cars and crews to meet up safely. As well as portable toilets, there will be a catering van in attendance serving breakfast.
“We are very grateful to Gary Young and Hanson Cement for their generosity in allowing us to use their facilities,” added Cliff.

The 2300 Club will also be adopting an online entry system only, with crews printing their own roadbook and time card to ensure there is no physical contact with officials at the start venue. Owners will also have to self-scrutineer their vehicles using a supplied form.
As a Touring Assembly, there is no competition element to the Andy Mort Tour, although crews will be required to follow the tulip road book and visit the codeboard checkpoints – some of which will be marshalled – to ensure the correct route is adhered to.

The entire route takes place on sealed roads and can be safely driven in a standard road car, there is no need for special modifications. A lunch halt has been arranged at the Bridge House Tea Rooms at Wray, where refreshments will be served, again in strict accordance with Covid-19 regulations. There will be no fun driving test at the finish, a signature of recent Tours, and no guest speaker to round off the day. As in previous years, the entry limit has been set at 50 cars.

Said Cliff: “It will not be the same Andy Mort Tour as people know it, but we hope that it will still be an interesting, enjoyable and safe day out for everyone. The 2300 Club are working very hard to ensure that this goes ahead and we hope everyone will support it.
A mailshot has been sent to previous entrants, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re expecting a high demand for places.”

Entry fee for the 2020 Andy Mort Tour is £50 per car, with breakfast and lunch included. There will be a full refund if the organisers are forced to cancel at late notice. The regulations and online entry form will be available from early September on this website

Andy Mort Tour 2020 is Going Ahead

First run in 2016, the Andy Mort Tour has become something of a fixture in the Annual 2300 Club Calendar and in 2020, despite the challenging times this year, we intend to go ahead – all be it with some changes to ensure that everyone is safe. So, the date for your diary is Saturday 17th October 2020

Paddy Hopkirk Mini on AMT 2019

This year will see another fantastic route, with measures in place from MSUK and Government Covid19 guidlines to ensure a safe event for all. Sadly at this time there will be no evening meal or speaker – just a good old fashioned navigational run with great cars & great people. There will of course be a full refund If we have to cancel the event. If there is enough initial interest we will proceed with an online entry system. Keep an eye out for details soon on Facebook, Instagram & here for more details. Not our usual event but still organised at our usual high standard!

Andy Mort Tour 2019 – What You Said (Continued)

STUART ANDERSON AND CHRIS THIRLING (Car 37):

“We must concur; it was an excellently organised event and look forward to next years. A great thank you to the Organising Team and Marshals.”

PETER CROFT AND AMANDA BRADLEY (Car 33):

“I would like to add our thanks to all the organisers and helpers for the AMT, we thoroughly enjoyed the event. It is the second time we have done the AMT and the first using the Tulip method, we we found to be extremely good and easy to follow. We stayed in time and managed all the controls which is always a bonus. The only regret was not getting Paddy Hopkirk to sign the road book as we had dropped the MG at home after the test at Hansons and left all the paperwork in it, we picked up the road car to make it easier to travel home after. The evening with Paddy was excellent, to see the two Minis at the finish.”

Andy Mort Tour 2019 – What You Said

PHIL AND AIDEEN DEAN (Car 44):

“What a brilliant event the AMT was, we both had a brilliant day out and was a credit to the 2300 Club and the organisers. It certainly is a great memorial to Andy Mort.
Yes, we got lost or missed junctions a few times but it was a fantastic day out. A big thank you to the marshals, especially the ones manning the later controls stuck up on the top of hills in an increasingly cold day, waiting for us stragglers to turn up.
The day couldn’t have finished any better that to have Paddy Hopkirk as your guest speaker, what a great laugh and what an ambassador for the sport.
Next year I hope to have the Hillman Avenger rally car finished and we can turn up in a proper car for the event!”

ROD AND DIANE BRERETON (Car 23):

Our great, great thanks for an absolutely brilliant event, proven by its popularity and full entry.
Without doubt the best we have ever done. Everything was just perfect. I assess events on the road books, and if I end up going to OS maps then it’s a bad event. Your road book was spot on. I’m sorry I didn’t stop for the forum, sadly Diane was full of a cold and was ready for home.”

OWEN AND PAM FRANKLAND (Car 17):

“Once again, we decided to make a weekend of our trip to Lancashire to take part in this excellent run with our MG3.
We were away on time at 10.17 and had a great drive over some lovely roads and hit our times at the checkpoint. We made the lunch halt without trouble and set off for the afternoon run.
Things didn’t go so well as a a couple of wrong turns had us pushing hard to keep on time. One wrong turn took us miles out of our way and we had to backtrack, although we couldn’t remember exactly which way we had come.
We turned into one country lane and found the checkpoint we wanted, although we had no idea how we got there!
We finally made it to the end and took part in the blindfold challenge, which did end up involving a bit of shouting…
At the finish we got our route book signed by Paddy – and we won a couple of bottles of champagne for getting a clean sheet. As neither of us drink, we’ve donated it to the Durham Auto Club to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance.
We had a great day and a huge thanks go to all who worked so hard planning the event and those stalwarts manning the checkpoints. By the time we got home we had done 357 enjoyable miles.”

IAN HARRISON AND ELLIE MURRAY (Car 19):

“We had a great day out despite finding ourselves, along with others, in Hellifield when we should have been in Sabden! Hence we arrived late at every control in the first half of the event. It turns out that the start marshal told some competitors about the first page of the road. But it didn’t spoil our day.”

GEOFF MAINE AND PHIL HOWARTH (Car 3):

“We’ve done every one of these events, and Paddy Hopkirk made this year’s special – and the cheese and onion pie was excellent!”

RICHARD PYE AND AMY MOORHOUSE (Marshals):

“Neither of us have marshalled before so we were very grateful to Maurice Ellison for showing us the ropes in the morning before we went out on our own in the afternoon.
Every car thanked us for volunteering and all were handing out sweets by way of a ‘thank you’ which was much appreciated!”

JOHN HARTLEY AND NIGEL BENTLEY (Car 40):

“Just a line to congratulate your team on an excellent event. The route was interesting and scenic, altogether a super route. (Sorry I am repeating myself)
Also thanks for dealing with us so swiftly when we arrived at the start.”
John subsequently followed up with the following, looking at it from an organisers perspective having organised so may successful events himself.
“I thought we may not make this year’s event as within striking distance of the start a rather over enthusiastic cyclist (who turned out to be a really nice chap) ran into the car whilst we were stopped. Car not severely damaged, more than can be said for the cyclist who had a nasty gash on his face, but he was saved from worse by his helmet. We had to wait for ambulance and police to attend the scene, eventually getting to the start with minutes to go to our start time. The 2300 Club spotted our arrival and brought the documentation to us and signed us on just in time to slot into our correct starting position.
When Nigel and I drove onto the car park, despite our last minute arrival, we were able to take in and appreciate the effort that has been put in and recognise we were on a “proper” event. There was a parking space allocated by our car number, although we were not in it for very long, but long enough to appreciate the treasures to be seen ….. EMO and EJB.
The rally pack of route book and rally plate etc was superb – printed in eye catching colour, printed and presented to the highest quality. It is the detail – I have no place to affix a rally plate to my car by way of cable ties and was so much relieved to find included in the pack suckers to fit the plate to the car windscreen. I did not cherish the thought of self-tappers through my bonnet.
When it was the minute to set off we drew into a smart gazebo to be flagged off by none other than Paddy Hopkirk. Does it get any better than that?
The route itself, crafted by those wily old navigators Walter Bateson and David Barritt was a constant joy, interesting roads in beautiful scenery. We are so fortunate to have such a magnificent motoring area right on our doorstep. I am not going to detail the route but in a route of 140 miles we ranged across NE Lancashire and W Yorkshire as far as Blubberhouses, then enjoyed the scenery of Nidderdale and Wharfedale back to bonny Lancashire again.
After the finish of the Tour we were invited to a fun driving test – along a taped off lane in a car park – which was not straight, to stop and then for the navigator to throw fan belts over a shock absorber. All this against the clock – and oh – I almost forgot to say the driver was blindfolded and relied on instructions from the navigator. Although the test took less than half a minute – how long did it take to set up with all the banners and at least four marshals on hand.
Back at the finish a robust supper of Lancashire Hot Pot (what else) and mushies was provided followed by a sweet.
But that was not all! After the meal we were regaled by Paddy Hopkirk with stories and short films of his past exploits.
Where will you get such a day for an entry fee of £50?”

SIMON ROTHSCHILD AND ALAN SHAW (Car 43):

“Just a quick note to say thanks to your organising team, marshals etc. for a great event. We, Simon and myself, ask you to pass on our thanks to everyone involved.”

IAN DAWS AND JOHNATHAN ATTHAY (Car 24):

“Many thanks for a fabulous fun and sociable event to you, all your colleagues and marshals. We really enjoyed it and hope to be back next year.”

IAN ROWSON AND PAUL COOPER (Car 4):

“Thanks again Stuart, was a fantastic day, with lots of very nice cars around, a brilliant route again, not sure what happened to all them photography peeps don’t seem to want to post any pics yet.. thanks again Ian.
Oh and see you next year hopefully another tour will be in the making .”

IAN HARDY AND CAROL HARDY (Car 39):

“Thoroughly enjoyed my first Andy Mort Tour. Lots of interesting cars and people to catch up with; many of whom were on Mull and I’d missed!
Really well organised and looked after by the army of volunteers; please pass on my thanks.
Keep me on the mailing list please for next year!
All the best”

KEITH OGLESBY AND GRAHAM HANSON (Car 11):

“Great event! Well done and thank you and all the organisers and marshals!
Btw are there any official photos eg at the start with Paddy setting us off?”

JOHN COOPER AND JANET RITSON (Car 32):

“Apologies for the delay in contacting you, but just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in last Saturday’s fantastic day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the drive, the supper and Paddy’s very entertaining presentation.
The effort that everyone puts in to prepare for and marshal on the day is tremendous and very much appreciated.
Please pass this message on to everyone at the 2300 Club.”

2019 Andy Mort Tour Report

As the dust settles on the fourth Andy Mort Tour, the 2300 Club can reflect on an event that proved an overwhelming success. All the ingredients were there: one of the best known names in rallying in attendance, two of the most famous Minis in the world, a record-breaking entry of 55 cars, and a fabulous route through Lancashire and Yorkshire – even the weather played its part.

Thanks to support from Mini Sport and managing director Chris Harper, the club were lucky enough to have Paddy Hopkirk in attendance, flagging off the cars and greeting the finishers back at West Bradford Village Hall before entertaining a 150-strong audience with a talk on his life and career. First cars away were Paddy’s two Mini Cooper S’s, 6 EMO, in which he won the 1990 Pirelli Classic Marathon and 33 EJB, the replica of his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally winning car.

From Austin to Abarth and Stratos to Skoda, there was an amazing array of classic and modern machinery. The hubbub of interest and expectation began to mount as the crews arrived, all with back stories about their car – and themselves – to tell. For some, the drama started before the chequered flag had even dropped.

Fellsman Tour organiser and LAC member John Hartley nearly didn’t make it in his Porsche, after being collected by a speedy cyclist whilst stationary in Waddington. Hartley and navigator Nigel Bentley had to call an ambulance for the injured rider, only continuing to the start once he had been treated.

Ahead of all the crews lay a 120-mile route through Lancashire and Yorkshire, meticulously planned by 2300 Club members Walter Bateson and Dave Barritt and their team, using a choice of tulip road book or maps. The tulip road book proved to be a brainteaser from the start, with several crews not realising that the first page was a sample route from last year and turned left at the first junction instead of right….

The opening section took in familiar territory of Sawley, the Nick O’ Pendle, Sabden, Brierfield before heading across the top of Burnley down to Haggate crossroads and turning left towards Wycoller. There was a famous motorsport face at the second checkpoint near Wycoller Country Park, with leading WRC co-driver Daniel Barritt – and his mum Janet – signing the route cards.

Oakworth, Crosshills and Steeton and Addingham were next up on the signposts, but then a dreaded ‘Road Closed – Diversion’ sign created problems for crews – particularly those ones relying on the tulip road book alone. A detour through the centre of Otley saw the field pick up the original route to the lunch halt at Blubberhouses.

At least one crew ignored the diversion sign and carried on regardless. In a scene allegedly reminiscent of ‘The Italian Job’, Mini Sport’s Michael Anderson and his son Ben took to the pavement in 33 EJB in their determination to stay on course – and on time. The post-lunch run took in some picturesque roads near Pateley Bridge and Greenhow before heading through Embsay and skirting around Skipton, rounding off with some of the superb road rally lanes around Lothersdale.

The route finished with an optional ‘fun test’ in the car park at Hanson Cement. Two abreast, cars were timed around a simple left or right dog-leg lined with cones and tape. Simple – except that the driver was blindfolded and had to rely on their navigator for precise instructions.

Several squashed cones and chewed up tape later, everyone was through and heading for the finish for a well-earned supper and Paddy’s much-awaited talk. He might be 86 years old, and many of the stories and events we already know, but Paddy really can tell a tale or two.

Amidst gales of laughter from the enraptured audience, Paddy recounted his career in motorsport, starting out with autotesting in Northern Ireland, graduating to rallying with the Mini, the Monte, circuit racing and then later life with the family.
And he even took time out to wish Steve Entwistle and Mark Appleton all the best on next month’s RAC Rally of the Tests, driving Paddy’s own Cooper S, 6 EMO.
“Good luck to Steve and Mark on the rally next month, but we’re not bothered about third or second, only number one”, he said. So, no pressure there then….

As the evening wound up and everyone departed after a brilliant day of driving and socialising, the same four words could be heard everywhere.

“See you next year!”

Andy Mort – A Tribute

A much-loved member of the 2300 Club, Andy Mort lost his life in an accident on the 2015 Tour of Mull. Twelve months later, the club decided to honour his memory with an annual event, and four years on, the Andy Mort Tour goes from strength to strength. Roger & Pamela Broom are just one of many of the crews taking part on Saturday, they were personal friends of Andy, and this is their story:

“My husband Roger and I marshalled main time controls MT2 and MT8 on the Tour of Mull for over 25 years. Over that time we got to know a good few of the 2300 Club members, including Andy Mort. On some occasions, particularly when there was a serious incident or hold-up, or even a cancellation, Andy was often the person who would jump in and be our ‘extra hands’ and liaison with rally control. He was a great guy, and when the 2300 Club organised the first Andy Mort Tour, we knew we just had to be part of it. Initially, it was to show support to Andy’s family, friends and the 2300 Club. Now we take part to celebrate and remember Andy and also because it’s a great event to do. Thank you the 2300 Club!”