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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Who knows what will happen in 2019?
A light-hearted look at how 2019 could pan out....

2019 Almanac


The 2019 Season starts off well with Jimmy and Alastair Knox buying a non-running Peugeot 405 estate for £1 off eBay, then spending the entire Christmas holidays transforming it into a Rally Car and competing in the inaugural New Year's Day Rally, where they do very well until the bolt holding the distributor shears and they stop just yards from the finish of the final stage. Upset at the result, they decide to go to Mexico for the 2019 Race of Champions, as they are featuring some special guests this year with Sebastian Loeb, Petter Solberg and Tommi Mäkinen taking part. In a shock accident their three-way race almost ends in tragedy when they all three collide and burst into flames right in front of the Knox family; in an amazing act of courage Alastair leaps into the arena and puts out the resulting fire with a handy extinguisher. The three former Champions declare they will do anything to repay the debt. Alastair is seen talking quietly into Petter's ear, who sagely nods.

Phil and Gary emerge from the darkness of their garage blinking into the cold bright January sunshine, having managed to find a mint Puma works gearbox on the internet for only £5 plus the spares from Steve's BMW that he didn't realise he had left. Peter Metcalfe makes a huge impact on the January Sale by selling a customised helicopter trip around Northumberland for £1500 and then spiking the buyer's drink with a cocktail of herbs so violent the Air Ambulance has to be called from RAF Boulmer to take the poor punter to the RVI. It is the most profit the January Sale has ever made and a great result for the Motor Club. Guy Wickham marshals on the New Year's Day Rally in Scotland and disappears for days on end, eventually reappearing on the Willie Loughman Forestry Rally wearing nothing but a kilt and a Tam o' Shanter with his hair dyed orange. Ewan Tindall enters the Brands Hatch Winter Stages in a Dacia Sandero and wins his class by 34 seconds. Brian Townsend takes an early lead from Gary Laverick in the Superstars Championship despite almost stepping into a bear-trap placed just outside his front door. He considers this a piece of bad luck and fortunate that he spotted it.


A lady appears at Tony Chrisp's garage with a very rusty VW dormobile and £50 and asks if he can 'just tart up the wheel arches' because she wants to give it to her husband for Valentine's Day. Tony laughs heartily at the double entendre but reluctantly agrees on the basis that it should only be a quick job. Guy Wickham is seen marshalling in Wales at a PCA where only Land Rovers are able to make the 45 degree incline at the start. He messages Gary as a laugh who immediately buys a set of used 10" wide slicks in preparation for the next snow and ice rally, working on the basis that lightning never strikes the same place twice. Phil Kenny is asked to navigate for a complete novice on the Snowman Rally and is surprised to see a fully built Snowman beside the stage wearing what appears to be Paul Hughes Barrow boy hat - Phil remarks it looks much better on the snowman. The lady never reappears to collect the Dormobile from Tony's body shop.

Karl Knox enters the Jack Frost Rally sporting his new race overalls hoping to impress the ladies. He unwittingly attracts the attention of a wizened 90 year old woman with love in her eyes who thinks he is X Factor winner Danyl Johnson, who now tells people they are Postcode Lottery Winners. Luckily Sam Colman steps in to save the day by quickly saying she knows Karl well and, like Danyl, he is just not interested in women. Karl breathes a sigh of relief at this close call although his emotions are in complete turmoil for the rest of the event, nevertheless he does win his class comfortably by suggestively winking at the other drivers, effectively putting them all off their stroke. Jimmy sells the Peugeot and starts looking for a better car. Ewan Tindall enters the Riponian Stages in a bog standard Suzuki Celerio and wins his class by 40 seconds whilst simultaneously eating a Greggs Cheese and Onion Pasty through his full-face helmet - no mean feat. Brian continues his Superstars challenge despite finding a sugar and weed killer bomb placed under the rear wheel of his Fiat Panda as he leaves home. He considers this pure coincidence and lucky that he spotted it. Mac Cliff completely refurbishes his garden shed so he can sit out in the sunshine all summer. He places his prized frog in pride of place at the front door.


The British Rally Championship organisers ask if the Border Counties Rally is prepared to open its doors to the Dacia Logan MCV Challenge - a new, pre-paid event open only to crews aged over 80 with a proven history of dementia. The organisers expect approximately 200 extra entries with the added benefit of most crews not turning up due to either forgetting they have entered or where the event is actually held, guaranteeing huge profits. Dormobile lady reappears at Tony Chrisp's garage with £100 asking him to 'pop a couple of wings on the car' as she is hoping to give it to her husband as an Easter present. Tony reluctantly agrees on the basis that it is only a quick job. Jonny immediately breaks out the angle grinder. Phil Kenny is asked to navigate for a total stranger on the Malcolm Wilson Rally and finds the Peugeot Rally Car that has been hired for the event is not particularly well prepared. He perseveres nonetheless and brings the car home in a good class position although it totally breaks down after the finish and cannot be driven on to the trailer for the journey home; however fortunately for him Jimmy and Alastair are on hand to load it on to the trailer, before leaving for France in their search for a new rally car. The following week Britain leaves the EU with no deal stranding thousands of UK nationals abroad, including Jimmy and Alastair who are in Calais looking at Citroens - as they do not have their passports they get held at customs pending investigations. Ewan Tindall enters the Border Counties Rally in a bog standard Skoda Citigo and wins his class by over a minute, whilst simultaneously uploading the in-car footage to YouTube. Lewis Hamilton wins the first two races of the season at Melbourne and Bahrain and Gordon Bradford is seen nervously twitching at the Valium counter at Boots. Brian Townsend continues his Superstars Challenge with a great series of wins, maintaining his lead over Gary Laverick; however he narrowly misses being run down by a Silver Ford Puma as he crosses the road in Washington late one night. He feels he is a little lucky to have avoided almost being killed, and confides in Gary who is most surprised and extremely supportive. Phil Kenny gets a phone call from the driver of the Peugeot saying the rally car hire firm have said the car was returned with no rear beam axle or suspension, so he has lost his deposit.


As an April fool’s Joke Karl Knox rings French customs and tells them Jimmy Knox is a seasoned drug runner. All hell breaks loose at the Customs Office and Jimmy and Alastair are immediately strip searched, however Karl's plan falls flat when the French customs officials realise the only picture of Jimmy in a BMW is one with the rear end at 90 degrees to the direction of travel and they appreciate that no real drug dealer could ever drive like that. They give him a Citroen C3 and 1kg of unrecorded cocaine to help him on his way. Jimmy swaps the drugs and a handy spare Peugeot rear beam axle and suspension that he has lying about with a bloke in the local pub for the suspension off a Haflinger on the basis that 'they go anywhere'. The Dormobile lady appears at Tony Chrisp's garage with £50 and a sunroof off a SAAB 900 Turbo and asks if he can fit it for this weekend as she has a dirty weekend planned with an 'Extra Special' Ann Summers surprise box. Tony smiles at the double entendre but agrees on the basis that it's a quick job.

Lewis Hamilton wins both Grand Prix in Shanghai and Baku and Gordon Bradford is subsequently seen hammering at the door of the Samaritans in Newcastle. They turn him away on the basis of him being completely paranoid. Brian Townsend wakes up to find the snooze button on his alarm clock has been surreptitiously wired into the mains power. He considers this a really surprising coincidence and very lucky he woke five minutes early and didn't touch the button. The weather is really windy this month and far too bad for Mac to enjoy his shed, so he fits a good strong windbreak on the windward side, and carefully pins the frog to the porch with a couple of Easyfix 40 x 1.6mm bright steel galvanised panel pins as they are the correct pins for the job. Pete Gibson is given a new role as the official police driver for the Countryside 999 camera crew and immediately checks the MSUK's 2019 permit application list for treasure hunts in Durham, working on the basis that he is not only going to get the best interviews but also most airtime.


Tosh and Brian get the ferry to Northern Ireland and Tosh enters Craigantlet Hill Climb in the Sylva, but runs very wide at the start, going through a bloke's garden, greenhouse and vegetable patch and missing the first three bends of the course but posting an amazing time. The timekeepers don't notice as the green car is not only perfectly camouflaged against the greenery but he still hits all timing marks, with the result that Tosh is quicker than Wallace Menzies' Gould Cosworth, putting him in the lead of the event and awarding him FTD. Jimmy and Alastair enter the Scottish Rally where they are leading the event until Alastair calls a tulip wrong and they end up in a bog. Not to be beaten, Jimmy mashes the throttle to the floor and frees the bogged down car by creating a mud plume fit for the Oregon Mountain Mud Festival - unknown to the crew this is captured by a spectator and uploaded to YouTube where Jimmy becomes an instant YouTube sensation, garnering hundreds of thousands of views. This attracts the attention of the BBC who then consider taking Alastair on for the new face of Top Gear but give up when they can't understand him.

The Dormobile lady reappears at Tony Chrisp's garage with £200 and a set of doors off a GullWing Mercedes 300SL and asks Tony if he could fit them as she is considering taking her husband off for a weekend in the sun. Tony agrees on the basis of it being worth £200 which is more than most of his customers pay anyway. Jonny's face lights up and he breaks out the angle grinder. Mac Cliff discovers his frog has been stolen from the porch of his shed and is heartbroken. Sebastian Vettel wins the next two races in Barcelona and Monaco and Gordon Bradford buys a half page spot on the Sunday Times to trash Lewis Hamilton as 'having had his day' and being a complete twat. He is later arrested outside the Samaritans in Newcastle after a by passer spots him spray painting "Who needs you?" on their doors. Mac Cliff adds a small windmill to the side of his shed to supply electricity for his lights and beer fridge, and is later seen sitting quietly on the porch staring wistfully at the floor where two panel pins poke forlornly from the bare boards.


Tosh and Brian enter the Doune Hillclimb where they are beaten up by a group of Scottish spectators who believe they are taking the micky by repeatedly saying they going 'Up Doune'. Karl Knox enters the Carlisle Stages in his Nova, and despite going well manages to break the rear beam at the halfway stage; however Dad Kevin manages to fix it at the roadside in less than ten minutes using a spare part from a farmer's gate and a knee brace from an enthusiastic spectator. Karl brings the Nova back 1st in class. Phil Kenny is asked to co-drive for a complete novice on the Flying Fortress Stages, who turns out to be a retired Spitfire pilot sporting a Wing-Commander type moustache and states that he is going to 'stuff those bloody foreign johnnies'. They come home in an excellent position although their success is tainted by the realisation that they have just been beaten by a German crew. Moustache man takes a fit and pulls out a loaded 1943 Luger from a hidden crotch pocket in his race overalls and is immediately arrested by the organisers of the meeting; he and Phil are immediately disqualified from the results. Phil is gutted at losing these valuable points and retires to the bar to consider new tactics; however his mood lifts considerably when the winning German crew commiserate with him by bringing along their fan club of a dozen statuesque Oktoberfest barmaids who insist on plying him with drinks all night. Phil is not seen for several days but eventually reappears with one of those telling 'man grins' on his face. Lewis Hamilton wins all three Formula 1 races in June, and a small bundle in a sleeping bag is subsequently seen shivering heavily outside the Bradford's house, rocking to and fro and softly whining. WDMC host an interclub Quiz night and buffet and the Committee agree to use the newly formed "Kenrick" Catering Services who provide an exceptional buffet spread at an amazing price, guaranteeing their place in any future tendering process.



Tosh enters Bouley Bay Hillclimb but is questioned by the scrutineer about the 15 litres of Gentleman Jack Daniels in his fuel tank, although he does get away with it by proving the Sylva will run perfectly well on the stuff; however the noise check marshal subsequently fails a breathalyser test and is immediately arrested. The Motor Club decides to enter a crew into the Two Ball Banger Rally but cannot find a decent car for £567 until Trevor Gamble comes up with a Sierra Cosworth in mint condition that he is willing to sell for precisely that much, provided it has "Ford Parts UK" emblazoned on the side with the correct website link. Gary Laverick and Phil Kenny are elected to take part in the event and cheerfully leave the Ford Parts UK premises in a cloud of tyre smoke and screaming gears although Gary unsurprisingly snaps the gearstick as he is leaving due to his over-exuberance. According to Two Ball Rally rules they are forbidden from paying any more than £567 so Gary has to perform an unnatural act to get a new gearstick. The event is a great success and they win by a huge margin, although Gary is unable to speak or walk properly for some days afterwards. Entries open for the Tyneside Stages and the event attracts a huge entry now that it has been opened to anyone registered with SAGA. Entries have been flooding in bringing a huge influx to the event's coffers, although most entrants have either forgotten to include their address or do not have email because they don't trust 'that internet thing', so prefer to write letters and send cheques. The event organisers struggle to cope with the sheer number of older people telephoning on a daily basis to check if their entry has been received because they 'haven't seen the cheque go into their bank yet', despite checking every hour. Fresh from watching his triumphant win at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the Lewis Hamilton Fan Club block buy all the seats on the outside of Sachs Curve at the Hockenheim ring and unveil a 100m long banner saying
<<< This way Sebastian <<<
Whilst walking past Richer Sounds in Newcastle, Gordon Bradford inadvertently sees the banner being unfurled on their shop window TV and loses the plot massively, smashing a nearby bin into the window of the Clayton Street retailer before being overpowered and put in a choke hold by a passing five your old Chinese girl with pigtails. Lee and Ewan Tindall win the WDMC July Quiz, after both Guy and Peter give some very effective 'strategic' answers and finish second and third, proving that experience trumps knowledge in all WDMC quizzes. Tosh and Brian are elated to come second last, prompting Tosh to jump onto a table and break out the Jack Daniels whilst Brian purses his lips slightly and nods, almost imperceptibly, twice.


The Tyneside Stages Rally media tendering process opens and the organisers are immediately swamped by requests for TV rights on Laverick's bend, so decide to go for sealed bids; a frantic bidding war subsequently breaks out amongst all the major TV companies. Ewan Tindall enters the Rally Deutschland although it costs him over £2000 due to the increased costs after Brexit, however he wins the event in a standard MG3 with electric rear windows although he does admit the model with air conditioning would have been preferable on the long hot stages, although it gave him the opportunity to think of some ideas to improve his Dad's business whilst daydreaming on his way towards the win. Brian Townsend signs for a parcel from Yodel before realising it is a large and very volatile package of C4 explosive, but due to some quick thinking on his part splits the package into two parts, saving some in the Tanfield Lea workshop for a rather special bonfire night experience he has in mind before calling the authorities to report the incident. He considers himself extremely lucky that it was him that accepted it rather than his friendly retired neighbour Tom who often takes packages in. He tells Gary Laverick who is stunned at the catalogue of coincidences.

Darkie Lewis is clearly spotted on a ground-breaking BBC documentary on senior citizens and how they are wasting their pensions in the hedonistic hotspots of the Mediterranean. Close examination of the footage appears to show Darkie in someone's softly illuminated, smoke filled attic whilst random coloured spotlights play around the room, which appears to be filled with a surprisingly large number of young and very scantily-clad girls dancing and writhing around in time to the music, whilst all the time Darkie watches them intently. The programme is on the one hand rather disturbing yet on the other strangely addictive. The Tyneside Stages organisers sell the rights to the bend now renamed 'Laverick' to SkyTV for a quarter of a million pounds and the SkyTV crew swamps both corner and approach with so much technology it is now impossible to go off, resulting in a fall in ratings for SkyTV. Gary subsequently claims copyright for the name and settles out of court for an undisclosed sum, finally allowing him and Phil to fix the garage roof in Sunderland.


The Dormobile lady suddenly reappears at Tony Chrisp's garage with £500 and an obscure make of Mini Fridge asking him to install it under the passenger seat as it would be 'the perfect place for the particular item of equipment I have in mind'. Tony is very confused as to exactly what she has in mind but agrees to do the job on the basis of it being a huge payout for not much work. His excitement at a quick profit rapidly dissipates as he realises the mini fridge is in fact a three phase industrial cooler unit requiring a very complicated inverter setup costing hundreds of pounds. Concerned that it will be a loss-maker he hands over the job to Jonny whose face immediately lights up into a smile as he gets out the Fluke 1587 Multimeter and a set of jump leads. Ewan Tindall enters the Rally Transylvania in a Trabant special with papier mache bonnet and boot and takes the class victory by a full three minutes, whilst simultaneously thinking up all the questions and answers to the WDMC October quiz. Dad Lee is so impressed he immediately enters Ewan for the Trackrod rally, thinking to fit a set of Colway remoulds to give Ewan that extra edge. Ewan takes to the new tyres like a duck to water and wins the event by four minutes whilst simultaneously revising for his A levels in advanced physics. He returns to WDMC triumphant but is completely blown to pieces by Alastair at the next PlayStation night who taunts him saying he just doesn't have the experience and should stop indoors a bit more in front of the telly. Phil Morton buys a Fiat Argenta for £2 off eBay and immediately fits an RB-X GT2 engine he found in a scrapyard in Craghead. Asked about upgrading suspension and brakes he says he is not that bothered as he normally doesn't even make the first bend anyway so he considers brakes a desirable option rather than a necessity. Mac Cliff receives an anonymous letter from a Mr D. Arkielewis asking if his shed is available for hire at weekends and if so could he bring his own 'stuff'. The letter writer suggests he might possibly know the whereabouts of Mac's frog and offers to find it for a small fee. The prospect of being reunited with his beloved frog fills Mac with untold excitement and he immediately agrees despite any probable consequences.


Phil and Gary put in an entry for Rally GB having found a genuine FRP engine being offered on Gumtree by a crack addict for £20. They give him £40 and tell him to get himself wasted. The engine turns out to be a full works unit although Phil and Gary are surprised by the fact that it appears to be covered in a very slight dusting of aluminium oxide powder and it described as 'warm'. Tosh and Brian get stopped by the police on a Navigational Event near Cornsay Colliery and notice that the driver of the Police vehicle appears to be an Indian TukTuk driver, before realising to their surprise it is actually Pete Gibson who has apparently borrowed David Dickinson's ultra-heavy duty Suntan lotion in preparation for his multitude of TV appearances. Phil Morton puts in an entry for the Cheviot Rally in his "Fissangenta" with Jo-Emma Hepplewhite-Hind-Morton Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel as co-driver. The organisers delay acceptance of their entry until they have updated their entry forms to accommodate the length of the co-drivers name.

Dormobile lady reappears at Tony Chrisp's garage with £1000 and the engine out of Thrust SSC and asks if he can fit it to the Dormobile as "I really want to blow my husband's mind". Tony raises a single eyebrow at the prospect but agrees to do it as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Jonny is seen to rub his hand together furiously and fire up the plasma cutter. As the weather closes in Steve the Kibblesworth Workmens Club barman decides to fit those grippy attachments to the soles of his shoes so as to not fall foul of the icy pavements once again; certainly the last thing he needs is to be unable to get to the bar during the cold winter months. In a surprise last minute announcement Sebastian Loeb, Petter Solberg and Tommi Mäkinen enter the Wales Rally GB and finish first, second and third respectively, against all the odds and surprising every single rally enthusiast in the world except Alastair Knox who amazingly wins the WDMC Rally predictor with a perfect prediction. Petter Solberg sends him a congratulatory message, countersigned by Sebastian Loeb and Tommi Mäkinen. Alastair takes his winnings and declares he and Jimmy will be buying a new car. The October quiz is a great success although in a surprise result it is won by the chap from the public bar selling Domino tickets. Organisers Lee and Ewan think this might be a strategic result and suspect foul play is at hand. Peter and Guy sit quietly smiling.


The Cheviot Rally takes place on Otterburn ranges on the coldest night in living memory, the temperature plummets to -40 degrees Celsius, and the army have to bring in space heaters just to raise the temperature of the signing-on tent to acceptable levels. The SkyTV crew cannot get anything to function in such cold temperatures and subsequently miss the spectacle of Gary and Phil losing it massively on approach to Laverick but managing to recover at the last minute with a superb display of car control that would have made Roger Clark himself proud. Brian Townsend hosts a special Bonfire Night Party and brings out his special fireworks made from the C4 explosive he stashed away back in July. His fireworks are an instant success with his bangers bringing not only a huge amount of enjoyment to the residents of Tanfield Lea but also a great deal of praise from Stanley Town Council, after the resulting explosions clear most of the unoccupied buildings in Front Street preparing the way for their new development of a LIDL store to rival ALDI. Jimmy and Alastair buy an ex works WRC Subaru but decide the handling simply isn't up to scratch so replace the rear springs with some handy fork lift truck springs from Jimmy's back garden. They enter the Malton Forest Rally and the car absolutely flies from the start but goes off massively on the first bend, demolishing a farm, barn and JCB in the process. Jimmy is heard to comment unfavourably on Subarus never handling properly anyway.

The WDMC Superstars Championship is really hotting up with Brian leading Tosh by a single point going into the final event of the year; this time it is a quiz and Brian immediately smells a rat when he realises the title of the quiz is "Where in Tosh's house has he hidden the following objects". Brian scores very badly indeed and Tosh claims the win with a perfect score, however his victory is short-lived when it turns out his Missus has tidied up for the first time in living memory that very same night and nothing is where he left it so the quiz is declared void, making Brian the Champion, despite the amazing sequence of coincidences that could so easily have led to a different conclusion. Lewis Hamilton wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to claim his sixth F1 World Championship. During the victory celebrations a shorter than average man is arrested carrying a loaded bazooka in the crowd, shouting obscenities and waving a Sebastian Vettel Fanboy flag. Gary Laverick and Phil Kenny fulfil their life's ambition by entering the Roger Albert Clark Rally despite the weather being horrendous, however in a freak thunderstorm whilst sitting at the start of Stage 1 on Gary's 10" used slicks their car is unbelievably hit by a bolt of lightning. Amazingly, neither of them suffers more than a pair of very lightly singed beards, although Phil does put this down to his habit of fireproofing his beard with Envirograf. Mac Cliff is absolutely delirious at finding his frog back on the porch once more although he notices it does smell faintly of Vaseline.


The competition year is finally over, and as the Winter draws in thoughts turn to Christmas and Good Will to all men, and so it is in this spirit that Mac Cliff opens the doors to his shed to welcome the secretive Mr D. Arkielewis and is amazed to find out it is Darkie Lewis. Mac is completely stunned at this revelation but does ask Darkie to respect his shed. Darkie gives his word although he has a twinkle in his eye as he does so. Mac suspects the twinkle is not only in Darkie's eye, especially as there appears to be more than a dozen nubile beauties sitting in the mini bus waiting to enter the shed and start the party. Mac carefully removes his frog lest it is involved in anything unseemly. Dormobile lady finally calls to collect her vehicle from Tony Chrisp, expressing astonishment at the eventual look of the thing, saying she thought it would appear more, sort of, Dormobile-y, and then starts arguing about the cost. Tony finally loses it and attacks her with a plasma cutter, although Jonny saves the day by leaping in front of Tony with an old MGB wing and deflecting it. The Domino guy hosts the Christmas quiz and nobody gets anything right whatsoever due to it being all about ferrets, leeks and allotments. Although Domino man offers to host the next quiz the decision is quickly taken out of his hands when somebody remembers Karl never did host his quiz from three years ago. Whickham Awards night starts with a roundup of the season's events, the awards are all all set out for presentation, the speeches prepared and cushions provided for those who are unused to the length of time required for Tosh's Awards ceremony, all of which is followed by the most stupendous buffet. There are smiles all round as the year draws to a close, and everybody is happy that the 2019 season has been a memorable one.
Who knows what 2020 will bring....?

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