31st December 2004

Why not do something special for New Years? How about, ooh I don't know... park at the top of a hill overlooking Sheffield with a BBQ and watch all the fireworks followed by a night-time laning expedition? Yes, that sounds like a plan! All I need is someone else with no-mates who won't be busy that night...

So, it was arranged, Greg would be joining me with his brother James.

We met up in Ripley on the A610.


And planned a route that didn't take us near and houses or farms. (No, I'm not asleep)


First a nice gentle lane that overlooks Great Longston


Greg stops to erect his tripod. Followed by much childish giggling.


A tree.


Next we head off on another lane that gets pretty overgrown in places. We stopped to move a shrubbery off the track.


And on to Burbage Moor byway


We get into position at the top of Burbage Moor, overlooking Sheffield

Its quite a clear night, but bitterly cold with a very strong wind blowing across the open moors


Right break out the BBQ! After assessing the wind to be too strong and cold to keep the thing alight, we build some shelter using rocks and Gregs wheel.

We have to light it in Gregs car, but soon we're all set!

Roaring away.

Foods ready!


Just in time for the stroke of midnight. The views are stunning, we have thousands and thousands of fireworks going off all around us. You can just about make out some of the flashes in these photos.

At about 12.45 all the food has gone, and the fireworks have died down somewhat, we decide to move on.

We put the rocks back where we found them and clear up the BBQ.

Next we head off down Stannage Edge.


Followed by Greg

Its at this point that Greg stalls.

As you may know, SJs can suffer from a clicky-starter which means that when you turn the key to start, nothing happens except for a click in the solenoid. Sods law states this will always happen at the most inopportune time. Well, how about halfway down Stannage Edge stuck between 2 rocks at 2.00 in the morning blowing a freezing cold gale? Yep, that'd do it!

We try bump starting, but being pitch black, Greg promptly drives into a big rock, and gets hung-up on the front shackle. You can just about make this out in the below picture

Cue much applause and nervous laughing.

Front wedged into a rock, back wheel also hung-up on another:

Eventually we manage to manhandle the SJ backwards uphill with all three of us pushing. We rock it back and forth until Greg can haul the steering round to avoid the rock in front of his wheel.

Bump-start attempt number 2 is slightly more successful an we get the engine going. Luckily Greg manages to stop in time before crashing head-on into another rock.

We finally get down to the bottom in one piece.

That's another tribute to Suzuki's size and weight. You'd never be able to push a 2 tonne Land Rover backwards uphill over rocks with only three people!

We make it down to the bottom, stop for more food and drink and call it a night.