There we were, the 10th of August, making our way to Grasmere in the Lake District, minding our own businesses, when the car quietly died and by a stroke of singular good luck we were just approaching a lay-by into which I coasted.
We were near Thirlmere and the King’s Head Inn (“PH” on map above) to which I managed to walk. I did this because where we had stopped there was no mobile phone coverage. The pub allowed me to phone and I called whoever was on our car insurance at the time. The transporter arrived remarkably quickly I thought, winched the car on to its back and with us all sitting in the cab took us back to Stockton and we dropped the car off at the garage.
The driver simply unlashed the car, took the bakes off and rolled it back to the wall, where we left it and put the keys through the letter box.
When examined it was found that the camshaft drive belt had worn its teeth away in places due to slippage, presumably, and the valves had hit the pistons. The valves were in poor shape, but the pistons were evidently undamaged. The car was repaired – very expensive as I recollect – and we we eventually sold it privately as by that time we did not need two cars. The driver dropped us off at home, but would not stop for a break, and set off back home immediately.