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Jessie The Jeep

My Flying Control Jeep

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The display brought the neighbours out to get some pictures, then they stayed out. The daughter of the guy over the road brought her music decks out and started playing music, a nice variety including some 1940's stuff. More and more neighbours joined us in the street, drinks started flowing, people brought their lunch out, then there was dancing. The social distancing conga was rather amusing.

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Partying continued through the afternoon. Evening meals took place in front gardens and the partying carried on. We began packing up a little after 7pm and took both Jeeps for a victory parade around the block. Was the journey necessary? - ABSOLUTELY!!!

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The street party finally finished at 1am!!

If it hadn't been for the lockdown, I think most normal families would have gone about the usual bank holiday shopping and DIY activities. However, being stuck at home probably resulted in more people taking the opportunity to let their hair down a bit and celebrate.

It may well be our only event of 2020, but it will certainly be a memorable one.

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Isolation Drive - May 16th

Well, the government said we could now go out and travel......"to exercise or spend time outdoors for recreation" and "should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household." 

Sounded like a ride out in the Jeep fitted the bill on all counts!

I'd fitted a recently purchased, GoPro type "action camera" to the roof bows, looking forwards over the driver's compartment. My daughter's hood and hair occasionally pops into view! We headed out of Washington, through Birtley to get to open country. It was a bright and sunny start to the trip.

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It was our first time out of Washington since March. Due to the lockdown, we'd only made exercise walks through neighbouring estates and the belts of woodland between each estate. It was nice to see open space, fields and trees on the drive. The picture above came from a frame grab of the drive video seen below.

From Birtley were drove through Kibblesworth and on towards Beamish. The road I had planned on taking at the next junction turned out to be just a track with a car parked across it. This route would have taken us around the back of Beamish Museum and towards the main entrance, before heading us back in the direction of home. Instead I shortened the route, catching up with my planned road at a different point. The revised route turned out to be exactly 17 miles which we completed in about 45 minutes. It was good to be out in a Jeep for a decent drive again.

With the pre-lockdown test drive in March and the VE Day garden party, I'm calling this three events so far in 2020. In these difficult times, you take what you can get!!

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Fantastic, i am repairing my inner windscreen , a long long way behind you bud, but looking through this thread gives hope.

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I note that you have a passenger seat operation switch fitted.😃😄

(Someone has to be in the seat every time the jeep moves.)

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Washington Two Jeeps Tour - May 31st

Here's our two Jeep photo trek around Washington from Sunday 31st May. I've slashed the picture quantities down from around three hundred taken, to two from each location ( three on my website ). The drive was just under 24 miles door to door, but took a little under three hours having so many stops and time for photos. We waited until early evening to set out, hoping the roads and car parks would be more quiet. As a result, the low Sun gave a lovely light and some nice contrasts between sunlit and shadowed areas.

The route was planned around country lanes where possible, tree lined car parks and other viewpoints and places of interest. Really it was just to have an aim for the drive, rather than meander around without a thought of where to go next. Location 5a was a spur of the moment decision and what would have been location 13 was cancelled as it was getting late and cold.

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Location 1
We began at Rickleton, at some gates into a small wood. The sun was behind the wood, so the Jeeps were in shade for these first photos.

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Location 2

It was a short drive to the old gates and turn in to the Lambton Estate for the next shoot ( now there's a site that would be great for a photoshoot ). This gate, on the North of the estate, is chained and isn't used any more but I'm guessing it was the main gate back in the day. These days, access to the estate is on the South side. There were some lovely colours in the trees and a half Moon looking down high above.

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Location 3

From there we continued through Rickleton and Harraton, under the Washington highway, then crossed the river Wear at Fatfield bridge, stopping at Mount Pleasant Lake. Unfortunately some modern cars had the prime parking spots, that would have given a much better view of the lake.

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Location 4

From there, we took a road through the back of Penshaw, over an old riveted railway bridge we discovered on a recent walk and onto a small lane overlooking Weardale Way and the river at the bottom of the valley. The view over the valley was looking into the sun, but shooting in RAW format on my DSLR, I was able to recover the high contrast and shadowy images.

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Location 5

Back over the bridge, we turned back onto the road parallel to the river and railway, around the back of Penshaw Monument. There was another stop a little further up the railway which is now a cycle path. The sun was in the right place for once.

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Penshaw Monument, high on the hill, overlooking our photoshoot.

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Location 5a

After a moderate hill climb little further along the road heading North East, we made a brief stop by Offerton Hall stables. It wasn't far to the A183, where we turned 180 degrees at the roundabout and headed to Penshaw Monument.

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Location 6

Stopping near the garden centre, it gave us a better view of Penshaw Monument than the parking at the other end of the parking lane, partially blocked by large bushes along the fence line. Unfortunately the sun was behind the monument and Jeeps for the photos. Once again, shooting in RAW format saved the day.

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Location 7

After Penshaw, we headed back over Fatfield bridge and North East along the North bank of the river, to the car park near the old railway viaduct. Had it been Winter, we would have probably see the viaduct through the trees. While there is a track big enough for the Jeeps beyond the car park, leading to the viaduct, it is for pedestrians and cyclists only.

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Location 8

Turning around and heading back along the lane again, put us on the right side of the road to pull over for a stop beside the river. Unfortunately the river was very low since it is tidal, so it wasn't as visible as I had hoped.

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Posted (edited)

Location 9

Off on the road again through Fatfield and on towards Cox Green where there were two more car parks to visit, both further North East along the river. The first was at St James Steel Park, with the sun setting through the trees. 

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Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Location 10

Only a couple of hundred yards further along the road was another car park at Cox Green, near to the foot bridge over the river. This one was on the Coast to Coast cycle route.

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Location 11

From there, four roundabouts along the road brought us to the Washington Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. We're members there, but haven't been able to visit due to the lockdown. They've just announced they will open again on June 10th by pre-arrangement to control numbers. During our Jeep visit, the car park was locked up, so our pictures were near the entrance - also on the Coast to Coast cycle route.

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Location 12

The last stop was at a park near Washington Old Hall and village. The Sun was setting and temperature dropping fast, so we skipped the last planned stop at Princess Anne Park and headed for home.  While we were still missing the many events that have already been cancelled this year, it had been a very enjoyable three hours of family Jeeping fun.

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We now have three small Go-Pro type action cameras, one of which was a freebie, so we also shot some video from both Jeeps while out. We didn't shoot the who three hours out but I'll post it up once complete.

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Cleadon BBQ Drive - June 20th

With the lockdown restrictions easing, allowing family bubbles, we took a drive over to visit the "outlaws". Well, if we were going to need to drive to get there, we might as well drive in something fun - so took a Jeep. Only about an 18 mile round trip, but a nice afternoon for the top down. Lynne took the first picture as I'm rarely in any myself! We also had another markings change for today, going RAF medical this time. "Jessie" has several different dresses to wear, depending on the occasion!

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