Tan Hill History

How it all started?

“Raid Tan Hill” started in 1989 as a New Year run just for the Leeds 2CV club, but soon started to attract members of other local clubs and in 1992 we opened it up as a national event.
It now attracts 2CV enthusiasts from as far away as Kent and Edinburgh - but as yet..... hardly anyone from the Continent!
It is completely free to all participants. In the past few years we have been fortunate in obtaining sponsorship from a local 2CV specialist garage, 2CV City, and the rest has come from the hard work of our local members.

Why “Raid”?

In the early 50s the 2CV had established itself as a firm favourite for what the French call Raids, a word which we would probably translate as “expeditions” or “long distance runs”.
Citroen were in the habit of offering sponsorship and an annual prize for the most deserving long-range journey in a 2CV, Dyane, Mehari or 2CV van. However by the late 1960’s they found that so many people wanted to take their 2CVs on ridiculously hazardous expeditions that they could not sponsor all of them.
Jaques Wolgensing, their Director of Publicity, hit upon the idea of a factory-organised Raid, involving not just one but a whole convoy of cars.
These Raids continued for the next five years culminating in 1971 with the legendary Raid Afrique.
Sponsored by Citroen, Total and RTL. The plan was to drive the 4,992 miles from Abidjan on the Ivory Coast to Tunis via the Tenere desert. There were no mishaps, the sixty vehicles which set out from the Place de la Concorde on September 22nd all arrived in Tunis on November 29 after 34 days hard driving.
For more information read James Taylors excellent book

Our Raid is on a somewhat smaller scale!

Why Tan Hill?

Tan Hill Inn, at nearly 1800 feet above sea level, is the highest pub in the United Kingdom and an excellent focal point for a New Year run. The route follows a fabulously scenic run, starting just on the outskirts of Leeds, through the Dales National Park and finishing up in one of the remotest parts of the Yorkshire moors.

As the run takes place in the middle of winter the weather plays a major part.

In 1997 the pub at Tan Hill had been cut off by snow for almost a week. The convoy got within six miles but in the interest of safety we called a halt in the village of Reeth. A few lunatics tried to go it alone but after another couple of miles were brought to a halt by three-foot snowdrifts.
One lone 2CV coming in on the Kirby Steven road managed to get within a mile of the pub and was then dragged the rest of the way by the pub’s Land Rover (destroying a drive shaft in the process). He got his 1997 certificate the following year and was the only person to get one.

In 1998 Brian and Sadie (the major protagonists behind the Raid) decided to stay overnight at the Tan Hill... rather than tire themselves out on the return run. They got snowed in!!

 In 2000 we only had enough snow and ice to delay the convoy for about twenty minutes.

Les Hiboux” Raid Tan Hill weekend

The weekend starts on Saturday evening with a convivial gathering. This is organised for the people who come up to the Leeds area and stay overnight.
Most years we have an evening of 2CV videos, folk music, a quiz, food, drink and of course "The Mummers".

(For more about the Mummers click here.)

Sunday morning the Lawnswood Arms pub opens its doors at 8.45 am and serves coffee and bacon butties. The cars start to arrive and register and the run starts at 10 am with the cars leaving in groups of twenty-five.

The route travels up past Otley and Ilkley and then through the Yorkshire Dales National Park eventually arriving at the small Wensleydale village of Hawes, where we have a twenty minute halt and serve free hot mulled wine, Christmas cake and Stollen.

We then set off again, this time as one convoy, eventually arriving at Tan Hill at about 1.30 p.m.
The pub somehow manages to feed everybody and after lunch the free raffle is drawn and the certificates and stickers are given out. Everybody gets a certificate, signed by the landlord and club chairman, and a car boot sticker.
The oldest car gets a special certificate and so does the furthest travelled.

And then everybody goes home....

.... Apart from the lucky few who don't have to work on the Monday and are staying at the pub



All done with volunteer organization...
With financial, technical and physical support from...

2CV City
of Low Moor, Bradford. Yorkshire's premier 2CV specialist