Pub with no Beer

17 September 2018

Mx-5 Club Mid North Coast Chapter, Pub with No Beer Run 8 September.

A group of 4 MX-5s assembled outside Oliver’s at the Port Macquarie Service Centre on 8 September for the start of the annual ‘Pub with No Beer’ run.  Allen was in his freshly washed red ND with Graham as a navigator, Peter in his black NB with his brother Michael, Jenny and Kevin from Armadale in their red ND, and Judith and John in their grey NC. We set off to our morning tea destination at Gladstone with the wind in our hair.

We travelled the now well-worn route along the Pacific Highway to the Kempsey turn off where Cathy and Wayne, our run leaders, joined and then down to the turn off to Crescent Head. Carla and Brett were also joining us and soon caught us up. We had a very good run through the countryside to the turn off at Crescent Head to Gladstone. The road from Crescent Head to Gladstone is always a pleasant MX-5 run as it meanders along with some interesting corners through the rural countryside a surprise awaited us at the next main intersection. We normally turn right onto the connecting road to Gladstone, however Cathy and Wayne had scouted an alternative way. It is always fun to drive on a new road although the road surface left a bit to be desired, actually quite a lot to be desired with numerous potholes. However, it was most enjoyable as it twisted around the river bank until it ended just outside Gladstone. It is amazing to find so many small roads winding through our Mid North Coast scenic countryside where you feel far away from anywhere. However, one does not become too complacent as every now and then a local driver is encountered who is certainly not expecting a convoy of MX-5 coming the other way!

Gladstone is a picturesque historic town perched on the banks of the Macleay River. Gladstone has at least 19 well preserved historic buildings some with magnificent views of the river. Our morning tea was held in the ‘Old Church’ coffee shop where the grounds slope down to the river bank, entrance is through an old deconsecrated church which now sells a variety of craft items. The café has an interesting menu with many mouth-watering delectable items.

Rhonda and Robert from Coffs Harbour joined us in their white NC and Chris also made the trip down in his ND. It was quite a contingent of us as we spilled out over two tables whilst taking in the river view and the menu. We lingered over morning tea as the portions were large and some of us didn’t realise that we could have ordered half portions! The cafe was most obliging and doggy bags were provided to take the excess scones away to avoid wasting anything!

Now that the Pacific Highway upgrade to Coffs Harbour is completed a large amount of traffic has been taken off what was the old highway and other feeder roads. With a reduced amount of traffic on the road the drive to the back of Macksville was very pleasant. On the way Allen and Graham left us as did Jenny and Kevin as they had other obligations for the rest of day,

A weather eye was kept on the sky as ominous black clouds could be seen massing and we could see some evidence of rain on the road. From Macksville we took the back roads to Taylors Arms for our lunch at the ‘Pub with No Beer’. These roads appear to have been made for MX-5s with a variety of corners from long sweepers to tighter ones with the road rising to crest the hills and then swooping down to the valley floor, all with a pretty good road surface. The countryside looked quite green and lush in places which was a contrast to the drought conditions in the state.

All too soon we were at the ‘Pub with No Beer’. Sally and Warren in their NC from Coffs Harbour met up with us before we went into lunch. Even though morning tea was not a distant memory driving with the roof down certainly works up an appetite and did not prevent us from our food orders. We had a most convivial lunch with plenty of mirth, food and of course photographs taken by Wayne for the club’s Facebook page. We had just finished lunch and were starting to move when a small shower hurried us up. Judith and I were heading back to Port so left the group who were sheltering on one of the wide verandas.

The run was to continue to the ‘Beer Church’ and then to the Macksville Star Hotel via Bowraville with the rest of the run amply documented in photographs taken by Wayne that have been posted on Facebook.

All in all, a most enjoyable day, good companionship, driving, scenery and of course food. Many thanks to our run leaders Cathy and Wayne for scoping the run and our Convenor Graham for handling the paper work required.

John Hansen scribe.

Photo Wayne Lang

PS. I would like to thank Kevin and Jenny Chappell, Rob and Rhonda Partridge, Warren and Sally Shipway and Chris Clark for travelling the great distance as they did to join us for 'The Pub With No Beer'. Graham Rochester.