|La Crofterra Pandemonia - 9 & 10 September 2017|
Story - Jim Paterson. Photos - Andy Thomlinson, Jim Paterson, and Facebook
Crews and cars gather at the Moness start Fantastic
weekend over many roads not driven on this event before. Almost 400
miles centred around the Moness Resort at Aberfeldy. A wide selection
of classic and sporting cars, coupled with more than a few challenging
events, made this another Crofterra to remember.
60 crews gathered from across the country, as far away as Cornwall, at Moness Resort at Aberfeldy. Many arrived on the Friday
evening to enjoy all the facilities, spa and bar, so you could have a
splash on the outside and inside. Good start to the weekend.
headed south out of Moness, through Glen Cohill to Milton, then east
along Strathbraan to reach the A9 at Dunkeld. I ignored golden rule
number one, 'Do not follow the car in front!' I soon realised we were
heading south instead of north on the A9. Quick U turn, waving
frantically at the others to turn, and we were back on route. Crikey
only 8.7 miles in and mistake already. This could be fun. |
slip ups as we peeled off to Balnaguard. Great little road, but lookout
for cyclists and cars coming at you! At Strathtay we headed for Weem,
visited on this years CCHMSC Red Hackle tour. Routing to Appin of Dull,
we were heading due west Fortingall and Bridge of Balgie, before south
toward Killin, where many grabbed a spot of lunch.
Never Dull or Boring on the Crofterra
(Photo Hugh McGouran)
Glen Ogle through Lochearnhead and the Strathyre Forest toward
Callander, cutting off to Brig O' Turk and Aberfoyle.Turn east again to
Port of Menteith on our way to Doune, the castle being a big feature in
Outlander. No timeshift to 1745 for us this time.
Dunblane was calling,
though we passed on tea and cake at Andy Murray's hotel as we pressed
on. Reaching Braco we drove alongside the River Knaik. up to Crieff,
before looping round by Keillour and the Sma' Glen to Amulree. Last leg
for today through Glen Quaich and over the top to Kenmore. Outstanding
views from the top. A short run into Aberfeldy and refuel ready for
We all enjoyed the evening dinner in the marquee,
which was followed by the regular crofter raffle. This time the event
was raising funds for the Jim Clark Trust toward building the new Jim
Clark museum at Duns. The raffle would run again on the Sunday evening
and raise a total of £1500 for the project.
Sunday morning and
most of us were ready for day 2, with a few taking time for a longer
sleep. The weather had turned a bit and a damp restart greeted us as we
said farewell to our hosts at Moness. Fewer soft tops down and even
less as we headed east, with heavy rain showers greeting us five miles
east of Aberfeldy.
Stewart MX5Dave and Roddie spotted a tight little
single track road that weaved its way up the west side of the River
Tummel to Pitlochry.
If you took wrong slot in Pitlochry you would be
heading south on the A9, so a keen eye needed to aim for Edradour
Distillery, though a bit early for a refreshment stop!
Brerachan to Kirkmichael and east to cross the River Isla at Kirkton of
Glenisla,to Kirriemuir. We drove along the foot of the Grampians Edzell
and Fettercairn, where we started the climb up to Cairn O' Mount.
Shrouded in mist there was no view today. We did pull in at Clatterin
Brig for lunch, and chat with fellow Crofter's taking a break as well.
Pressing on to Aboyne then Cockbridge for the run over the Lecht to
Tomintoul. Not a flake of snow in sight, so no skiing today. Heading
past a few distilleries in the Spey valley had mouths watering for a
taster or two, but still a bit to go. Up to Forres, then west to Logie,
and Cawdor Castle where the showers turned into a downpour, giving the
Mini Moke crew a wakeup call as they dived for Sou' Westers !!
there it was a home run to Fairways to dry off and enjoy some amber
nectar, be it lager, beer or whisky, the choice was yours.
made up for my not listening to Roddie and Dave at the briefing, by
picking a winning ticket for the raffle. Happy Days are here again!
See you all again next year.
morning we gathered in the marquee for breakfast and signing on,
followed by Dave Spence and Roddie Main providing the drivers briefing,
detailing all the hot spots and other challenges we would meet on our
tour. Personally I should have paid more attention, as I would
pay later for this oversight!
The car park was full of
classic and sporting cars of all shapes, sizes and colours. A couple of
surprises welcomed me as Don and Mags Campbell changed for their
Sunbeam to the Ferrari, which we will see on the CCHMSC Dolomiti Sfida
tour later this month. 'A shakedown for the tour' reported the crew, so
hope it passed muster.
Gerry Robb and Lee Nimmo normally seen
in the Ford Vic hotrod arrived in a just completed Ford Model A in
pickup style. Still looked and sounded meaty. Andy Thomlinson and Jim
Wilson changed wheels from Andy's Amazon, now sold, to Jim's Austin
A40. With a bit of tweaking that only Jim knows what, makes this a
pretty quick machine, as you can see on Andy's flickr page. Graeme and
Beth arrived in their immaculate 1973 Toyota Corolla, seen on many
events this is a very well presented example of the marque.
McGuiness from Lancashire is a keen Crofter, but his navigator Simon
Crow dropped out and the Z3M became a sporting Mini Cooper S, no slouch
there then! Lancashire was well represented with David and Janet
Barritt at the wheel of their '77 TVR3000M, together with
Anderson in their '85 Mini City E joining the starters. Everything went
swimmingly until a spot of off roading took out the sump on an
unwelcome rock on the Sunday. They will be back though. Claire
and Martin Page drove the '99 Mini with Union Jack roof, and door
mirrors. We would see them on Sunday at the roadside with a siezed
distributor. Unfortunately no one had a spare in their pocket.
Locals Jim McCue and Julie Board from Dornoch set off in a quick '89 Peugeot 205Gti.
From the other
side of the Pennines we saw the yellow Lotus Elise of Hugh McGouran.
Gets tougher every year to get in and out of. He tells me he is
practicing 'rolling out' so he can keep returning to Crofterra. 'Rock
and Roll' Hugh.
Tony and Morag
Yule also changed steed, from a Lotus Elise 250 Cup to a new Mini.
Crofters are persistent no matter what looms up in front of
them! Lotus Esprit are getting rare so it was good to seeKristoffer Oines and Vince Sutcliffe in the '79 model.
the sun appearing and a good day
forecast it was time for Brian Johnstone and Jim Brown to lead off
the starters in their '72 MGB. The very tidy '77 Triumph 'Dolly' Sprint
of Hughie Urquhart and Kirsty Greive, followed by Stephen Jappy
and Brian MacLeod in a '76 example. The Vitesse of Ormond and Ranald Smith joined the Triumph marque entries.
Karl Robinson and David Harper drove a '76 Triumph TR8 in full Leyland Cars livery. Craig and
Rod Ritchie 2000 Porsche Boxster joined Adrian and Sam Harper in
their '65 Ford Mustang fastback, well known for yumps in the Steve
McQueen car chase in the movie Bullitt. You can see a few on Adrian's
video on the event :-
Americana, in the shape of a very racy '99 Dodge Viper crewed
by Kevin McKenzie and Johnnie Andringa looked straight out of that
other movie 'Cars'. Fabulous looks and sound.
Ian and Hilary
Smith took off in the well known '65 Hillman Imp. Would they manage the
tour without mishap? Nearly would be the answer. Ian's 'good
samaritan role presented one or two plan changes, but he is well used
to handling those, aren't you Ian?
met Ian at the Bridge of Lochay
Hotel just before Killin for a refreshment stop. I was surprised I had
not seen the Imp on route, which was really a bit hurtful thing to say.
However Ian had exercised his 'good samaritan' role gifting his spare
wheel to fellow Imp driver Calum and Dillon Gauld in their white '66 model
which had clipped a rock and punctured a rear. With no spare
Ian gifted them his. Now they were both on borrowed time. Two Imps
spare between them! Would this come back to bite them? Of course it
would. Its not Crofterra without some drama.
A great 2008
Porsche Cayman a real gentlemans luxury sporting carriage was piloted
by Mike Smith and Leigh Houston,
with Alan and Craig Cameron sported a Porsche 944 with go fater stripes.Ricky Finlayson and Samantha
MacNeil were true to classic form in their '78 Ford Escort. Ricky is
all set for a 10k sponsored run in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity
after this event, and raised £400 of sponsorship after the
prizegiving on the Sunday.
Escorts were out in force with Roy McQueen and Ritchie Falconer, joining Alex Davie and David Irvine in their '75 model.
Stuart and Graeme Sheridan drove a well prepared '69 MGB/GT,
which I saw at the end in the Premier Inn car park waiting for a 'lift
home' following a clutch failure. TLC and they will be back. Tom
and Marianne Dromgoole turned out in a well presented 2001 MGF, with
Crofterra newcomers George and Jean Shand arriving in their newly
aquired MGF. Tom Niven and Karen Wilson swapped to an MG estate after
their MGF failed final tests.
Boxsters were popular with Campbell and Ian Jamieson bringing their 2001
Willie Preece and Graeme 'Hawkeye' Finlayson sported a Mini Cooper S, with another
regular, Norman MacFarlane teaming up with Nigel Webster in a Mini Moke.
I believe Nigel had only recently finished welding this now quite rare
machine. With no side screens and forecast wet for Sunday, I wondered
how the pair would survive. Thick waterproof anoracks semeed to be
order of the day. They make them tough in the north of course.
regular crew Gary
and Linda Bates enjoyed their Mazda MX5, which Gary reported never
missed a beat, 415 miles ( an extra 30 odd for a few wrong
slots) plus 135 to get to the start line on Friday night, all on two
of fuel. Gary also put up the loan of the car as a raffle prize, for
use in next years Crofterra. MX5's were popular with Denise and
are always a favourite. Chris and Mary Paton brought their very
quick 1960 Mini, sporting twin Webers. The car is seen often out and
about, including several Crofterra's. George MacFarlane and Louise
Jamieson brought a 1980 Mini, with Clare and Matrin Page in a '99 Mini
Cooper Sport, Stephen Wright and Heather McCue in a '72 example. Tony
and Shona Leese also turned out in the ever popular '61 Mini.
are never far away and Crofterra had Deidre and John MacKintosh in a
'99 SLK230, followed by Kenny Clunas and David MacRae in a '97 vesion.
in style were Len and Andrew Morrison in a Aston Martin V8 Vantage,
with John Harrington and James Cameron in a rakish 2007 Jaguar XK. At
the other end of the scale, but still a lot of fun,
the 2004 Smart Roadster Coupé of Ian Stewart an John
Ross, which I met at Ben Lawers Dam..
Alastair Shaw must be farthest travelled, bringing
his '95 Audi A4 Cabriolet all the way from Cornwall. Hope he enjoyed the
change of scenery. Same for the crew from Kent, Sam Down and Mark
Fisher in a 2005 Mazda RX8.
Time for swapping of tall talesIf I've missed you out of the
story, please accept my apologies. This event is so popular it is difficult
to cover every single car and crew. But you could tell from the smiles
on faces at the end that we all enjoyed the weekend. You can also pick
up more stories from the Crofterra Facebook, where I admit some of
these snippets come from.
The carvery meal at the end in
Fairways was a real winner too. Well done to all the organisers for yet
again pulling a great event together. Just makes it harder to top this
one for next year.
We can't wait. The dates for your diary are 1 & 2 September 2018 if you missed the announcement
Now have a peek at Andy Thomlinson's photos of a few of the the cars,
and a video clip of the types of road we covered. https://www.flickr.com
|Published 16 September 2017|