Tour of the Ochils 10 May 2015
Lineup at Loch Leven
Tour of the Ochils attracted 13 starters with Nick Green and Kenny
Crawford arriving on spec in Nick's fantastic Jaguar XK140. The
drive to the start had begun under a bright sky but Scotlandwell was
under grey skies and the rain started to tumble down. As the old
adage goes, in Scotland wait 5 minutes and the weather will change. By
time the starters were signed on and refueled with bacon butties and
coffee the rain had stopped and a bright sky in the distance gave the
soft top cars hope that top down motoring might be a possibility.
George Shand flagged off the starters who provided a variety of classic
cars, from MG with Jock Millar and Linda Telford in the little blue
Midget, Dave and Scott Lauder, Tom and Marianne Dromgoole bringing
their MG F's. Lindsay Smith and Anne Johnston would have been in their
MGF but a quick change to the MG ZS was made at the last moment. Two
BMW Z3's, one in red crewed by Graham and Jane Bachelor, the
other, in aubergine, crewed by Ron and Jan Adam were joined by Morgan
4/4 with Phil and Sally Anderson. They will be heading to another event
in Dornoch next weekend. These Morgan drivers do like to get around.
Duncan Massie and Jenny McKay were in the bright yellow Triumph TR7,
fitted with Dolomite Sprint engine and uprated suspension. Tom
Dromgoole had a test drive after the event and was seriously impressed.
This from a dyed in the wool MG man is praise indeed.
Ross brought his Toyota MR2 from Aberdeen with George Kennedy by his
side. Colin Bruce in the Lotus Elan S3, again in bright yellow, from
Prestwick joined up with Gordon Reid. Brendan MacKinven and Alex Lawrie
arrived in a Hillman Imp, but fitting neatly into a Nissan Figaro were
James Buchan and Steven King from Fraserburgh. I couldn't help notice
James Buchan's reg plate - BUC114N. He searched a long time for that
one. Do I believe him when he tells me that his family of four fits
into it? Cosy would be the result I think.
The route would take
us through four counties, Kinrosshire, Fife, Stirlingshire, and
Perthshire. The crews headed off round the south side of Loch Leven, the
first of some 11 lochs and reservoirs on route, to start their first
climb over the Cleish Hills, past Loch Gow, Dow Loch and Lurg Loch.
They would meet 3 hill ranges on their drive, Cleish, Lomond and
Ochils. This climb peaked at some 278 metres.
the hillfoots road toward Stirling provided some good open stretches to
clear the carbs and feel the wind in the face, for soft tops that were
coming down. We reached Sheriffmuir, site of the famous battle in 1715
between the Jacobites and the government forces. One or two crews
nearly missed the turn for the climb out of Stirling up into the Ochil
hills. A twisting narrow route, rising to 500 metres, where drivers
concentration and wits had to be on top level alert.
down the north side of the Ochils past Carsebreck Loch, Lower and Upper
Rhynd, we circled round to Gleneagles Hotel for a refreshment stop at
the Dormy Clubhouse, where tales of sights seen, and junctions missed,
entertained us all.
The blue sky was breaking through and soft
tops were all stowed, for the second section, taking us into Glen
Eagles, Glen Devon, past Upper and Lower Glendevon, Glenquey, and
Castlehill Reservoirs . Marshal Peter Burnside stood with orange arrow at the hairpin turn to
Dunning, where the sign is on the apex of the turn, right behind you
when approaching the way we did !
From Dunning it was
off to Glen Farg passing Glenfarg Reservoir and Loch Whirr on our way
to Bridge of Earn, by way of the ruin of Stronachie distillery. Finally
a brief venture into the Lomond Hills, skirting Ballo and
Harperleas Reservoirs, passing the Bunnet Rock and John Knox Pulpit,
dating back to the 17th century where local covenanters met.
Back at our finish at Loch Leven a
hearty meal awaited, with cake and coffee or tea to follow. Each
finisher was presented with a certificate to mark completion of this
unusual tour across the 3 hill ranges, visiting some little known spots
in the Scottish landscape, and having a lot of fun doing it.
Well done to George Shand for the many hours putting this all together, it was well appreciated by the crews.
||Sunbeam Imp Sport
||Lotus Elan S3
Adams at Gleneagles
Morgan at Dormy
Updated 12 May 2015