|Rally of the Borders - 2 October|
Story - Jim Paterson. Photos Jim Paterson, Chris Paton
Le Mans start?
three crews in a wide range of classics started the second running
of Rally of the Borders on Sunday 2nd October from the New
Lanark World Heritage Village. Spectacular early morning mist filled
the valleys around New Lanark, but the sun had burned it back by time crews were signed on and ready for the start.|
Prepping up at the cars at the startA
couple of no shows, which I knew about, thanks for your texts, were
filled by new crews entering on the day, a feature we offer on these 'value
for money' events.
once again 'spiced up' the fun by placing ten 'route observation
boards' along the correct route to be spotted and recorded. Stops the
navigator getting bored!
to have a Le Mans start, but I
thought the local residents may get a bit upset with revving
engines disturbing their Sunday morning slumbers. So we stuck to
the established start from the top car park, well away from the houses.
Using our new club flag for the first time, we set the crews off at one
minute intervals. Linda on the countdown and
flag wondered if the new flag was a bit too big, but I said it will
look just fine
in the photos.
The crews set off at the usual one minute
intervals. We kept strictly to the countdown to stop early
'bunching', especially on the first single track section, just a mile or two from the start.
a good selection from 'team imp' with no less than four, Dave Charles
and Scot Clements, who is a regular at these events. Keith McCurrach and
Colin Ford, Joe McMillan and Thomas Halliday,
together with Ian and Ann Sinclair made up the foursome group Three of them
lined up one after the other. I just hoped the first one knew the way,
as I had the feeling they would possibly follow each other. I try to
remind all navigators that the first rule of navigating is, 'never
follow the car in front'!
Charlie Young and Eddie Hawke led the way in their 2007 Mazda MX5. The pair are also organising the Veterans of Scottish Motorsport Association Autumn Run,
on October 23rd. Charlie told me that their event is joining hands with
Jock's Run on the same day. See our home page for details, regs and
entry forms. Other MX5 enthusiasts were newcomers Bryan and Janette
Raine in their 2005 model. I would join them later, making a threesome
on the event.
David and Marion Marshall brought their 1989
Peugeot 205 Rallye, both regular motorsport enthusiasts. Vaughn Taylor
in his newly acquired 1980 Porsche 914 was missed when electrical
gremlins got a grip before the start. The first of two MGTF's set off
and Catherine Smith in their 2004 model being joined by regulars Tom
and Marianne Dromgoole in their 2001. Tom and Marianne always drive top
down, come rain hail or shine. Today would be kind to them, and all the
crews, as the sun and blue skies provided a fantastic umbrella to our
Quentin Gray and Dorita Orr who farm in East Lothian
brought their 1954 Swallow Doretti. These cars are few and far between
and usually in pristine condition. I asked Quentin if his rather well
worn version was a 'barn find' or just well used and in original
'patina'. 'Oh it s a barn find" replied Quentin, my barn!
Bright yellow reflected the sunshine well, as Brian McGarrie and Sheila Anderson took off in their 2000 Alfa Romeo Spider.
and Mary Paton joined in their fabulous 1960 Mk1 mini. Having just
completed an East Ayrshire 200 mile tour the day before, and the
Crofterra Pandemonia last month could almost be accused of being
'gluttons' for punishment. I did ask Mary if she had a headache, mini's
not being the quietest of cars. Hoped she got round still headache
free! Chris told me the car had seen more use in the past two months
than the rest of the year.
Charles Donkers and Jamie Hope did
it in style in the 1985 Mercedes 380SL, while Pat and David Robertson
joined us again in their 2000 BMW Z3. Ian Lindley and Alan France have
challenged a few CCHMSC events, this time choosing the MGB RV8. Not
many of these around, and boy does it sound good and throaty as the V8
burbles into action. Joining them in the big V8 stakes were Frank and
Julie Irvine in their magnificent 1994 TVR Chimaera. The pair are just
back from a trip to Goodwood Revival, visiting friends in London, and
Scarborough during the trip. Frank told me that most people think of
TVR as a point and squirt sports car when it really is a long legged GT
cruiser, ideal for those long straight French and continental roads.
Millar and Linda Telford crewed Jock's 1965 MG Midget, which we see a
fair bit of during the year. Jock is a sprint and hillclimb champion,
but an oncoming tractor appearing round the bend on a single track
section needed quick reactions. Deciding to take to the left side verge
should have been the easy option, had it not been for the ditch hidden
in the long grass. The left side dropped right down to the bottom of
the ditch said Jock afterwards. Had I stopped it would have been
curtains, so I gave it full throttle and drove along the ditch to pass
the tractor, then back up on to the road. apart from lots of mud and
splatter, no damage done. Just as well no boulder hidden in the ditch
Craig Ritchie was teamed with Rod Ritchie in the
2000 bright red Porsche Boxster, but Rod decided he wanted to drive
too, and with Svetlana brought their 2003 Smart Roadster as well.
Andrew Swanston brought Findlay Wyatt to navigate, his first ever motorsport event, in the VW
Golf GTi. A good event to dip your toes into the sport. Hope the pair
come back for more.
A very tidy white 1965 Volvo Amazon driven
by David Halsall, with Dave Campbell on the roadbook looked spectacular
in the morning sun, while a Hillman Avenger GT ( Ed - not too many of
these around now) driven by Drew Struthers and guided by Paddy Shannon
got off to a good start. Mechanicals started to plague the pair as a
text reported uncooperative gearbox, forcing retirement. The pair still
got to the finish venue, and collected an award for their efforts.
at the last minute, some may say what else would you expect, were
Kenneth Gray, yes relation to Quentin, with Derek Kemp driving the
As the crews headed off into the rising sun, we
followed them to meet some of the crews again at the refreshment stop
near Lockerbie, and again at Netherurd House at Blyth Bridge, well
known to those who have joined some of our earlier events.
route over great roads, super weather, and fine company made for lots
of tall tales as we enjoyed our snack and received our awards at the
We head for full leaded winter rallying on 19 & 20
November when the Caledonian 200 takes to the hills from Stirling. Not
for the faint hearted, but join us if you like a bit of adventure. See
more Caledonian 200 Winter Rally
140 mile route headed east from New Lanark to Hyndford Bridge before
driving our first narrow road 'taster to the village of Carmichael.
Back on the fast road to Rigside, before heading due east to Wiston,
then down the side of the River Clyde.
We turned west on narrow
twisting roads skirting Duneaton Water, and over the rolling border
hills to Crawfordjohn, where a tricky junction with a sign post with
the name written on the opposite side made navigators think a bit.
Continuing over the hills and down the glens we were lucky to see any
other vehicles, so quiet are the roads in this part of Scotland.
climbed to Leadhills, the second highest village in Scotland at 450m above sea level.
Once famous for not only mining lead, but also gold, going back to
Roman times. Even today the landscape is pretty barren.
Mennock provided a quick squirt down the A76 to Enterkinfoot, where
another unsigned sneaky junction could easily be missed. A tight twisty section led us to Durisdeer Mill, and on to
Durisdeer through a fast flowing, but thankfully shallow river ford.
up into the hills as headed for the Ae forest and loch Ettrick, passing
through the village of Ae, which also played host to a bike ride the
Crossing the A701 at Parkgate, we continued our route to
Templand finding another tricky left turn heading north to
Johnstonebridge. It was on this section that Jock Millar met his
oncoming tractor. Soon we reached the Lockerbie Truck Stop for a
welcome cup of coffee and cake, or a full plate of pie and chips for
the hungry crews.
Moving on east we passed Sibbaldbie, Boreland,
then north to Dumcrieff near Moffat.
Turning east toward St. Mary's
Loch we passed the Grey Mare's Tail,
a 60m hanging valley waterfall,
made famous in Sir Walter Scott's poem Marmion.
were on the home run now cutting north at Cappercleuch around Meggat
and Talla reservoirs, where Chris Paton took time out to capture the
stunning view over Talla.
Reaching Tweedsmuir it was a swift drive up
the Tweed valley to Broughton, across to Skirling, taking the twisty
road from Candy Mill to Elsrickle, again traversing a river ford, before heading east again on the
Roman road toward Kirkdean and the Netherurd House finish.
Doretti at Netherurd
E-type at Netherurd
Organiser, and closing car Ralph Forbes in his Fiat 128 arrives at the finish.
|Updated 6 October 2016|