Rally of the Borders - 18 October 2015
15 crews arrived at
the New Lanark Heritage village for the inaugural running of this
event, enjoying a hearty breakfast at siging on in the Café. By
time we were ready to depart the early morning mist was burning back to
reveal a bright, if now chilly, sunny morning.
Start line up at Lanark Heritage VillageI
met up with Ranald and Majorie White in their Rover P6, a veteran of
previous Monte Carlo Historique runs. Ranald had just completed some
repairs to the rear brakes and water pump and thought the run would be
a good shakedown. Committee member Tom Niven left his MGF at home and
took the navigator seat with Fred Douglas driving the Triumph 2.5PI.
Andrew Swanston often seen in his Renault Alpine brought his beautiful
Gold Leaf colour scheme Lotus Elan, while Steven and Keith Inch had a
very respectable 1972 Humber Sceptre.
The route out of
Lanark avoided the town centre and got us quickly to Hyndford Bridge,
which we crossed and headed south on the Ayr road. The navigators had
to be on their toes to catch the unsigned turn right before crossing the
Carmichael Burn only 1.1 miles down the A70. Meandering along narrow
coutry roads looking for a telephone box seems straight forward, but
what if it is round a bend. This caught a few folks out. Then drive
through a farmyard? Would you think you had wrong slotted if you ended
up in a farmyard? Well the public road did actually run right through,
passing farm machinery and barns.
Soon we were back to the A70
near Rigside and crossed right over on our way to Roberton, where we
picked up the A73 heading south toward Abington. But Ralph Forbes
had slipped in a sneaky unsigned left turn just after a bend which I,
like many others, overshot. Quick 3 point turn and soon back on the
right track, running alongside the River Clyde to meet the A702.
quick turns from Ralph as we crossed the Clyde and immediately turned
right, hugging the other bank of the Clyde through Cold Chapel to
Crawford, crossing under the main railway line several times, trying to
confuse the navigator.
Ducking under the M74 Motorway pushed us
south west to Leadhills and down the vally to Mennock and the A73,
hugging the River Nith toward Thornhill where many took advantage of
the Café for a coffee stop. It was here that Alan France and Ian
Linley ran into trouble when they returned from their coffee break.
Their Triumph Stag would not start. Ian told me that it had been
"popping" a bit, so sounded like induction problems. Eventually the
pair got it going again, and in true Classic Car driving, limped it back
to Biggar to swap it for Ian's MGF to complete the remainder of
the run. Alan has an MGF too but that also suffers the BL malaise too
much heat and not enough cooling in the right places.
of Thornhill and back into the hinterland heading for the forest of Ae,
through Ae village and down to the A701 at Wester Parkgate, continuing
our cross country jog to Lochmaben and Lockerbie. A fuel stop here
was essential for the small fuel tank classics, as no more fuel would
be available on route after this. Ranald and Majorie took time out to
grab some lunch and met up with Mark Cuthbertson from Hightae Inn in
the car park with his MG Midget.
Into the Castle O'er Forest to
Paddockhole, using little used roads toward Eskdalemuir and the Samye
Ling Monatery and Tibetan Centre, where some of our travellers called
in for a break.
Long flowing roads through Eskdalemuir Forest
taking us to Ettrick, were a welcome relief after the narrow roads and tight turns we had
been experiencing so far. We headed over
the hills to the Gordon Arms which is being restored after a recent
fire took out the roof, and most everything else!
along to St. Mary's Loch we turn up toward Talla at Cappercleuch, a
route used by many classic tours, including the Flying Scotsman on a
few occasions. Passing Meggat Water reservoir I was surprised to see
just how low the water level was. After our wet summer, it was hard to
Reaching Tweedsmuir heralded the final leg of our tour,
up through Broughton to Blyth Bridge and Netherurd House. Run by
Girlguiding Scotland the facility offers great outdoor activities for
all young people, regardless of their abilities. We were treated to a
great buffet meal at the finish, and a time to catchup on experiences
of the day.
All arrived at Netherurd House Blyth BridgeThis event was aimed at classic car owners who
have never done an event before but fancied something simple but
interesting. Ralph Forbes, who knows the area well designed a great
route and for a £10 entry fee would certainly not break the bank.
Everyone enjoyed themselves, so perhaps this type of event is something
your club should repeat in the future. Watch this space.
Updated 24 October