2013 Bo’ness Hill Climb

6th Bo’ness Speed Hill Climb Revival, 7th and 8th September 2013:

For those of you who have never been to the Bo’ness Hill Climb, below are two photographs of Kinneil House on the estate where the Hill Climb is held.  The view on the left shows the house as you would drive in from Bo’ness village.  Beyond the gateposts is where the Classic Car Show and the V.S.M.A tent would be situated.  The view on the right shows the grassy area where the Classic Cars would be displayed on each side of the driveway.

The Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival Site Plan
The sketch above shows you site plan of the Hill Climb as shown in the event Programme.  It is fairly self-explanatory. The Hill Climb route from Start to Finish is shown in red. As you can see it crosses over the driveway just before the Finish. This creates a barrier between the public car park and the display area.  However, the “barrier” is opened very frequently between runs to allow access to the other side of the track for access to better viewing of the Hill Climb, and also to the display area where the V.S.M.A. tent was pitched.

As promised we did come back to the Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival meeting. This time with an extra tent and a slight change of “Staff”, but in the same location as last year, just behind the Tunnock’s grandstand and in front of the Classic Car Show.  So, you really couldn’t miss us!
 It was a mad scramble getting everything sorted out before the practice runs started on Saturday morning. Thanks to the helping of our usual stalwarts Bob and Margaret Baillie, Mid and Val Bruce, Duncan and Adele Paterson, Stuart and Mairi Parker, and Donald Gordon.  Donald had arrived in his 3 litre Austin Healey which drew very admiring crowds all day despite Donald not having entered the Classic Car Show!

The Classic Car Show:

Barry and Nancy Crichton once again had been in charge of organising, setting up and controlling the Class Car Show. This was a repeat of the previous year being held again in the display area just in front of the historic Kinneil House, and behind the VSMA tent. There were 15 Classic Clubs on display at the show, including the following clubs:
Scottish Mondeo Club      Hamilton Classics
The 289 Register     MGCC Caledonian Centre
Scottish Riley Enthusiasts     Scottish Kit Car Club
Sporting Bears Motor Club     Jaguar Enthusiasts Club
Manta Owners Club     Rear Wheel Drive Club
Autoscots       Marcos Scotland
Lotus Drivers Club       Rock’n Roll Motors
Jaguar Drivers club
Unfortunately we have no photographs of any of the Classic Cars on the show.  Of particular interest were some of the kit cars and the range of MGs.  However, the Best Individual Entry in the Classic Car Show was won by a beautiful vintage Austin hearse! Appropriate for the occasion??

The Hill Climb:

You can see from the track layout on the right (Click to enlarge) where the Paddock lies in relation to the Display area, the Start and the Finish.  There being no convenient return route, following their run competitors have to retrace their way back to the Paddock in groups. Practice Runs took place from 09.30 to 12.30 each day. This was followed by the Cavalcade of cars from the Classic Display down to the Paddock and back, giving the spectators (and the Competitors in the Paddock) a marvellous display of the classic vehicles, of all shapes, sizes and age.  They were truly splendid.  After a lunch break, the Competition Runs commenced from 14.00 through to around 17.00 with the Presentation of Prizes taking place in the Paddock after the last run. The Hill Climb Revival, was really two separate events, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Most competitors competed on both events which gave them extra practice and a further go in their Class.  A few indeed had double entries in different vehicles in different Classes!  In all there were nineteen Classes, so the organisers were kept very busy getting the entries sorted out, not just for practice but for the runs themselves!  A logistical nightmare!   However, they were pretty close to keeping to their timetable on both days – this despite crashes on each day which did cause some delay while the track was very efficiently cleared.  On Saturday the FTD was set by our own Malcolm Wilson with a time of 30.51 seconds, while on Sunday this was beaten by Geoff Hunt from Andover in a time of 27.84 seconds.  This was quite appropriate as both were in Lotus cars and winning on the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s first World Championship, also in a Lotus.

The Paddock:

Spectators were able to get down to the Paddock via a somewhat tortuous route or by taking the regular free minibus service which rotated between the display area and the Paddock between runs. There they were able to observe what was going on, chat to the competitors and see more action at the Start and the Hairpin.The photograph on the right shows Ian Smillie beside his old Lotus 22 with the current owner Geoff Hunt from Andover.  Geoff has now owned the car for 40 years (yes, forty!) and because of this was on “BBC South” recently while competing at Gurston Downs, where he is a committee member of the organising BARC.  Geoff keeps the car immaculate and any major work is carried out by Simon Hadfield. The car is better built now than when it left Colin Chapman!As mentioned above Geoff on Saturday went on to snatch FTD from Malcolm Wilson with a scorching 27.84 seconds.  Ian has now been invited down to Andover where Geoff stays, in December for a celebration of the forty years of the Lotus’s dual ownership!!

 Sunday Lunchtime at the VSMA Tent:

 Lunchtime on Saturday was probably better forgotten – the heavens opened and we were almost washed out, and as a result, we had very few “customers”.   Fortunately, Sunday turned out to be a really nice DRY day.  Indeed, the better weather brought hordes of spectators which must have delighted the BHCR organisers.  As you will know our main purpose at this Hill Climb was to provide a meeting place for our members, where they could drop in for a chat and some refreshment.  Here are just some of the VSMA members who dropped in – Kenny Allen, John Fenwick, Peter Girvan, Bill Henderson, John Jeffrey, Clive Reeves, Ian Smillie, Harry Simpson and Iain RalstonJohn Melvin and Bruce Lyle also paid us a short visit before departing for the beer tent! We were delighted to meet again Ronnie Morrison who had brought along his daughter Erica.
A very pleasant surprise during lunch was the fly-past of two World War II planes, a Spitfire and a Hurricane.  There was considerable interest in photographs from the distant past on display within the tent, kindly supplied by Bill Henderson. Below is an assortment of photographs taken over lunch of some of our members.
The photograph on the right shows Donald Gordon chatting with Stuart Parker, while parked just alongside our the tent was the original Lotus owned by the late Jim Clark.  It had been kept in remarkable condition.All in all, it was a pleasant two days, meeting old friends and seeing all the marvellous cars in the Classic display plus some fantastic driving up the hill.   In addition to Barry and Nancy Crichton, below are lists of VSMA members who also were involved in the organisation or were competitors.

VSMA Members Officiating were:

MSA Steward: John Fenwick
Club Steward: Ian Smillie
Chief Scrutineer: Ian Ralston
Classic Car Show: Barry & Nancy Crichton


Class  1   Saloon and Sports Cars prior to 31 December 1918
Class  2   Saloon and Sports Cars 1 January 1991 to 31 December 1930
Class  3   Saloon and Sports Cars 1 January 1931 to 31 December 1946
Class  4   Saloon and Sports Cars 1 January 1947 to 31 December 1961
Class 5A   Saloon and Sports Cars 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1973 up to 1500cc
Class 5B   Saloon and Sports Cars 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1973 over 1500cc
Class 6A   Single Marque only, Jaguar Pre 1974
Class 6B   Single Marque only, Triumph Pre 1974
Class 6C   Single Marque only, MG Pre 1974
Class 6D   Single Marque only, Porsche Pre 1974
Class  7   Sports Racing Cars 1 January 1947 to 31 December 1960
Class 8   Sports Racing Cars 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1973
Class 9   Single Seater Racing Cars 1 January 1947 to 31 December 1960
Class 10   Single Seater Racing Cars 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1965
Class 11   Single Seater Racing Cars 1 January 1966 ro 31 December 1973
Class 12   Formula Junior Racing Cars
Class 14   Historic 500cc CarsClass  15   Cars fitted with “Flat Head” engines
Class 16   Other Cars as agreed or invited by the Organisers

Best time of the weekend was made by Geoff Hunt in a Lotus 22, Class 10 with a time of 27.43
Further details on the 2013 event, all the Classes and the FULL Results, can be seen by visiting the 2013 Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival Official Website by clicking here.
Finally, our thanks to Bill Henderson for supplying the photo display in our tent from his Collection, and all the VSMA members and partners who assisted in manning the tent on both days – you were great.
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