After 3 years of Covid and other issues 72 members of the Club met once again to enjoy our Reunion Dinner at the Radstone Hotel near Larkhall and all were welcomed by Chairman, Bob Baillie. Ideally placed right next to the M74 the Board hoped to attract a few more enthusiasts but those who made it had a great afternoon and evening chatting about their memories. As always there was a good mix of honorary members, rallying and racing buffs and a few hillclimb fans joining together for an excellent meal and several refreshments. Sponsors products were visible on the tables courtesy of the Club’s greatest patron, Sir Boyd Tunnock.
We had a couple of cars on display in the foyer courtesy of Chris Paton with his beautiful red Mini but also a huge thank you to Steven Cooper who still insisted on bringing the Cooper MG belonging to his father George who sadly passed away earlier in the week and was so well known to a great many of the members. Chris was also responsible for the excellent on-screen display of loads of photos taken from the Club’s website. Almost every photo was connected in some way with those in the room.
Guest of Honour and main speaker was one of our members and the twice BTCC Champion, John Cleland, who entertained everyone for about 40 minutes with his usual mix of laughs and hilarious stories. It was all delivered off the cuff without a note and he’ll be a hard act to follow next year.
In attendance were several important regulars of the Veteran’s Dinner including founder of the Club and Honorary Vice President, Jimmy McInnes and the ever tolerant Arlene making a guest appearance with Jimmy commenting how surprised he was to still be with us! Sadly not with us of course were our Past Honorary President, Andrew Cowan and his great pal, Johnston Syer but it was wonderful to see Linda Cowan there to support us along with Marion Syer. Andrew’s sidekick Logan Morrison was there as usual with wife Val although he was using a stick due to the after effects of a fall the previous week but he was in great spirits. Sadly missing from the proceedings were Board Members, Barry & Nancy Crichton after Barry had taken ill earlier in the week. Nancy was so disappointed to miss it as she had put in a massive amount of work making all the arrangements for the event and only turned up to drop off some flower arrangements before heading home to look after Barry.
We were pleased to see some newcomers to the event in the form of Hazel Galbraith, daughter of the late Norrie coming along with Billy Cater, and one of the top Scottish hillclimbers and racers in the 70’s and 80’s, Jimmy Jack along with his son David. Hopefully they will encourage a few more of the hillclimb fraternity along next year as we try to widen the scope of the Club.
The directors have agreed to have this event every year now so we will all meet again at the same venue on Saturday 11th November 2023 and hope to see more of you all there.
Photographs by Margaret Smillie.
List of Entrants
Margaret Baillie Jim Grant Logan Morrison
Bob Baillie Graham Hamilton Val Morrison
Tom Bicket Mike How Alan Muir
Marion Bicket David Jack Duncan Paterson
Mid Bruce Jimmy Jack Russell Paterson
Ian Buttery Marilyn Jack Adele Paterson
Billy Cater Laurence Jacobson Chris Paton
John Cleland Andrew Jeffrey Mary Paton
George Cooper Robert Kelly Jim Pettigrew
Stephen Cooper Bruce Lyle Martin Pieraccini
Carol Cooper Hugh MacKinnon Harry Pieraccini
Ros Cooper Ian Marwick James Pinkerton
Linda Cowan Wilma Marwick Olly Ross
Willie Crawford Hugh McCaig Ken Rundle
Marnie Crawford Rab McDonald George Scott
Barry Crichton Sheila McDonald Ian Smillie
Nancy Crichton Jimmy McInnes Margaret Smillie
Bill Cuthbertson Arlene McInnes Meg Sword
Anne Cuthbertson John McIntyre Marion Syer
Sandy Denholm Tim McKay Sir Boyd Tunnock
Laurie Doonan Dave McNair Lady Ann Tunnock
Tony Fleming Laura McNair Malcom Wishart
Hazel Galbraith John Melvin Dan Wright
Ian Gemmell Bill Montgomery Charlie Young
Louise Gemmell Eileen Montgomery
email received by VSMA Secretary Nancy Crichton on Monday 21st November.
Good morning Nancy,
I cannot let the opportunity pass to thank all the Committee members who contributed to the success of our dinner. I know that the numbers were far down on the 200 who assembled at the old RSAC in Blythswood Square so long ago, but it was a very happy number for circulating among and not missing any opportunity to renew old acquaintances in the time available (of which there were many)! Anyway Marnie and I both thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and also the value for money that The Radstone presented us with.
It was great to see Bob enjoying himself so much after being through the wars, so to speak, recently. Particular credit to Chris for producing such a detailed and professional brochure to celebrate the event – the internet site is the same these days as well!
To the Board members – looking forward to seeing you all again next year!
Best wishes: Willie
(Willie and Marnie Crawford)