Author: <span>Stuart Parker</span>


Newsletter June, 2019

Newsletter, June 2019

Hi there.  Apart from the recent Spring Tour there has been little activity in the VSMA world.  The report of the Spring Tour to Cumbria can be found in our website in the events/Run Section.

Members Database Changes: 

Below are changes members have submitted to me.  All the details can be found in the Members List section and clicking on the member’s name

New Email addresses:

David Seaton’s address is now:

Logan Morrison can now be found at:


I have to report the death of Derek Hastings from Biggar.  He joined VSMA 1983 having been involved in Racing and speed events until farely recently.

A new Director is to be co-opted to the Board of VSMA, namely Jack Davidson.   As you may know Jack is a former freelance photojournalist on motor sport, and contributed event reports and articles to “The Press and Journal”, “Motoring News” (now “Motorsport News”), newspapers and “Rally Car” magazine. He also wrote and produced five volumes of “Motor Sports Extra”, the history of the Scottish Hill Climb Championship from 1970 to 1999.  Originally from Stonehaven, he spent the vast majority of his working life based in Aberdeen, but upon retirement, relocated to Winchburgh in West Lothian.

He sent me the press release of his latest book on David Gillanders, which I have attached below.

PRESS RELEASE:                                          May 30, 2019

Front Cover
Back Cover


Aberdeen champion rally driver, David Gillanders, who won the British National Rally Championship in 1987 and then the Scottish Rally Championship in 1995, has written, or to be more precise, dictated some 95,402 words for his book: ‘DAVID GILLANDERS – I do all the talking! 


The formal launch will be held in the Malmaison Hotel, 49-53 Queen’s Road, Aberdeen, AB15 4YP, on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 5.30 pm. A number of Gillanders’ former co-drivers are expected to be in attendance.

The idea for a book occurred in 2015. David, having suffered a serious heart attack, was lying in hospital surrounded by his family, and quite frankly contemplating a bleak future; he thought the time had come to write down the story of his life, mainly for the benefit of his children and grandchildren. This simple idea of a family legacy has, after a lot of work and input from various sources, blossomed into an extremely readable and enjoyable book about not only motor sport, but of a varied and extremely interesting life, a life lived to the full.

The Foreword is written by Malcolm Wilson, OBE, Managing Director of M-Sport, the World Rally Championship manufacturer of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Fiesta, and contributions throughout the book have been provided by the Late Colin McRae’s former co-driver, Nicky Grist, former Austin Rover Group Motorsport Director, John Davenport, and several of the Aberdonian’s former co-drivers throughout his long career. 

In the book, Gillanders also tells of the time he communicated with two US Presidents (and met with one), the breakfast he shared with a top female Hollywood star, his flight in a fighter jet, a sail on a former Americas’ Cup yacht, fishing on a North Sea seine net trawler, and of having his helicopter stolen, not to mention many more incidents involving the sport of Special Stage Rallying which culminated in two major championship titles. 

The paperback is to be published by FastPrint Publishing towards the end of June, 2019, but for anyone who cannot wait until then, pre-publication copies (with a free bookmark) can be purchased at the formal launch, or directly from Jack Davidson. The book comprises 360 pages (of which 8 are in full colour) and sports 237 photographs from 57 varieties of photographer. The cover price is £15.00 + £4.00 p&p (UK).

Further information can be provided by Jack Davidson:

  • e-Mail:
  • Telephone: 07736 679520 
  • facebook.

To make you smile (I hope):

I couldn’t finish this short Newsletter without including something I thought might tickle you !  It certainly amused me. This is from a colleague in the U.S.A.

The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student. The answer by this student was so ‘profound’ that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:  

               Bonus Question:  

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?  

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law, (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed), or some

variant.   One student, however, wrote the following: 

  • First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time.
  • So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely.
  • I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.
  • Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today.
  • Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.
  • Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.
  • With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.  

This gives two possibilities: 

  •  If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose .
  • If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. 

So which is it? 

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, ‘It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,’ and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct……..leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting ‘Oh my God.’   


That’s all folks………………. !                                        Stuart Parker, June 2019                                                                                                    Back to top

Remember, older news items can be found in the “Archived News Items” page.  We would welcome additional photographs for any of the pages, but in particular we would love to be able to insert “mug shots” of people on their own page.  This would let other members put a face to a name.   So, if you have not already done so, dig out a recent photograph of your self and send it to me (in digital format via the “Upload a File” page or send the original by post which I can copy and return to you).
If you would like to add anything (within reason) to the site, just follow the instructions on either the “Upload a File” or “Upload an Item” pages and we will do the rest.


Newsletter – February 2019

Newsletter, February 2019

You should know that since the Newsletter in November we have two lots of sad news.   Firstly, was the death of John Smith, husband of Pat and more recently the death of Kenny Allen.   You can see details for both these gentlemen in the Past Veterans section.  The image above taken some years ago, shows Kenny Allen working at his desk with his famous Lotos Elan in the forecourt of his garage in Crossford. A good many members were at Kenny’s funeral, both at the Church Service in Crossford and later at the Crematorium in Holytown.

2019 Spring Run

Already, Bob Baillie has had 19 rooms confirmed for the Hotel headquarters.  One of the major highlights of this Run is a visit to M-Sport in Cumbria. Anyone who has visited this establishment raves about for a long time thereafter! If you are considering coming to this event I would advise getting your entry in ASAP before Bob runs out of accommodation!   In case you have misplaced  the Entry Form, etc, here they are again

7th V.S.M.A. Reunion 2019

If you remember from a previous Newsletter our next Reunion will be held in the Hilton Dunblane Hydo Hotel on Friday 25th October, 2019.  Details will be issued at a later date, however if you wish to reserve accommodation for the Friday evening clicking here will take you to the appropriate page.

New Member:

I am delighted to welcome the following to membership of the Association.  Their details can be found on clicking their name in the “Members List” on the website:
Tom Wilson, Lanark
Frank Lethbridge

Member’s contact changes:

Geoff Stone has changed his email address to

Member’s Stuff:

Just received member Eric Dymock’s latest Blog on the Morgan Plus 8.    Those with Morgans will surely find this an interesting read!

Bar Codes:

Here’s a few interesting things you might want to know about Bar Codes or really where stuff actually comes from.  With all the food and pet products now coming from China , it is best to make sure you read the label when buying products especially at Tesco / Asda. The whole world is concerned about China-made “black hearted goods” but can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or  China, or elsewhere for that matter?  Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products “MADE IN CHINA “, so they don’t show from which country it is made.
Many products no longer show where they were made, only   give where the distributor is  located. It is important to read the bar code to track it’s origin.
If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN  CHINA.
However, you may now refer to the barcode – remember if the first 3 digits are:
  • 690-692 …   Then it is MADE IN  CHINA
  • 00 – 09     USA   &  CANADA
  • 30 – 37….      FRANCE
  • 40 – 44...        GERMANY
  • 49 …    JAPAN
  • 471 ….     Taiwan
  • 50       UK
SO, if you want to BUY ‘BRITISH’ by watching for “50” at the beginning of the number.  Perhaps, it mat be worth printing this and cutting it out to have in your wallet or purse

Some YouTube and other funnies to hopefully brighten your day!

Where did I Park – Bill Barr.rtfd
Tom Rush – Remember Song
A Lucky Yellow Marble!
A Classic One Ronnie Sketch – For Computer Geeks

From Marylin Jack:

I was lying around, pondering the problems of the world, I realized that at my age I don’t really give a damn anymore.  
If walking is good for your health the postman would be immortal.
A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat.
A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while a tortoise doesn’t run and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years.
And you tell me to exercise?? I don’t think so. 
Just grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, and the good fortune to remember the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

That’s all folks………………. !                                                               Stuart Parker, February 2019

Newsletter, December 2018

Xmas will soon be here, so just a few words of cheer!  I felt the above image of Sandy and Logan Morrison in the 1962 Monte Carlo Rally was perhaps quite appropriate. We have had 3 new members since the last Newsletter –

Ian Buttery from Larkhall

Carol Cooper from Kilsyth

James Pinkerton from Glasgow

Clicking on one of the above will reveal their details.


14th Annual General Meeting – 7th December, 2018        –      

This was again in Tunnock’s Uddingston premises, curtesy of VSMA member Boyd Tunnoch.  As usual, it was a very brief and unremarkable affair. There were 19 members in total who managed to attend! As expected, there was no change in the Board of management, the following being re-elected to join standing Ordinary Board Members Duncan paterson, Barry Crichton, Ian smillie and Donald Gordon.

Chairman – James W. McInnes    

Vice-Chairman and treasurer  –  Robert Bailie 

Secretary  –  Stuart S I Parker

Ordinary Board Members  –  Mid Bruce, Charlie Young, Adele Paterson and Hugh MacKinnon

Following reports from the Chairman and Secretary, Treasurer Bob Baillie confirmed that our financial affairs were quite in order, and he went on to describe what was in store for us in the Spring Run in April.  In particular he stated that we would be more than impressed with our proposed visit to M-Sport in the Lake district.

Some of the Members and Directors at the AGM – notice the pies were almost finished!

Chairman Jimmie closed the meeting with a thanks to all for attending and also to Tunnock’s for providing an excellent repast (as usual)!


MG Car Club (Caledonian Section) Film Night

Following last year’s enjoyable evening Nancy Crichton of the MG Club has invited our members to their 3rd Film Night at Kirkintilloch Golf Club on Thursday 24th January from 6.30-9.30pm. The Golf Club are providing a light meal for £6.50 with a choice of Fish and Chips Lasagna or Macaroni Cheese with tea/coffee. We are cordially invited to join them. The instructions on their website (www.mgcaledonian com) are quite explicit for non members.


Finally, Bill Bar sent me an amusing YouTube video clip which I think will bring a smile to your face PLUS a happy feeling at this time of the year!


Stuart Parker, Secretary V.S.M.A.


Newsletter, November 2018

November is upon us – and soon it will be Xmas!!  Before that however, is a very important event, the Annual General Meeting of V.S.M.A.  As before this will be held in the staff room of Tunnock’s factory in Uddingston on Friday the December at 6.00pm. Below are details in relation to the AGM.

An additonal item to this Newsletter is the information that Bob Baillie has just released details of the 2019 Spring Run.  Here is his invitation to you and below that are PDFs of the ASRs, Entry Form and Hotel Booking Form, to allow you to enter the event.  PLEASE NOTE THAT ENTERIES FOR THIS EVENT WILL BE TAKEN ON A “FIRST COME FIRST SERVED”BASIS.

 November 2018 

Dear Member, 

Spring Run 2019. ——- Friday 26th. April – Monday 29th. April 2019.

We have reached the time of year for organising the Spring Run.  For 2019 we are venturing into Cumbria with the highlight being a visit to the headquarters of M-sport near Cockermouth.

The Newby Bridge Hotel have reserved 20 – 25 rooms for us for the weekend and these will be allocated on first come first served so please get your entries in early to avoid disappointment.

The rates for the hotel per person on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis are as follows :                                     

2 Nights – £119.00       3 Nights – £169.00

The official proceedings will start with us meeting in the Dumfries area at a Garden Centre yet to be decided. We would be aiming to leave Dumfries by 11.30am. The morning run will simply be from our meeting point down to M-sport for a tour around the premises. The set up here is mind blowing.

Due to numbers, we will be divided into two groups with tours one after the other.  The tours will last approximately an hour and a half and there will be a break between tours.  Refreshments will be available on site before and after the tour.  


On Saturday morning the run is very short taking us to Lakeland Motor Museum and this is followed by a sail from Lakeside on Lake Windermere to Bowness-on-Windermere. After time for browsing Bowness, the  boat returns us to Lakeside. Transport from Lakeland Motor Museum to Lakeside and return is by coach.

Sunday will involve a trip to the Stott Park Bobbin Mill followed by the Crystal Factory at Ulverston and the Docks Museum at Barrow-in-Furness. The return from Barrow-in-Furness to Newby Bridge will be via the Coastal Route.

On Monday we leave after breakfast and, since there is no set route to follow,  you can choose your own way back home. 

This is just a broad outline of the weekend and could be subject to change. I hope that you find the proposed Spring Run of interest. The numbers able to attend are restricted and I would stress again the need for early booking.

Yours sincerely


Bob Baillie,   Vice Chairman VSMA.

2019 Spring Run ASRs                            2019 Spring Run Entry Form                 2019 Spring Run Hotel Booking Form

Annual General Meeting:

This will start sharp at 6.0pm when a light snack has been laid on, courtesy of Boyd Tunnock.  Here is the Location.   All members are more than welcome to attend this important event.  If you are unable to attend, please complete the Proxy form and send it to me. Here is the Agenda, Proxy and Nomination Forms  which will give you all the information you require for the evening.  Can I point out that the Nomination Form, duly completed, must be in my hands by 16th November 2018 at the latest.

New member:

I welcome another new member since last Newsletter, namely

  • Graham Smith for Napton, Southam in Warwickshire

All Graham’s details can be viewed in his profile page in the  Members List.

New email addresses:

2018 Autumn Run:   –  Sunday 7th October 2018 – The Story

This would be the third Autumn Run organised by Charlie Young and Eddie Hawke and the plan in moving to a Perth start was hopefully encourage VSMA members further North and East to participate. This unfortunately was not to be the case.

In starting our final reccie and on route to Perth, we received a call from our finish venue – The Boathouse Restaurant in Kilysth. This to inform us that they had ceased trading the previous evening and could we call and they would return our deposit. A good way to start the day!!

Anyway, to the event and starting at Dobbies Garden Center just to the West of Perth proved an excellent venue, where the management could not have been more helpful for the assembled lowly fourteen crews. The numbers were to be further reduced when firstly Chris & Mary Paton phoned to say that his Cooper S had ground to a halt near Kinross whilst heading for the start. Removing the rocker cover revealed a sheared rocker shaft and hopefully no further damage. Second casualty was the Porsche Boxster of Margaret & Ian Smillie – simply they got their dates wrong and were convinced that the event was the following weekend.  So, we are now down to twelve starters.

The Route:

The first car left at 12.00 on the dot, heading West past Huntingtower to turn right onto 8083 at Methven. The promise of sunshine in glorious Perthshire was not forthcoming with the weather starting to deteriorate and rain falling. From Methven they turned left left signposted Fowlis Wester then straight on over the offset crossroads at Fowlis Wester, past Quarter Bank and Raith before turning right at Kinkell Bridge and left at the next T junction and almost immediate left at Drumness – still no road numbers!!

From Drumness straight over the crossroads with the A823 (a road number at last) and then T junction left onto the A822 and almost immediate right on the unmarked road at Kaims Castle and the old Roman Fort before turning left at the crossroads onto the old Military Road and down into Braco.

Side road right in Braco onto the B8033 took the crews down past Wester Feddal and Mid Cambushinne to Kinbuck. Continuing on the B8033, then a hard left onto the main A9 next to the Queen Victoria School for a short drive down to the main roundabout at Dunblane. Taking the second exit, they were heading now on the old A9 for Bridge of Allan and looking for a sharp right onto the unmarked road sign posted Old Keir. This was a cracking piece of road taking crews past Craigarn Hall / Easter Row and Hillside of Row before T junction left onto the B824, and then T left onto the A820 into Doune. Through Doune, crews were looking for the B826 on the right and heading for Thornhill. Before Thornhill, they took a left at the T junction onto the A873, turning right onto the B8031 past Craighead and South Mid Frew,and turning left onto the A811

Passing  Boquhan Home Farm they were then onto a side road right to an offset crossroads left and right. Past Glentirranmuir / Auldhall, down past Craigend and then T left onto the B822 and then T left in Fintry onto the B818. Continuing left on the B818 the crews were now onto the Carron Valley road before taking a right turn onto the Tak Me Doon Road

Located almost at the end of the Tak Me Doon road was the new finish venue – Kilsyth and Lennox Golf Club where again the Club Manager and staff were very extremely help full .

The choice of several one courses with tea and coffee was well received and the day was finished off with a quiz.

 All in all a good run, on good surfaces and some seventy plus miles enjoyed by all. The promised views of glorious Perthshire had not materialised with the weather turning really nasty by the time the crews had reached the finish.  Good luck to next year’s organisers!!

Charlie Young

Many, many thanks to Charlie and Eddie for another enjoyable run – pity about the numbers, and of course thanks for the above narrative.

Stuart Parker

Goodwood Festival of Speed:

Eric Dymock sent in this YouTube video for your interest.

Amusing YouTube Clip:

This I’m sure will make you laugh!

I’m running out of “funnies” but here is an old one from/for our beloved Charman:

Perks of reaching or being over 65

Perks of reaching or being over 65 and heading towards 80 and beyond!

1.  Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

2. In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first.

3. No one expects you to run — anywhere.

4. People call at 9 PM (or 9 AM) and ask, ‘Did I wake you?’

5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

7. Things you buy now will never wear out.

8. You can eat supper at 4 PM.

9. You can live without sex but not your glasses.

10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

13. You sing along with elevator music.

14. Your eyes won’t get Much worse.

15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

16. Your joints are more accurate than meteorologist or the national weather service.

17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

19. You can’t remember who sent you this list. And you notice these are all in big print for your convenience.

Forward this to everyone you can remember right now!

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill, and a laxative on the same night!

That’s all folks………………. !                                     Stuart Parker, November 2018

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