Veterans of Scottish Motorsport Association



Tour – 2024 Spring Run

2024 Spring Run

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This years annual Spring Run began at Moffat Woolen Mill, where entrants enjoyed a breakfast roll and refreshments whilst collecting the route directions to Slaley Hall Hotel.

A stop at the Pottery at Bardon Mill broke the journey with an informative tour around the factory and a chance to buy, if you had the car space! It’s the last commercial pottery in Britain that continues to utilise traditional practises. Fabulous garden pots competitively priced and a very enjoyable visit.

Arrival at Slaley Hall Hotel in the afternoon meant members were able to relax and recount the day.

There were a number of variations on the routes taken as unplanned detours occurred, with one unlucky breakdown which ended happily with only a stone in the brake disk. Dinner ended a great start to the event and our first evening.

Day 2

Following breakfast the route to Raby Castle with some stunning views, alas no pictures! The run was just under an hour with tour guides awaiting our arrival.

A cold day with everyone well wrapped at the start of the tour prior to entering the castle.

Once inside all listened carefully to the guide as we moved through some fabulous rooms each with their varied stories, portraits and furniture.

Many stairs linked the different parts of the castle.

Guide Stephen took the first group who were very interested to learn that Lord Barnard had one of the first motorcars in Britain. Stephen had done some research when he heard of our visit. He elucidated the delivery driver was hired as Lord Barnard’s chauffer and went on to work in the post for over 40 years. There was a copy of a wage slip from 1908 for the ‘Motormen’. A 4 week wage was £8 for the driver.

Raby Castle was full of varied rooms and stories. A visit that was enjoyed by all. Some pictures from our tour give an impression of its splendour and interest.

To round off the visit we enjoyed a packed lunch in the servants quarters.

Day 3

This saw many members taking the morning to explore the surrounding area. Some utilised the route instructions to visit the Discovery Museum in Newcastle. A few members met others whilst exploring the quaint historic town of Corbridge. A lovely little town with an abundance of coffee/gift shops and quite a few antique emporiums.

The afternoon was taken up by a choice of activities:

Clay pigeon shooting; Chris Paton, Hugh MacKinnon, Tony Fleming and Gordon Hood took part in the clay pigeon shooting. The final scores showed Chris and Tony equal best on 16 hits so the instructors organised a shoot out based on both guns trying for the same clay, on a ‘first hit wins’ basis. Chris buckled under the pressure missing all four shots with Tony scoring a hit on his fourth to win.

Archery; The rescue of Maid Marion from the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin Hood (Mid Bruce) and Little John (Charlie Young), complete with bows and arrows were sent off on a quest to rescue Maid Marion from the evil Sheriff. Unfortunately, at this point neither of our two heroes had any idea what Marion looked like!!

However, practice with the Bows and arrows was essential if they were to have any hope of success.

Heading for the range in the forest and despite the totally inclement weather our intrepid heroes took to their task like a duck to water, literally.

Quicker and quicker, the arrows were slotted onto the string and quicker and quicker the arrows flew past their targets!!!

Not a great start!!

However, once Little John put his specs on and Robin started to gauge the correct flight line, things improved, a little!!

Having run out of arrows and having to restring their bows on several occasions, and being soaked to boot, the heroes reluctantly agreed to call of their quest and just allow the evil sheriff should just have his way with Marion, which we are sure suited all concerned.

Thus the story ended. (archery report by Charlie Young)

Quad Biking; Suitably equipped with overalls, wellies, a helmet and gloves, Margaret Smillie, Pat MacKinnon, Hugh MacKinnon, Tom Bicket, Bill Montgomery, Mid Bruce and Chris Paton set off on a quad biking adventure among the extensive grounds of Slayley.

They tackled rough ground, deep puddles and some open land where a good turn of speed could be achieved. Everyone enjoyed the experience with one or two being surprised at the power produced by the 250cc engined quads.

Our Chairman thanked our organisers and members for their camaraderie. All had enjoyed the visit and look forward to doing something new in 2025.

The hotel and route runs were organised by board members Mid Bruce, Meg Sword and Charlie Young. Many thanks for another enjoyable event.

List of entrants:

David Allison / Marie Allison

Tom Bicket / Marion Bicket

Mid Bruce / Meg Sword

Carol Cooper

Nancy Crichton

Billy Cuthbertson / Anne Cuthbertson

Tony Fleming

Ian Gemmell / Louise Gemmell

Gordon Hood / Margaret Hood

Jim Howden / Margaret Howden

Hugh MacKinnon / Pat MacKinnon

Ian Marwick / Wilma Marwick

Bill Montgomery / Eileen Montgomery

Chris Paton / Mary Paton

Ian Smillie / Margaret Smillie

Charlie Young / Elaine McPhee

Report and pictures by Margaret Smillie.

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Murmurs On Mull

Murmurs On Mull 1993 – 2010 by John Fife.

Following the success of his first book “The Scottish Rally Championship 1980 – 1989”, John Fife has released “Murmurs On Mull”, the inside stories from the Tour of Mull Rally 1993 – 2010.

The information in this book was compiled from notes taken and reports written at the time and using copies of unofficial provisional results calculated on the move and official Final Results as produced by the event organisers and are reproduced from the full set of ‘Mull Murmurs’ bulletins as issued on the individual events.

The A5 format paperbacked book is now on sale £20.

Click on the image below to order your copy.


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Autumn Run 2024

VSMA Autumn Run 2024 – 6th October

This year’s Autumn outing features a trip to “The Best Classic Car Cave in Scotland”

A private collection of classic cars and memobilia owned by Willie Hamilton of “Hamilton Tarmac”.

Starting at the New Lanark Mill Cafe situated in the visitor centre where tea/coffee and a filled roll will be served, the 65 mile route will head across to Ayshire using scenic country roads to arrive at Gemmells Garden Centre in time for lunch, consisting of soup, sandwiches and cake

After lunch we will make our way to Hurlford .

The cost of the outing will be £35 per person and will include tea/coffee and a filled roll at the start venue

The entry form can be downloaded or printed HERE.


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The Autumn Run will be held on 6th October – details to follow

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Annual Dinner 2024

VSMA Annual Dinner 2024

The 2024 Annual Dinner will be held on 25th October in New Lanark Mill Hotel.

Mill No.1, New Lanark Mills, New Lanark Rd, Lanark ML11 9DB

The venue for our two previous gatherings were unable to give us a suitable date for our 2024 Annual Dinner so an alternative has been found at the New Lanark Mill Hotel.

We have block booked 20 standard rooms and 10 deluxe rooms at a cost of:-

Standard Room – £120 B&B

Deluxe Room – £160 B&B

Rooms must be booked through the VSMA  to take advantage of this discount price and will be on a first come first served basis.

click here for the ENTRY FORM

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AGM 2024


The 2024 AGM will be held on Friday 25th October prior to the Annual Dinner.

The meeting will be held in the New Lanark Mill Hotel, ML11 9DB.

Arrival 5.00pm, meeting 5.30pm

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The Scottish Rally Championship 1980 – 1989

The Scottish Rally Championship 1980 – 1989 by John Fife.

Ex ‘Motoring News / Motorsport News’ contributor for 50 years (1972-2022) John Fife has written the first of six planned books documenting the history of the national Scottish Rally Championship. What started as a single volume history during lockdown quickly evolved into a series of six books – one for each decade since 1960.

As John explained: “I simply couldn’t fit everything into one book, so it had to be six, and even now I’m still having to leave out information and stories. Who knows, there may yet be a seventh book containing all the scandalous bits left out! By that time I’ll be past caring getting sued anyway!!”

The first book covers the decade 1980-1989 simply because John has kept complete records since then with work already having started on the next book, covering the 1990-1999 period.

Sadly no one person, club or championship has kept complete records since the sport of stage rallying began in 1961 hence John’s current search for sets of rally results from the 1960s and 1970s. So if anyone has a pile of old rallying paperwork in the loft that are not completely mouse eaten, John may well be interested.

The first A4 format hardbacked book is now on sale with 216 pages and over 350 photographs at £35 or £40 incl P&P.

Click on the image below to order your copy.

The book wasn’t designed to be read from cover to cover, although some ardent fans may do that, but rather something to be dipped into as and when the need for a trip down memory lane arose. On the other hand some readers may turn only to the reports of those events in which they participated.

Of course there are now various internet sources which store rally results from the past, but that’s a bit like reading the last page of a thriller to see ‘who dunnit’ and missing out on the story of how the heroes and heroines got there. One other important aspect, the results as recorded in this book are accurate, unlike some website information – because the author was there, in person!

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Program 2023

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