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News

AGM 2024

VSMA AGM 2024

The 2024 AGM will be held on 1st November.

The meeting will be held in the New Lanark Mill Hotel prior to the Annual Dinner.

Full details to follow.

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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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News

Newsletter August 2023

Newsletter August 2023

We are sad to inform you of the passing in July of Stuart Parker, one of the founding members of the association

Forthcoming Events:

Note: for full details and entry forms for these events:-

  1. Click on LOGIN at the top of this page
  2. Enter your user ID and password. This will open your profile page.
  3. On your profile page click on MEMBERS HOME at the top of the page.
  4. On the MEMBERS HOME page click on FORTHCOMING EVENTS on the menu.
  5. On the FORTHCOMING EVENTS page click on the event you are interested in.
  6. There you will see full details of the event and a link to the entry form.

Dumfries House – NOTE: date change to 7th October 2023.

We are planning a visit to Dumfries House on Sunday 8th October

Starting at Caulders Garden Centre in Newton Mearns, the 35 mile route will head down to Ayshire using mainly scenic country roads to arrive at Dumfries House in time for lunch.

After lunch we will be treated to a 1 hour tour of Dumfries House which is part of the Prince’s Foundation having been purchased in 2007 by a consortium led by HRH The Prince of Wales and, in doing so, saved the house and one of the most important collections of Georgian Scottish and English furniture for the nation.

 

Annual Dinner – 10th November 2023.

Following on from our previous reunion with guest speaker John Cleland, our 2023 annual dinner will be held on 10th November. We are pleased to announce our guest speaker will be Peter Scott, a well known rally co-driver from Derry in Northern Ireland, who has competed alongside many of Ireland’s top drivers as well as several British drivers including our own Willie Crawford.

Spring Run 2024. Tuesday 16th April – Friday 19th April 2024.

For the Spring Run in 2024, we are heading south of the border to Slaley Hall Hotel Spa and Golf Resort, near Hexham, Northumberland. We decided at the board meeting on Tuesday 4th August to go for midweek since those taking part in the run are mainly retired and the rate midweek is substantially less than the rate for the weekend.

NOTE: The Hotel will only hold the provisional booking until 8th September 2023 so entries placed after that date are not guaranteed a room allocation.

 

On 8th and 9th July, V.S.M.A. were represented at An outing to Kames with the Eunos Ecosse Club. 

Several members were present with their cars and Charlie Young was at the signing on table handing out recruitment flyers for VSMA membership.

The weekend was in celebration of the Eunos Ecosse club’s tenth anniversary and took place on 8th & 9th July. The VSMA were invited to come along to support this new and vibrant club.

It was a fun weekend and a chance for anyone to appreciate the exhilaration of the race track. There were plenty volunteer drivers and passengers for a three lap experience.

The Eunos Ecosse club set up is to provide low cost motorsport in Scotland for Mazda MX5 owners. The club has grown and is MSA accredited and the main reason why we have many more MX5’s competing in hill-climbs and sprints today.

The members are very supportive of each other and when one became severely ill and was unable to continue with the rebuild of his car, the club stepped in. Secretly, with the daughters permission, his car was taken and was rebuilt for him. It was done in accordance with his plans and what a magnificent job they did as it was literally a shell when they took it away.

 

Some members of the VSMA enjoyed the sunshine along with the fabulous home baking available at Kames. It was also a chance to encourage some youngsters interested and who knows perhaps a future champion!

It was a great couple of days at Kames with fun, friends and fast cars. In the sunshine too!

 

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Annual Dinner 2023 – Announcement

The Annual Dinner – 10th November 2023

The 9th ‘get together’ of the Association will be held on Friday 10th November 2023 in The Radstone Hotel, Ayr Road, Larkhall, ML9 2TZ.

We are proud to announce that Peter Scott will be our guest speaker.

Peter is a well known rally co-driver from Derry in Northern Ireland, and has competed alongside many of Ireland’s top drivers as well as several British drivers including our own Willie Crawford.

In his book “Icons of Irish Rallying” author Michael O’Mahoney has dedicated a chapter to Peter and his career in rallying which rapidly escalated from club rallying to his first International win at the tender age of 22 on the 1972 Donegal rally alongside Cathal Curley.

His career spanned many years and Peter remembers the 2013 Cork 20 Historic as being rather special. “Corkman Mark Falvey, invited me to do the International Cork 20 Historic in MEV 36J, the Mk1 Escort in which I did the British Championship events with Billy. We won, 39 years after last sitting in the car”.

We are sure Peter will provide us with a very entertaining evening.

 

The cost of the event will be £45.

Rooms at the Radstone (note: All rooms are now fully booked).

We have block booked a number of rooms in the Radstone with the discount price of £110 for a double or twin room and £95 for single occupancy. These rooms must be booked through the VSMA by email to vsmasec@yahoo.co.uk and will be on a first come first served basis. Nearer the time you will be able to contact the hotel direct to pay for the room, no money is required for the room at this time. 

There are a few more Hotels in the vicinity.

To Book Your Place at the Annual Dinner (sorry, entries are now closed)

If you wish to attend please download this ENTRY FORM which can then be printed or completed using the PDF Fill & Sign function.

OR contact Margaret Smillie, Acting Secretary, at vsmasec@yahoo.com

 

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News

Gerry Birrell ii

24th June 2023 – Update by Mike Mitchell

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Gerry’s accident. These flowers were laid at the memorial at 10.30 yesterday morning. The large Saltire is on behalf of the family, friends and all the other organisations who contributed to the memorial, the smaller Saltire is on behalf of the VSMA, a tribute to the man after half a century, indeed to all these men, thank you all.

 

June 2023: Gerry Birrell Memorial – an update by Mike How.

Along with many other donors the VSMA donated some money towards the project to create a permanent memorial to Gerry Birrell who died at Les Six Freres corner at Rouen-Les-Essarts in 1973. Five other drivers, all French, also perished at the same corner before the circuit was eventually closed and are also remembered on the memorial. Nothing had ever been done previously to commemorate these losses.

It’s construction only happened through the dedication of Mike Mitchell who lives in France and raced against Gerry. He raised the money, jumped through all sorts of hoops to have it made by a local stonemason and with the support of the local Mayor of Orival it has come to fruition. Our thanks and those of Gerry’s friends and relatives as we are so grateful for what he has achieved.

It’s taken a long time but this photo was taken just a few days ago and can now be seen by the public exactly 50 years after Gerry’s death on 23rd June 1973.

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Newsletter – 2023 April

Newsletter April 2023

Membership

The club’s aim is to bring together those who have been actively involved in Motor Sport in a variety of forms, be it competitive or organisational. The camaraderie and friendships continue since the first meeting in 2001 and the formation of the VSMA in 2006. The mix of membership is wide with many members continuing to compete alongside those who fondly remember past participation. This echoes the ethos of the VSMA, and also an encouragement for anyone to join us, if they haven’t already done so! Membership of the Association is open to any person who has had an active involvement with any branch of motorsport held in Scotland.

We are sad to inform you of the passing of the following Members:

George Cooper in December, 2022.

George Head in February, 2023.

Netta Young in April, 2023.

Alan Muir in April 2023

Arlene McInnes also in April, 2023.

Apologies for any missed announcements.

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News

Gerry Birrell

Gerry Birrell Memorial – an update by Mike Mitchell.

It has been some time since I sent an update, indeed last year, so let me start by wishing you all a very belated Happy and Healthy New Year!

At last the stone and plinth have arrived at the mason’s yard, cut to size and polished. The engraving remains to be done but this is only two to three days work. During this week I have spoken to the mason, the builder who will be laying the foundations and the Mayor of Orival to arrange a meeting with them all at Les Six Freres to agree the exact location of the stone, I hope this will happen in the second week of March.

There was some mention of people coming to France in June to celebrate Gerry’s life and to Christen the memorial. Can I ask if these thoughts are turning into arrangements and, if so, who is organising it and how many are likely to be coming? I don’t know Rouen so if the trip is ‘on’ I will ask the Mayor for guidance on where to stay, to eat etc when I see him in March.

This is a seminal moment for me, the first tangible result of two years work and at last the certainty that this memorial is no longer a pipe dream but will be a reality. Again, thank you all.

With Best Wishes,

Mike Mitchell

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Kenny Allen Memorial Hill Climb

Report on The Kenny Allan Memorial Hill Climb

Doune

21st& 22nd May 2022

 

This event was a fitting memorial to Kenny who was 7 times Scottish Hill Climb Champion and a founder member of the Veterans of Scottish Motorsport Association.

He campaigned, with amongst others, a Mini, a Vision, a Ralt (single seater) and finished his long career in motorsport in his favourite Lotus Elan.

Bo’ness 2011 – Photo by James Moir

Kenny was born in Lanark in August 1937. The family was in the garage business started by his grandfather, continued by Kenny’s Father. Kenny joined the business in 1953 having completed his 5 year apprenticeship in a garage in Lanark so cars had been a large part of his life. After marrying in 1958 he received the call to national service in the army where he began his interest in motorsport. After national service he returned to the business in Crossford. His first competition car was a mini cooper, a road car, which quickly turned into a racer. Kenny’s involvement in motorsport was mostly in speed events competing throughout the UK. He competed into his 80’s in his Lotus Elan.

A few of his achievements are;

7 times Scottish Hill Climb Champion

Scottish Speed Champion

Top 10 British Hill Climb Championship Runoffs

This memorial Hill Climb had an approximate entry of 50 plus cars entered in twelve classes. The results should be posted on www.resultsman.co.uk. If you wish to see the entry list it is on www.dounehillclimb.co.uk, simply enter the date.

There were a few Classic cars on show on Saturday 21st May but many more on Sunday 22ndMay. It was decided by the organisers on Sunday to allow, for a small fee, classic cars to run up the hill under supervision by the Clerk of the Course vehicle leading the cars. This I thought was a very progressive decision because it could be done between the competition runs when all the marshals were still in post. The classic drivers had the opportunity to drive “the King of the Hill”. The only hill in Scotland used in the British Hill Climb Championship. Quite a few classics took part. I persuade my wife, Nancy, to drive her classic MGB roadster up the hill. She had spectated there on many occasions but was amazed by the Hill and I was very glad I had persuaded her to do so. It gave the drivers a taste of what the competitors did but at a safe speed. As far as I know it is intended to hold such a historic event every year.

If you have not been to the Doune Hill Climb you should do so, walk up the spectator track and watch the cars at speed, you will be impressed.

My apologies for the long time it has taken for me to write this report, reasons being my time in hospital and my efforts to locate the results.

Barry Crichton

September 2022.

 

News

Brian Culcheth

Brian Culcheth. 1938 – 2022.

It is with regret that I heard of the death of Brian Culcheth at his home in Porlock. He passed away on Sunday 11th September 2022 with his family at his side. Brian took ill in June while he was at his home in Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula – a place where he spent a lot of time – and his son-in-law came up from down south and drove him back home. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in June but did not let that get him down. For example he cycled 20 miles on 11th. August 2022.

Some of you will probably remember that Brian was our guest speaker at our 2019 Reunion Dinner at Dunblane Hydro. He was a very well respected rally driver who enjoyed a long and successful career with works drives with B.M.C. / BL. and Triumph. He competed in National and International events and his long-standing co-driver was the late Johnstone Syer who was also a member of our Association. He competed in the London to Sydney Marathon Rally and the Mexico World Cup Rally coming second. He also became the first non- Scandinavian to win the famous 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland.

He owned and ran a hardware shop and was a model train enthusiast. He also tried his hand at various other sports at which he was successful but he said that rallying allowed him to see the world.

He won the British Rally Championship in 1978 driving an Opel Rally Kadett GT/E. He said that he found it frustrating that after his 14 years or so with B.M.C. / B.L. that he won the Championship with an Opel.

Brian was a very open person and mixed well. He will be sadly missed by all who new him.

Bob Baillie

Chairman

V.S.M.A.

News

2022 Doune Hill Climb

Report on Doune Hill Climb 16th/17th April 2022

By Barry Crichton

This was the first of the Lothian Car Club’s 4 meeting held at Doune this season.

This meeting was a round of the Guyson Scottish Hill Climb Championship and also a round of the Filmtransco Lowland Speed Championship. Approx 90 entrants from 21 classes competed over the weekend with practice starting at 8.30am, timed runs starting at 13.00 on Sunday.

See results on club website www.dounehillclimb.co.uk

Weather was good on both days with no rain. The spectator entrance gate and event programme sales were handled by the Stirling and Trossachs District Scouts. Lothian Car Club was most grateful for their efforts over the weekend.

Reminder – Doune hosts a round of the British Hill Climb Championship on Saturday/Sunday 18th/19th Doune 2022. This is the only time the Championship cars will be seen in Scotland in 2022,an event not to be missed.

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