Newsletter February, 2011

I regret to admit it is now six months since the last Newsletter was issued last July. Since then we have had our AGM and our 4th Reunion both held in October.

Annual General Meeting, Saturday 23rd October 2010 – This was our 4th AGM, and again this was held in the Glynhill Hotel Paisley before the start of the Reunion, and again there were sufficient numbers to have a quorum. There was no change in Board Membership. Jimmy McInnes remained as Chairman, Bob Bailiie as Vice-Chairman and also as Treasurer, Stuart Parker as Secretary. The other Ordinary Directors were Kenny Allen, Mike How, Hugh MacKinnon, Adele Paterson, Duncan Paterson and Andy Watson. Bob Baillie reported that VSMA financial state was healthy and there was no other controversial business. Hon. President Sir Jackie Stewart had donated a signed copy of his new limited edition book “Collage”. This was a truly magnificent leather-bound detailing Jackie’s incredible motor racing career told through the archive of the Stewart family which his wife Helen had faithfully kept. It included many items of memorabilia collected over the 10 years of his life in Formula 1. It was unanimously agreed that this magnificent gift should be raffled that evening at the Reunion

Membership Our membership now stands at 288, as we have gained another 3 new members and lost none!

The new members are:

     Bill Crabb – Dundee

     Martin Jeffrey – Aberdeen

     Harry Simpson – Edinburgh

4th VSMA Reunion

This followed shortly after the conclusion of the AGM.  The attendance at 101 was down from 169 in 2007 which was a bit disappointing for the organisers. Despite the poor turnout everyone seemed to be enjoying the evening. During dinner Chairman Jimmy did his usual walk-about interviewing a few well-kent members present including Ian Scott-Watson who threw light on aspects of his involvement in starting the late Jim Clark on his fantastic racing career.

Entertainment was provided by John Cleland (twice BTCC Champion and Thunderstorm Champion) and Mike Ward, a well know international rally co-driver through the past 40 years! Both had everyone in stitches recounting some of their adventures during their motorsport careers.

Sir Jackie Stewart’s “Collage” was duly raffled. This produced a grand total of £600 which had been decided to give to Dyslectic Scotland. An excellent effort – and thanks to all who contributed.
One unfortunate aspect of the event, at least for those staying overnight in the hotel, was the failure of the plumbing system for those residing on the 2nd floor. Not the best thing to happen if you were looking for a hot shower in the morning or using the loo!!

As to the future – the Directors have decided to look at ways to improve the turnout at such Reunions (these were one of the main reasons for the formation of VSMA originally). Several suggestions were made at a recent Board Meeting including changing the format, moving the venue around the country, etc. If any member has suggestions these would be very welcome – just let me know and I will pass them on to the Board.

Glasgow start of the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, Thursday 27th January

As you will know, the evening prior to the Start a Gala Dinner was held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel primarily for the 40+ starters (if they wished to attend) and anyone else who wished to be there. So, my wife Mairi and I decided to attend. We were joined by Jimmy and Arlene McIness both of whom we discovered had done seven Montes between them! As far as we could make out there were several other VSMA members present including Roy Campbell (who compered the evening), Stuart Turner (who was the principal guest, Graeme Henderson, Donald Heggie, Donald Fisher and of course Jonathan Lord. I am sure there must have been other members present. VSMA were certainly well represented.

There were several “foreign” tables – a large French contingent (a very noisy lot) and a very large Japanese contingent (about 20+ in all for just 2 cars – also noisy). I am sure that few of the “foreigners” spoke English let alone Glasgwegian resulting in a constant hubbub! This added to the terrible acoustics – sitting in the middle of the room we couldn’t hear very much at all which was a pity. The meal itself was OK and our table company was excellent. We left before the cabaret started (a drag artist) so I couldn’t comment on that!

The Start, the following evening was just as busy and exciting as I remembered it from the 50’s and 60’s. The organisers must have been delighted with the response from the general public. Hopefully, it will again be a regular January feature.

Highland Tour 2011, 29th April to 2nd May 2011

Once again we have decided to base our trip in Grantown-on-Spey.  Bob Baillie has managed once again to get ideal rates from the Grant Arms Hotel. The weekend has been arranged to allow members to go for one to four nights. I would advise you to send in your entry soon, certainly before 14th April, as places are limited. Having been over most of the route I can assure you of a very pleasant Highland drive. Bob, as usual, has arranged some interesting visits and evening entertainments!

Knockhill Classic Speedfair, Sunday 31st July 2011 – According to Stuart Gray this has to be a one-day affair. At the moment it looks as if we will have sufficient helpers to man the Media Centre cafe this year. Hopefully, I will be able to give you more details.

Stuart Parker

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