Newsletter July, 2010

New Website Section

It’s only three months since the last Newsletter. The V.S.M.A. website is now “live” and we have had a good response to it from members which is very encouraging after the many months of putting it together. This Newsletter can now be found on the website where the intention is to keep back-copies of the Newsletter in future. You can also find there details of all our members, including contact details and in most cases summaries of their motorsport careers. Plus there are over 500 images submitted by our members scattered throughout the site.  Several members have updated their own page, either with data or images or both.   These include Gus Carnegie, Alastair Findlay, Murray Grierson and Ian Stewart.  If your own page is somewhat flimsy, now is the time to think about updating it.  You must have lots of photographs lying about in drawers – get them out and send them in. You may already have noticed a new section on the purple side-bar “Tales from the Past“.   We hope this addition will give more interest to the site and be an area which members will be able to present their views, submit articles.  The first three of the latter are anecdotes from Alastair Findlay on his earlier rally travels/travails!

Sir Stirling Moss – Following the horrendous accident sustained by our fellow member a couple of months back, an email was sent to Stirling on your behalf wishing him a full and speedy recovery.  He thanked us for our concern and wrote: “I am glad to say that apart from being stuck in bed, I am repairing slowly and hope to walk early in May”.  Watching him recently on Channel 4, he is now obviously on the way to what will hopefully be a complete recovery.

John Allan – Although not a member of the Association, we were sad to hear of the death in May of John Allan from Oban. As his friend David Hockey said “For a guy with only one eye, he couldn’t half pedal a rally car. To me, John was one of the real characters of Scottish rallying. His soft, laconic, Lorne area accent†hid a fierce competitive nature. When the RACMSA tried to take away his licence, they soon were aware what a Tiger he could be. Not only was he quick behind the wheel, he was quick to help anyone, quick to get his hand in his pocket for a round and quick with a remark, or rebuff, that usually had the place in hysterics.  I recently spoke to him on the phone, and he was keen to get away and do some events, possibly abroad again, “for the crack”.  Never a word that he was fighting cancer again. It must have been a terrible shock for his wife when John passed away so quickly in front of her.  I believe, trust John, that he was working on his car at the time, and fell over the bonnet dead.  Knowing him, if he could have made a remark, he would probably have said, “Told you that cars would be the death of me!.  To those who knew him, and revelled in his company, he will be sorely missed.

New members:

We have added another four members since our last Newsletter in April, bringing our total living membership to 285.  These new members are –
Tom Bicket, Symington, Ayrshire               John Barr, Auchterarder, Perth
Iain Provan, Barrhead East, Renfrewshire       Donald MacDonald, Seamill, W. Kilbride
Their details can be viewed in the “Members and their details” section.

Highland Run, 7th & 8th May, Grantown-on-Spey – Another great weekend in Grantown enjoyed by 30 members and partners. Numbers were down this year as a result of clashing with other events, particularly a Knockhill Race meeting. However, this didn’t detract from the fun. This included trips up Cairngorm on the new funicular railway on Saturday morning and a visit to the Battle of Culloden Centre on the afternoon. Typically the morning was very cold and cloudy with the afternoon being the exact opposite – warm and sunny. Anyway, both trips were very enjoyable. The evenings, after drinks and dinner were as usual taken up with the Scalextric Highland Challenge. The competition this year was much more fierce – it was obvious that people had been practising over the past 12 months! Gordon and Karen Clendinning had laid out a very competitive circuit. Last year’s Gentlemen Driver’s winner, Ian Gemmell was relegated to 4th, the winning Gentleman being Duncan Paterson, with 2nd Bob Ballie and 3rd David Fotheringham. The Lady Driver’s winner was Susan Gould with Margaret Wright and Mairi Parker 2nd equal. (If they had been combined with the Gentlemen the Ladies would have been 2nd, 3rd and 4th!! – as I mentioned a lot of practice had been done by the fairer entries – at least that was the gentlemen’s considered opinion!)
Prizegiving took place after breakfast on Sunday morning. What with a surplus from the event and with monies from the Highland Challenge entries, etc we were able to donate around £400 to the Glasgow University Leukaemia Research Trust.
Thanks are due to several people not least Bob Baillie who organised the whole thing; Gordon Clendinning for providing the Scalextric layout and running the Highland Challenge; Macallan’s Whisky for donating several liquid prizes: Tim Thomson of Guyson , who was unable to attend donated and Hugh Mackinnon who donated £50 to the drinks fund! Thanks were certainly due to the management and staff of the Grant Arms who looked after us so well.
It is certainly our intention to go back next May to Grantown-on-Spey and we hopefully we can avoid any potential clash with other events. However, if anyone would like to organise a similar event to a different location and at a different time of the year, we would be delighted to hear from them.
Here is a list of those who took part in the Run:

Kenny Allen & Kenny Gunn     Bob & Margaret Baillie     Tom & Marion Bicket
Mid & Val Bruce   Gordon & Karen Clendinning     David Fotheringham & Susan Gould
Ian & Louise Gemmell        Walter & Bette Gray             Jimmy & Arlene McInnes
William & Eileen Montgomery       Stuart & Mairi Parker          Duncan & Adele Paterson
Ian & Margaret Smillie             Pat & John Smith               Graham & Margaret Wright

Knockhill Scottish Speedfair & Classic Festival, 26th-27th June:

As mentioned in the last Newsletter VSMA would not be represented in the Media Centre as all the usual stalwarts would be on holiday. I did hear that the event was up to its usual standards particularly the display of some marvellous Ferraris. Regrettably, for the organisers, the turnout was as not as great as was expected!

4th VSMA Reunion, Saturday 23rd October 2010:

The Regs and Entry Form are included with this Newsletter. Preparations for the event are well advanced. You will see that the entry fee is only £40 (same as the 2007 Reunion) if you pay BEFORE 3rd September – after that £45 per entry will be required. Again we were delighted to receive a very generous donation from Renault UK. The format will be similar to previous events. We are to be entertained by John Cleland and Mike Wood, both famous for their exploits in past racing and rallying events, and both are renowned after-dinner speakers. We look forward to seeing you at the Reunion. I almost forgot the Annual General Meeting of VSMA will take place just before the Reunion commences – later on this.

SSCC Economy Run, Sunday 23rd August 2010
As I was composing this Newsletter I received an email from fellow member Iain Provan (a leading light in Scottish Sporting Car Club) inviting our members, if they wish, to take part in this event. It starts at the Pond Hotel, Great Western Road, Glasgow returning there for brunch after a route of approximately 62 miles. This is a fun social event for all types of standard road cars. Regs and entry forms can be obtained from Iain at 0800 161 3221 (office) or 07766 256 600 (mobile).

That’s all for now.

Stuart Parker

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