Newsletter June, 2009

STOP PRESS ~ Following prompts from a few of our members, your Board has had second thoughts about the “4th Knockhill Speedfair & Classic Festival” – we will be going there after all on July 17th!!!

See below for details.

2009 “Run” 8th/9th May –

What a great weekend this turned out to be. Congratulations to Bob Baillie for all his hard work before and during the event. He was assisted in the earlier preparations by Mike How (unfortunately Mike was only able to be at the start) – our thanks to both.
Including the provider of the Scalextric stand, Gordon and Karen Clendinning, 49 members and partners arrived at Grantown-on-Spey late on Friday afternoon. We had congregated earlier at the Altamont House Hotel, Blairgowrie, where we had had lunch. The car park at the Altamont was like a Concours D’Elegance with several beautifully prepared vehicles – E-Type Jaguar, Ferrari, Maserati, MGA Coupe, MGB, MGF, etc.
Driving up from the south to Blairgowrie the heavens opened up with torrential rain! By†1.30 when we were about to be flagged≠off by Mike How, the sun had decided to appear and ‘hoods down’ was the consensus. This was fine for those who only had to press a button, but for those like your scribe (who had forgotten the intricacies of an MGB hood), this was a somewhat slow and verbally heated process. Unfortunately, the sun shortly disappeared and it was ‘hoods up’ for the rest of the trip north. Over the Lecht the rain gave way to sleet making the last leg down to the Spey valley quite exciting!
Friday evening started off with a cocktail party and then dinner during which President Jimmy and Bob Baillie made a few remarks of welcome! Thereafter, it was down to practising for the serious business of the “Highland Speed Challenge” on the Scalextric circuit. Bob had divided the group into two classes, Drivers and Co-drivers. It was thought that the men would be the more competitive but surprise, surprise it was the ladies who turned out to be extremely aggressive! So much so that Bob decided that he would have to get a Ladies Prize.
Saturday morning saw most of us up bright and breezy, although some showed early signs of post-competitive stress somewhat strangely relieved by Alka-Seltzer! The first outing was a trip to Aviemore and back on the privately owned steam train. This brought back pleasant memories for most of us. In the afternoon it was off to the Macallan distillery near Aberlour for a conducted tour and a wee dram at the end. Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.
Dinner was followed by the serious business of trying to beat the ladies on the track – an almost impossible task. It was suggested by more than a few gentlemen that “thems wimen must hive been practising”. Anyway, apart from Ian Gemmell, the men were put to shame. The final results of the Highland Speed Challenge were –
1st Driver – Ian Gemmell with a time of 1 minute 34 seconds
1st Co-Driver – Nancy Crichton with a time of 1 minute 38 seconds
1st Ladies prize – Netta Young with a time of 1 minute 36 seconds
The track closed down at 11 pm when most retired to drown their sorrows.
At breakfast, on Sunday morning the prizes were presented to the winners – bottles of Macallan whisky and Macallan jam!! After breakfast, apart from 12 souls who had decided to stay for another day, everyone made for home and a rest!
It was unanimously agreed that this had been a great venture, with the repeated plea “When is the next one?”.
Here is a list of those who took part in the “Run”:

Kenny Allen and Kenny Gunn       Fraser Anderson and Alastair Clark       Bob and Margaret Baillie
Donald and Lilian       Brown Mid and Valerie Bruce       Gordon and Karen Clendinning
Barry and Nancy Crichton       Bill and Ann Cuthbertson       Chris Edwards and Andy Fenwick
Ian and Louise Gemmell       Walter and Bette Gray       Jimmy and Arlene McInnes
Hugh Mackinnon and Olly Ross       William and Eileen Montgomery       Malcolm and Anne Noble
Stuart and Mairi Parker       Duncan and Adele Paterson       Ian and Margaret Smillie
Pat and John Smith       Ron and Elspeth Smith       Bill and Frances Thomson
Graham and Margaret Wright       Alexander and Carol Anne Young       Charlie and Netta Young

As a result of the success of the “Run”, at the recent Board meeting, it was decided to repeat the venture next year – same time, same hotel but probably a different route. Watch this space.

Baseball Caps

Those on the “Run’ will know of our new baseball caps. These are different from the earlier ones. The new ones have the VSMA logo and name properly embroidered on the cap, rather than the plastic logo which tended to quickly wear off! Fortunately, we have been able to keep the price the same, £12 which includes P&P. Get in touch with me if you wish to own one of these very attractive caps.


Since the March Newsletter, we have added another 2 new members to the Membership. We welcome the following to our ranks:

Graham Wright, Carluke       Peter Speakman, Broughton-in-Furness.

Death of Member

It is with sadness that I have to report deaths of two of our members.

Ena Paterson, Newton Mearns, Glasgow – died on 15th April 2009. Many will remember Ena as the wife of the late Ninian Paterson but she was involved in rallying in her own right as a navigator from the early 50s to 1960. She was a member of SSCC and the MG Car Club.

Mike Kean, Montrose – died suddenly on 30th April 2009. He became a member of VSMA last December. Most of his Motorsport activities were conducted either in Germany or in Singapore.

 Scottish Speedfair and Classic Festival, Knockhill, Sunday 19th July –

As mentioned above, we will again be involved this year. Knockhill has kindly made their Media Centre available to us where we can be found – where you can have a cup of coffee, etc; have a rest; meet with other members, etc. We have also arranged that members will be able to park their vehicles in the VIP car park which is only a short walk from the Media Centre.

SMRC Club event, Knockhill, on Sunday 6th September – Details of this SMRC Club event will be sent out nearer the time.

Annual General Meeting, Tuesday 6th October

This year the AGM will be held in the Dakota Euro Central Ltd, which is a hotel located just off the A8/M8 between Glasgow and Newhouse. It is due to start at 7.0 pm but coffee/tea will be served from 6.45 pm. The Official Notice of the AGM, Nomination for the Board Forms, etc., will be issued to you nearer the time but please put a note of this important event in your diary now.

2010 Reunion Saturday 23rd October

Your Directors are pleased to announce details of next year’s reunion. Like the two previous reunions, it will be held in The Glynhill Hotel, Paisley.  Obviously, the format and details have still to be sorted out, but now is the time to put this date in your diary.

VSMA Website

Following the details of our proposed website in the March Newsletter and the subsequent issue to each member the details of their motorsport data (or the appropriate blank form if they had still to submit data), I can report a somewhat slow response, which is disappointing. Only about 80 members have returned their forms or submitted photographs. If you have already sent me the forms, many many thanks. If you have still to do so, PLEASE do it soon. Regarding photographs, we could take up to a maximum of 12 images per member. Very often you recognise a name but be quite unable to put the name to a face. We would like to be able to rectify this by having “mugshots” of everyone – both recent and earlier ones, to let other members know what you look like. Please help. Remember, all the data and photographs will only be visible to VSMA members. Ideally, if the data and images can be sent electronically, so much the better, but I can cope with “hard copy”, slides, photographs and negatives. Please, could I ask that you put your name on the back of the photographs as well as the year they were taken. Obviously, I will return the originals if requested.

That’s all for now.

Stuart Parker

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