Newsletter June, 2017

Dear Fellow Member,

It’s about a couple of months since my last bit of VSMA News. A few things have happened since then but I will commence sadly with the death of one of our original members – my elder brother George Parker.
George died on 16th April after a short illness. He had been living in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire for the past 50 odd years and would have been 88 on the 21st April.

George and I started motorsport together in the early ‘ 50s when we were both at Glasgow University. We rallied in various vehicles including an Austin Atlantic and a converted Ford Van. The former was our father’s car which we used on an SSCC’s Highland Three Day Rally along with Eric Dymock – quite a memorable occasion in many ways. We did a few other events with the Lanarkshire Car Club with the Ford van. We had purchased this as there was no Purchase Tax (VAT) to pay for a van!! Side windows were inserted, an Aquaplane Head fitted along with a vacuum induced overdrive which certainly improved the performance of the van – in both directions – it could do 50+ in reverse. However, it lacked decent suspension and or for that matter brakes! This made for some very exciting and hairy moments – but we were quite successful. I think we only competed as a team for about three years when George went on to his other interests – I continued to compete with other drivers including my wife to be Mairi Cooper, Jimmy McInnes and the Brown brothers (IanT. Brown and younger brother R.Stuart Brown).

George will probably not be remembered for his motorsport exploits but more for his University activities and his golf. While at University he managed to become the President of the Students University Union in 1956 and where he very much involved with the GU Debating team. He was a scratch golfer and represented both the University and Scotland as an amateur golfer on many occasions. Indeed he got his blue at golf and also entered the Open at least once (but never made the cut)! Later in life he became very much involved in Rugby being the Chairman of his local club at Beaconsfield for many years. Until last year, he would made an annual trip to Murrayfield to lend support to the boys in blue. He was on three trips with the Lions to Australia and New Zealand. On his 80th birthday he ventured into flying when he was given a present of flying lessons! He had lead a full and an eventful life right to the end. George will be missed by all in our family and especially his wife Joan and daughters Jane and Lorna.

NEW MEMBER – In error, I omitted another new member in the last Newsletter, namely Iain MacDonald from Kilmacolm. Sorry about that Iain.

NEW EMAIL ADDRESS – Bill Thomson new email is

2017 SPRING RUN – Once again Bob Baillie and Mid Bruce outshown themselves. What a great location in Portavadie turned out to be. The accommodation at the Marina and Spa was just fantastic; the food was good and the weather!!! How do they do it? We had 41 members and partners this time which almost filled the Marina. The start, on Friday morning, was from Balloch – not the Lomond Shore this time but from the Antartex Cafe where a light snack was provided. We had a choice of two routes to get us to Portavadie – one was via Inverary and down to the ferry at Tarbert in Loch Fyne which could take us directly over to Portavadie. The other, shorter route, took us down to Tighnabruaich and then over to Portavadie on the east side of Loch Fyne.
Arriving in mid-afternoon we all ate together in the evening following a reception. On Saturday, again we had a choice of two routes. One, up to Inverary to see visit the Duke of Argyll’s Castle and back again via the Tarbert Ferry or down, almost to Dunoon, to visit the Benmore Gardens off the A815. The other route allowed the more adventurous to use the “rally” roads up the east side of Loch Fyne and hence to Benmore and finally back via Tighnabruaich to Portavadie. The evening was a repeat of Friday’s but a lot more friendly.
It was an early start on Sunday morning to allow us get the Colintraive Ferry to have a day in the Isle of Bute. The main occasion on that day was a visit to Mount Stuart House, the set of the Stuarts of Bute. As most Motorsport people will know this was the family home of Johnnie Dumfries but he no longer resides there. The house was open to the public is was a very worthwhile visit. Following lunch there we took a tour around the Island before heading back via the ferry at Colintraive to Portavadie.
Sunday evening was concluded with dinner followed by a singalong conducted by our own troubadour, complete with guitar, Mr Roberto Baillie, esq. I think all who were there enjoyed the three days and certainly thanks were given to Bob and Mid, and their long-suffering wives, for a wonderful three days. Roll on to next spring.
Numerous photographs were sent to me which I will, in due course, upload to the website along with the list of participants.

UPCOMING EVENT – Charlie Young has had communication from Ian Higgins who is organising the “Jock’s Run” on behalf of the Monte Start Committee (MSC). Apparently this is an event similar to the one which was attached to Charlie’s Ayrshire Bash last year. They have sent VSMA members an invitation to join them. It is being held on Sunday 18th June (sorry for being a bit late in letting you know). It is a 120 mile amble through Ayrshire on B Class and “Yellow” roads starting in and finishing in the Kilmarnock area. I have attached the Regulations and Entry Form documents giving you the necessary information.
Ian Higgins (Clerk of the Course) Tel: 01505 322854 Mobile: 07867 548973    e-mail:

I have just received the email below from the Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival giving an update on what’s happening this year. It sounds really good. Unfortunately, I will be unable to be there – family calls from the USA once again. I’m sure many of our members will be there either competing or in an organising capacity. If youv’e never been before I can strongly recommend it to you – you are bound to enjoy what they are offering over both days. Already they have 82 entries for the Hill Climb – due to the size of the paddock their maximum for entries for the Hill Climb is 110 and only 8 weeks to go.

Update: The Bo’ness Revival Classic

With just 3-months to go to the Revival and 8-weeks to the final closing date for entry to the Bo’ness Classic it is good time for an update as to the current situation.
Club and Individual entries are now coming in at a steady rate so if you are considering entering the Classic please do not hold off for too long, as when the available spaces are filled the entry list shall be closed, even if that is prior to the noted closing date. We are on target to meet our maximum number of entrants, which is 400-cars in the Showfield on Sunday 3rd of September.
The Bo’ness Classic is a full weekend event, starting off on Saturday morning when the Bo’ness to Balmaha Road Run and Bo’ness Saltire Trophy depart from Bo’ness town centre from around 10.00. The Road Run is a gentle convoy type drive whereas the Saltire Trophy shall be an MSA sanctioned event, but without the requirement for a competition licence. The Trophy shall consist of a Road Book with Code Boards and other references to identify, Autotest type competitons and Regularity sections, it all promises to be an interesting concept with a wide range of competing cars spanning almost a century of motoring. Plans are well advanced for road closures in the town and when the expected 60 or so cars have departed there will be a Street Fayre event in the town centre. Due to Saturday being an active awayday there will not be as many cars on display in the Showfield at the Hillclimb track as there will be on Sunday, so please bear this in mind if you are specifically visiting the Classic on Saturday.
Sunday will be a busy day with the focus on the Arena which will see action by way of the ‘Carkhana’ competition, plus interviews and presentations all under the control of our knowledgeable MC’s. An interesting feature will be the final element of the Bo’ness Saltire Trophy, a Regularity drive up the Hillclimb track during the Hillclimb lunchbreak, which shall see some unlikely cars tackle the Bo’ness hill. There will be a wide array of cars on display on the various club stands, ranging from a Triumph TR3S which has competed at Le Mans on the TR Register stand, to the Jaguar Heritage Trust Jaguar XJ220 on the Jaguar Drivers Club Stand. There are numerous trophies up for grabs and the day will round up with the presentation of all awards in the Arena.
The Bo’ness Revival is a truly unique event with the Bo’ness Hillclimb and the Bo’ness Classic running side by side and providing a range of interest for spectators and entrants alike.
If you would like to enter the Bo’ness Classic, participate in the Bo’ness to Balmaha Road Run or enter the Bo’ness Saltire Trophy please contact Cliff McKinnon at for any information and an entry form.

The Bo’ness Revival Classic
The action event for enthusiasts, organised by enthusiasts

DATE FOR YUR DIARY – THE AUTUMN RUN – Just heard from Charlie Young that our own Autumn Run will be held on Sunday 8th October – details later.

Finally, some amusing stuff from members:-

Alasdair Pearson Irish joke
Overweight Paddy goes to see his doctor for dietery advice. Doctor tells him about a highly effective diet that involves eating normally for 2 days, skip a day, eat normally for two days, and so on for two weeks. “If you stick to this Paddy says the doctor, I would expect when I see you in two weeks’ time that you will have lost several pounds”.

Paddy duly returns to see the doctor, a shadow of his former self. The doctor is shocked to see that Paddy appears to have last a couple of stone and asks how he is feeling. Paddy tells him “I thought I was going to die” – “what, of hunger?” asks the doctor.

“No says Paddy, of the feckin skippin!!”

McInness’s Irish Jokes:
The reason there are so many Irish jokes is because the Irish have a quaint way with words.

Like the Irish patient who hobbled into the Surgery waiting room. “I hope to God the doctor finds something wrong with me because I’d hate to feel like this if I was well!”

Murphy dropped dead the moment he arrived home from a vacation in the tropics. He was laid out in the coffin for friends and neighbours to pay their last respects.
He’s got a great tan,” Mrs Doolan from next door mused. “The holiday did him the world of good.”
“And he looks so calm and serene,” said Mrs. McGuness. “That’s because he died in his sleep” explained Mrs. Murphy, and he doesn’t know he’s dead yet, but when he wakes up, the shock will kill him!”

That’s all folks………………. ! Stuart Parker, June 2017

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