Newsletter March, 2015

Really not much to report since the last newsletter but here are the items of News –

Monte Carlo Rallye Historique
Death of Members
Members’ Database changes
Dates for your Diary
Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing
YouTube Clips
Amusing Bits and Pieces

Monte Carlo Rallye Historique

About a couple of weeks after the Glasgow start of the Monte Carlo Rally, I received an email from Member Neil Barrington to the effect that he had just returned from Monte Carlo having taken part in the team supporting an Alpine Renault 110, No.115. They had started from Reims in northern France and headed south. This was, of course, the Monte Carlo Rallye Historique event, but was amazingly arduous and long over 4.5 days and covering 3,500 miles since leaving Edinburgh. Neil had no experience of this event before and was very impressed with the organisation of it and the very high regard that it endears, with scores of locals out watching at 3 in the morning. The scoring and penalty system was news to him, as he was more accustomed to the special stage approach rather than “regularities”, which require average speed rather than “balls out”!!

It was very exciting and difficult with many roads covered in snow and very very steep and precipitous, plus staggering drops into ravines if you got it wrong. He met another VSMA member, Chris Paton down there, who was an old adversary on the Tour of Mull. At least now he can say that he had personally driven around the GP circuit, even if it was in a service van complete with trailer!

This meeting with Chris Paton leads me on to Chris’s account, as he too was servicing a Mini Cooper S on the same event.  Chris has sent a full report on his “adventure” on the event, complete with many photographs including details of how the event was organised.  Although it is not a “Tale from the Past that is where this report can be found.  Have a look – it is really worth a read.

Just a few pics from Chris’s Report 

Death of Members:

I’m sad to report that John Falconer died on 7th March 2015.  John was well known to Lanarkshire Car Club members.

Member’s Database Change:  

We received an email from Ronnie Morrison recently to say that he had had to take action against nuisance telephone calls.  He was obliged to block ALL calls which had withheld their number!   To get over this, he asked if you would amend your phone book by putting 1470 first before his number. This should then allow you to get through to him.

Dates for your Diary:

   VSMA Reunion 2016 – Although early days, I am delighted to report that our next Reunion will be held in 2016, on Friday 14th October.  Due to the popularity of the Radstone Hotel just of the M74, we have booked at as our venue once again. There are lots of decisions to be made before that date – who will be our sponsors, our guests, the format, etc, etc. I will let you know the outcome of these as the months’ pass.

   Bo’ness Hill Climb:  The Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival will be celebrating their 8th Revival meeting on 5th and 6th September 2015.  This will be the 81st anniversary of the first ever Hill Climb at Bo’ness in 1934.  We will be there again.  Find out full details for downloading from their website at

The BHCR are keen to have a word with any of our VSMA members who had competed on the hill prior to the enforced reduction to its present length.  There is word afoot that a TV programme, about the history of Bo’ness Hill Climb, is being created and it is hoped to interview anyone who took part in the event using the ‘old’ hill.  So, if you fall into this category would you please get in touch with Barry Crichton who is a member of the BHRC Committee who will give you details of what is happening.  (Mobile: 07928 629388 or

Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing – ready for BTCC 2015 –

The Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50 that will be used in the BTCC for 2015

This year’s BTCC teams are unveiled to the public next week – among them a striking Infiniti with an eye-catching roof.  It is the Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing (ISOPR) car prepared by injured vets and, by year three, according to team principal Derek Palmer, from Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, it will be driven by an injured soldier.  The car roof reflects the Paras’ beret and badge. And it is no gimmick.  “We will have podium finishes in our first season,” predicted Derek. “By year two, we will be winning races on a regular basis.   It is a brand new team driving a brand new car and it will not be easy, but the work ethic and the discipline of these guys is amazing.  This car and this team can one day win the championship.” 
This season, ISOPR will have two cars racing in the BTCC in a project brought together by Derek and his friend, Colin Smith, formerly the boss of the Afghanistan Trust – now renamed.

The roof showing what the aim of Support Our Paras was.

The aim is twofold – to raise the profile of the charity and, in the longer term, to raise cash for wounded servicemen and their families.  Derek agrees his support team has little experience but their commitment is so intense that he is completely sure of himself.  He went on: “Working with these guys makes you feel quite humbleThese guys have issues that would make you think twice about getting out of bed in the morning – and yet it’s not an issue.
“If one can’t tighten something with his right hand because he doesn’t have one, someone else steps in and does it and just walks away. It’s incredible. This team is not like other teams, it is not about the driver, it is about everyone working together and that makes it very special.
The cars they are using are Infiniti Q50s but totally different from the road car. The only thing they share is the 2.0-litre turbo direct injection engine.  The first race is at Brands Hatch on the weekend of April 4 and 5, when both cars will have to be ready.

The Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50 that will be used in the BTCC for 2015

It is a fairly short timescale for a new team to get in harness and it means that the Support Our Paras guys will be working right up to the last second.  “But we should be good to go,” said Derek.
To help prepare, the ISOPR team visited the Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 team at their factory in Buckinghamshire.  The team had a behind-the-scenes tour and met staff from various departments, with an emphasis on race prep.
They spent time with the Red Bull F1 pit crew — who showed the Paras team how crucial meticulous teamwork is in Red Bull being able to replace four wheels on an F1 car in under three seconds — and had a session in the Red Bull gym.

The Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing took the opportunity to learn from the masters.

The guys were shown a series of exercises — all adapted to cope with their numerous injuries — to help them maintain a high level of fitness for the challenging 10-weekend, 30-race BTCC season.   “I had to keep pinching myself today,” said former Paratrooper Mike Lewis, injured in Afghanistan after two deployments in Iraq.
I’ve watched the Infiniti Red Bull Racing guys change tyres on the Formula One car for years on the TV, and today I not only watched them in action but worked alongside them.  It’s been a privilege. These guys are the best at what they do – of that there is no question.  Sure, we don’t need to carry out pit-stops in the BTCC, but we’ve all learned so much today about how important it is to work as a unit and as a team.”

The Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50 that will be used in the BTCC for 2015

At present, there are eight injured Paras working off and on but the plan is for all of them to work full-time on the car.   Derek’s son, also Derek, will drive one car this year and Richard Hawken will take the wheel of the other and the team will learn as they go.
Derek said: “This is not just for these guys, this is for all the guys who have been pensioned off, who have been injured and know what it’s like.  It’s for them as much as us.”

Some Amusing Bits and Pieces:  Here’s three from our dear leader……..

“4 Worms In Church”

 Four worms and a lesson to be learned!!!!

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.  Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.
The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.
The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.
The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol . . . . . . . . . . . .  Dead.
The second worm in cigarette smoke . . . Dead.
Third worm in chocolate syrup . . . . . . . . Dead.
Fourth worm in good clean soil . . . . . . . . Alive….… 

So the Minister then asked the congregation, “What did you learn from this demonstration?”

Maxine, sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said . . . .”As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!”

That pretty much ended the service!


The Jewish Samurai

Once upon a time, a powerful Emperor of the Rising Sun advertised for a new Chief Samurai.  After a year, only three applied for the job: a Japanese, a Chinese and a Jewish Samurai.

“Demonstrate your skills!” commanded the Emperor.  The Japanese samurai stepped forward, opened a tiny box and released a fly.  He drew his samurai sword and *Swish!* the fly fell to the floor, neatly divided in two!

“What a feat!” said the Emperor“Number Two Samurai, show me what you do.”  The Chinese samurai smiled confidently, stepped forward and opened a tiny box, releasing a fly. He drew his samurai sword and *Swish! Swish!* The fly fell to the floor neatly quartered.

“That is skill!” nodded the Emperor.  “How are you going to top that, Number three Samurai?”  The Jewish samurai, Obi-wan Cohen, stepped forward, opened a tiny box releasing one fly, drew his samurai sword and *Swoooooosh!* flourished his sword mightily, but the fly was still buzzing around!

In disappointment, the Emperor said, “What kind of skill is that? The fly isn’t even dead.”  “Dead?” replied the Jewish Samurai. “Dead is easy.  Circumcision…THAT takes skill!”                                    


And finally, some from our Leader, which might raise a smile from your grandchildren….!

I bought my wife a wooden leg for Christmas! It’s not her main present, just a stocking filler……

Two Aerials meet on a roof – fall in love – get married.The ceremony was rubbish but the Reception was brilliant……..

Two women called at my door and asked what bread I ate, when I said white they gave me a lecture on the benefits of brown bread for 30 minutes.  I think they were those Hovis Witnesses………

Just had my water bill of £175 drop on my mat. That’s a lot. Oxfam can supply a whole African village for just £2 a month!  Time to change supplier I think………

A mummy covered in chocolate and nuts has been discovered in Egypt.  Archaeologists believe it may be Pharaoh Roche……..

My friend just hired an Eastern European cleaner, took her 15 hours to Hoover the house. Turns out she was a Slovak……..

Since the snow came, all the wife has done is look through the window.  If it gets any worse, I’ll have to let her in……….

Interesting YouTube Clips:

Just a few, which are best viewed in ‘Full Screen’ and maybe with the sub-titles on.

The Worst Train Ride ever………….?  Click here
The Remember song………. !  Click here
This is the kind of car I would like next……….!  Click here
The Five voted Best Beer Adverts………. !  Click here
 You must laugh at this ….Mrs Brown’s Mischievous Call……..  Click Here

That’s all folks………………. !

Stuart Parker, March 2015

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