Newsletter November, 2014

Well, the 5th Reunion has passed and now we have the AGM to look forward to.

The Reunion certainly went very well and seemed to be enjoyed by all.  Have a look at the photographs in the Past Event section which I have just uploaded to the website.

One of the photographic displays at the Reunion depicted the story behind George Cooper’s Cooper Sports MG Prototype.  I have transferred this completely to the website – it is certainly worth a read.  It can be found in the “Tales from the Past” section.

News just in –  I got an email from Bill Montgomery to inform me that Watt Gray had to be admitted to Hospital on 1st November with a heart attack.   Hopefully, Walter gets well soon.

More, the very recent news is that Jock Russell has died recently.  I have no details of this but would be VERY grateful if someone could supply information on Jock to me.

Address Changes – 

All members’ addresses, phone numbers and email addressescan be found in the “Members and details” section. Clicking on an underlined name will take you to that person’s page for more detail.

Duncan Ferguson has a new email address.

David Halley has moved to 2 Townhead Cottages, Mossdale, Cumbria, CA11 0XQ

Tel: 01768 779026.

Allan MacVarish has a new email address.

Ronnie Stuart has a new email address.

Matt MacKenzie has moved to 49 Houghton Drive, Hillside, Montrose, DD10 9PA

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Death of Members

I am sorry to report the death of the undernoted member.

 Joe Baird,  Helensburgh who died on 15th Feb 2014

New Members  On a happier note, I am glad to report the addition of seven new members into VSMA.   (Click on an underlined name to take you to their page)

John Cleland from Melrose.
Charlie Harrison from Edinburgh.
William Henderson from Falkirk
Andy Kelly from Greenock.
Paul Mason from Dullatur.
Russell Paterson from Madderty, by Crieff.
David Swinton from Morpeth.

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Here are some of the other items of news this month –

Derek Palmer’s new project

Request from George Robinson

Eric Dymock’s New Website

Request from Michael Malcolm

Request from Non-members 

Images from Allan MacVarish

Fifty Years Celebration

Interesting Youtube Clips

Amusing Bits and Pieces

Derek Palmer’s New Project –

You may have learned that Derek has a new project ongoing  He is now running a 2 car works team in the BTCC for the Support Our Paras charity using injured guys to run the car.  Have a look at the website ‘Infiniti Support Our Para’ Launch‘ to see the launch at the Guild Hall in London and get the latest news of their progress. They are based at Mallory Park and Lesmahagow and any of the members will be made more than welcome if they want to go and see what Derek does.  So much for retiring Derek –  next year with this new 5-year contract.

Eric Dymock’s New Website – 

I mentioned Eric’s blog in the last newsletter but he now has a new website which is certainly worth a visit if you are interested in what going on in the world of Motor Sport (past and present).  Were you aware of what was going on in Europe just before the start of World WarTwo? Have a look at his article on the crisis times in motor sport just around the start of WII.  There are many other articles which are also certainly worth a look such as this year’s Goodwood Jaguar.

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Fifty Years Celebration

2014 celebrated the opening of the Forth Road Bridge some 50 years ago and also the same year that Jim Clark won the British Touring Car Championship.  It was appropriate that Knockhill managed to arrange an event to celebrate both these events, by showing a few of Jim Clarks’ competitive vehicles and allowing them to be driven over the closed road bridge.  Not many of our members managed to get to this event but fortunately, Sandy Morrison did.  Below are a few images of this event that Sandy kindly provided. 

Request from George Robinson

George is in the process of writing up his rally and race years.  He is looking for information on the last Burmah International Rally (I was the CofC of that Burmah and unfortunately I shredded everything I had on the event).  He is looking for List of Starters and Results.  And, has anyone got a photograph of his Ford RS rally car?

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Requests from Non-Members – 

A request for information regarding cars from the past.

This a Rod Brisby who is trying to trace the history of a TR2 he bought in the 60/70s.  He had been looking at our site and in the 1950s section of the public Photographic Gallery, he noticed a car which he thought might have been the one he bought. The car in question is the one behind an MK2 Jaguar, a green TR2. in the photograph titled “Very early Scottish Rally.  The TR2 car had been rallying in Scotland prior to his buying it in Dumfries in 1972.   It was in British Racing Green with a black hood, but perhaps a hardtop (colour unknown), registration number OWK 788.  It had been in a barn since 1972 and he has now started the restoration!  Let him know if this vehicle is known to anyone, please.

Rod can be contacted at, Rod Brisby, Country manager (UK) Lake Engineering, Tel: ++447922147501 or ++4571992257

Request from Michael Malcolm

Michael emailed to request information on the identities of the people in the attached photograph.  As he wrote –

You may be aware that there is an infamous Foster & Skeffington photograph of “Team 55” taken in a field at the end of the ’67 Scottish after they won the team prize. Several of us are struggling to remember the names of all the “worthies”.  One in particular is Stuart Brown’s co-driver.  The oldish chap (even then) with glasses next to Stuart.  All my memory has on him hat he may have been a doctor.  (Ed: Don’t thinks so – he is confusing the person with me  –  I did co-drive for Stuart Brown on many events, maybe this one but I am NOT in this picture).  Ring any bells?

Team 55 at the conclusion of the 1967 Scottish Rally, celebrating their winning the Team Prize.


I recognise Arthur Jasper and Jimmy Rae but apart from Stuart Brown, none of the others (it’s an age thing).  If anyone does recognise people in the picture, let me or Michael Malcom know.

Stuart Parker

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Allan Macvarish Images  –  One of our still active elderly members, Allan, is still competitively active – if it’s not Hill Climbing it’s Go-Karting.  We still have a few similarly active members in our ranks – Kenny Allen and Jock Miller to name just two.  Anyway, Allan sent a few snaps just to prove he’s not on the scrapheap yet!

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Interesting Youtube Clips –

Just a few, which are best viewed in ‘Full Screen’

Do you know when you are growing old?  Watch this and learn!  Click here
An ideal mobile phone?  Click here
Have you seen this unusual Honda Ad?  Click here
Finally  ………. For those who love music……. A Super Market Anthem  Click here

Amusing Bits and Pieces 

Just a couple this time probably from our Chairman, Jimmy McInnes (I think).

About this time of the year, older taxpayers will again be receiving another ‘Winter Fuel? payment.   This is indeed a very exciting programme, and I’ll explain it by using a Q & A format:

         Q. What is a ‘Winter Fuel’ payment ?

        A.  It is money that the government will send to taxpayers.

        Q.  Where will the government get this money ?

        A.  From taxpayers

        Q.  So the government is giving me back my own money ?

        A.  Only a smidgen of it

        Q.  What is the purpose of this payment ?

        A.  The plan is for you to use the money to purchase petrol, electricity…..or a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy

        Q.  But isn’t that just stimulating the economy of China ?

        A.  Shut up

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This next one is again related to money matters.   It came from my brother George who suggested I should forward it to Wee Eck prior to the recent referendum!  I do apologize if this offends anyone!


Suppose that once a week, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100.  If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this..

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay £1.
The sixth would pay £3.
The seventh would pay £7.
The eighth would pay £12.
The ninth would pay £18.
And the tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every week and seemed quite happy with the arrangement until, one day, the owner caused them a little problem. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your weekly beer by £20.” Drinks for the ten men would now cost just £80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free but what about the other six men? The paying customers? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share? They realised that £20 divided by six is £3.33 but if they subtracted that from everybody’s share then not only would the first four men still be drinking for free but the fifth and sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fairer to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage. They decided to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so, the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (a 100% saving).

The sixth man now paid £2 instead of £3 (a 33% saving).
The seventh man now paid £5 instead of £7 (a 28% saving).
The eighth man now paid £9 instead of £12 (a 25% saving).
The ninth man now paid £14 instead of £18 (a 22% saving).
And the tenth man now paid £49 instead of £59 (a 16% saving).
Each of the last six was better off than before with the first four
continuing to drink for free.

But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got £1 out of the £20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got £10”

“Yes, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved £1 too.
It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me”
“That’s true” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get £10 back, when I only got £2? The wealthy get all the breaks”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next week the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important – they didn’t have enough money amongst all of them to pay for even half of the bill.

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy and they just might not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

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If you have got this far can I remind you that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held on Friday 28th February at 6 pm in the Thomas Tunnock Ltd premises in Uddingston.

That’s all folks………………. !

Stuart Parker, November 2014

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