Reunion 2001

Saturday 21st April 2001

Following the decision to hold a get-together of our old friends in motorsport it was decided that it would have to be done properly and be held somewhere that would encourage fellow “veterans” to come along.  There was no question that the Royal Scottish Automobile Club building in Glasgow would be ideal, if available.  The RSAC had not just been the controlling body for Scottish Motor Sport but the building did hold many happy memories for a lot of veterans – sporting events as well as social occasions.  Fortunately, it was available, and as it turned out our Reunion was probably the last major motorsport event to be held there before the building regrettably had to be sold.  This was to be our first venture into the Reunion business.   A major task facing us was getting in touch with the many people who had been involved in motorsport in the previous 40 to 50 years.  There were probably very few people still involved who had started their motorsport career more than 25 years ago, so it was decided that 25 years was a reasonable  “cut off” point to ask people who had been involved before that if they were willing to come along.  Getting addresses was a long and complex process but was eventually done mainly by word of mouth.  The “organisers” (Jimmy McInnes, Alan Carlaw, Stuart Parker, and their wives Arlene, Audrey and Mairi) all came primarily from a rallying background, although Jimmy did have racing connections.  We were very conscious that we had to seek out people from all branches of the sport – not just rally people.  As it turned out we were able to amass well over 400 addresses of people to had taken part in the sport in one capacity or another!  Invitations were sent not just to Scottish participants, but many were sent to other parts of the world!   It was very obvious from the start from the number of letters and emails we received that we had engendered a great deal of interest in our proposed venture.     To add interest and hopefully a bit of competition to the event, the invitations took the form of ASR’s   We suggested that people, if they wished, could bring along memorabilia to display.  Both Mitsubishi Ralliart and Ford UK kindly offered financial assistance which helped considerably to keep costs down.  At the end of the day, we were delighted to sign-in 221 veterans for the event plus partners.  Entrants were divided into Classes according to when they had been involved. We did receive many letters and emails of congratulations for our effort in trying to run such an event. All in all 260 attended the Reunion!   In addition, we received many apologies from Non-Starters.  However, we were delighted to welcome many well-known competitors including Andrew Cowan, Jimmy McRae, John Cleland to mention only three.  We were also pleased to welcome several representatives from Ford UK.
Moira Cameron, Audrey Carlaw, Arlene McInnes and Mairi Parker were in charge of Documentation in the RSAC. foyer, where signing-on took place.  Members were issued with name badges, final instructions and a “Who’s Who” booklet of entrants together with their motorsport history, which each had been asked to submit with their Entry Form.    Alan Carlaw’s photographic quiz caused a fair bit of head-scratching – some of the images were of considerable age!  Many entrants just gave up and got on with the main business of the evening – meeting up with old competitors, or sharing a glass or three with friends.
The Documentation Team
Although we had a ‘schedule for the evening’ it was very soon abandoned –  everyone was too busy reminiscingMany drifted to other parts of the building where things were a bit quieter and other activities such as the Ford Rally simulator could be enjoyed. The Programme contained the schedule for the evening together with a list of Starters, Classes and apologies.  Also attached are a few emails and letters of interest to view.  Entrants were directed upstairs to the reception in the Regent Lounge, there, people like Kenneth Fraser had set up tables with displays of their motor sporting experiences; a large screen showed many films of past races and rallies, including Bobby Crawford’s own cine-films with Bob’s commentary, which produced a fair amount of merriment!
Mairi Parker having a go on the simulator – and did very well!
Ford had kindly brought along their rally simulator which caused much interest and excitement for those willing to try their skills.  Andy Watson was in charge of collecting the entry fee (at £2 a run).   It was quickly obvious to the veteran drivers that experience with computer simulators would have been a great help.   However, James Rae showed that he had lost none of his rallying skills and easily took the winners award.   A magnificent glass encased Model- Ford replica (donated by Ford UK) was presented to James Rae by Andrew Cowan and Jimmy McRae.   James was heard to remark to Jimmy McRae “Let Colin know that this was what I have been reduced to now – rallying on a simulator!”                            Back to top of this Article


Andy Watson who was in charge of the simulator, showing how it should be done.
The Model T given by Ford UK presented to Jimmy McRae as the winner on their simulator.

Eventually, everyone moved downstairs to the main dining area where a buffet supper had been provided.  Towards the end of the meal Clerk of the Course, Jimmy McInnes, at last, welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming to the first Scottish Veterans Reunion.  He hoped that they had found it, not just enjoyable, but a worthwhile experience which perhaps was worth repeating.  Judging by the applause Jimmy received this thought was well received!   Equally, loud applause greeted the late Nigel Kennedy when he went up to collect from Jimmy his prize for being the way-out winner of the Photographic Competition.
An unusually serious Jimmy McInnes welcoming all to what would be our very first Reunion.
Jimmy thanked those who had contributed to the success of the evening :  Alan Carlaw for the production of the programme and the photographic quiz : those who had donated films and display memorablia : Mitsubishi   Ralliart for financial support :  Ford UK, not just for providing their RallySimulator and the magnificent Model T-Ford trophy, but also for their financial assistance : thanks were due also to the other programme advertisers – First Ford of Glasgow,  Arnold Clark, Morrisons Garages Stirling, Tunnocks, Sandy McCracken & Son Ltd., Reliable Vehicles Limited, Ian Skelly and Westcars: and last but not least, the backroom “staff” who made the whole thing come to fruition.
Jimmy McInnes addressing the company. Jimmy McRae standing on his right
After supper people continued to talk and talk; a few still tried their hand at the simulator – but eventually, we all drifted off home having enjoyed a most memorable evening.
Footnote: After the dust had settled and sums had been added up, we found we had had a surplus which, along with the money from the simulator entries, enabled us to donate £475 to the Red Cross.


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Programme Front Cover

       ……….The Evening’s Schedule………

                18.30  –  19.45    Documentation and Scrutineering, in the Foyer of RSAC
19.30  –  22.00    Competition
19.45     ‘Welcome’ in Regent Room . . .  . . . . .J.W. McInnes
19.30  –  23.30    Video Show in Regent Lounge (upstairs)
20.00  –  22.00    Buffet
22.30     Prizegiving, in Regent Room
23.30     Parc Ferme opens for release of Zimmers, Wheelchairs, white sticks, etc.
Ford Half Buck Simulator Competition
Entry to this Competition, which is separate from the main event, is by donation of £2 per ‘drive’, the proceed of which will go to a local Charity.  This competition will run throughout the evening.  A prize, donated by Ford Motor Company who kindly provide the Simulator, will be awarded to the lucky (?) winner.



2001 ASRs


Entrants and Classes




……..Couldn’t Manage

We received a number of apologies to the ‘Invitation’ we sent out to ‘Veterans’ of Scottish Motor Sport. Below are some we received. Most have had had previous engagements such as holidays or were unable to come for other reasons. Virtually all expressed their regret in not being able to attend, but wished every success for the evening.
Ian Birrell, Helensburgh
Jenny Birrell, Shalstone, Bucks
Graham Bisset, Kincardine
Bill Borrowman, Edinburgh
Arnold Clark, Glasgow
Bill Clarkson, Balfron
Geoff Duncan, Bridge of Weir
Barry Filer, Glasgow
Graham Gauld, Claviers, France
Sandy Gentles, Perth
Ian Hawthorn, Uplawmoor
Colin Hope, Helensburgh
Ian Hutchison, Newton Mearns
Frank Inglis, Largs
Tony Luck, Perth
Alan Lundholm, Torrance
Hugh McCaig, Penicuik
George McCartney, Motherwell
Gray Mickel, Moscow, Ayrshire
Bill Millar, Glasgow
Tony Mitchell, Strathaven
Ian D. Muir, County Clare, Eire
Andy Munn, Glasgow
Mervyn Nicol, Perth
Ian Preston, Clarkston
George Ritchie, Newton Mearns
Ian Stewart, Crieff
Jackie Stewart,O.B.E.,  Milton Keynes
David Thomson, Duns
Gerry Ward, Kilmacolm




 A few quotes from emails and letters received

‘What a shame that we now qualify for the Veterans Tag!…….
………………… Graham Lees, Lendelfoot
‘……a good idea to reminisce about Motor Sport when it was a Sport and not big business. I couldn’t afford a trailer and tow car when I was rallying!!!!’
………………………Fred Hibberd, Dundee
‘………..good idea to have such a reunion before we Old Boys pop off’
…………Ronnie Dalgleish, Auchterarder
‘make sure there is parking space for my zimmer, that the name tags are in 48pt type!” type!’     ………………...Wendy Jones, Edinburgh
‘……….. most prestigious event of the Motor Sport Calendar’
……………….. Alex Houliston, Barrhead
‘What a splendid idea! Almost respectability at last!!’
……………………...Ian Smillie, Milngavie
‘………McInnes will remember the night in North Berwick or was it Dunbar, when Ella helped to debag Jimmy!!’
…………… Bobby Crawford, Milnathorp
‘……………….a blast from the past, on any scale!!’
……………….Willie Crawford, Lasswade
‘…..have a mega evening; my regards to anyone who remembers the ‘Good’ years in Scottish Motorsport and my antics!!!’
………………Jenny Birrell, Shalstone, Bucks
‘What a great idea………..could be the best event in the 2001 calendar’
……………..George Sangster, Montrose
‘Club events were good fun in those days, with a light-hearted approach to motor sport generally, apart from the occasional back-biting!        Alas how things have changed…… recent Silverstone vs Brands Hatch drama certainly taught me a thing or two. In contrast your reunion will be a landmark of sanity, and I wish you well with it.’
………………………...Ian Stewart, Crieff
‘………getting my lightweight, racing zimmer ready for scrutineering!’
………………………Donald Brown, Cults
‘……..Less of the Veterans Please.  Look forward to a good night’
……………………John Cleland, Melrose
‘Reading the names alone has raised nostalgic memories – Oh Happy Days’
……………………..Andy Munn, Glasgow
‘great idea…….look forward to an evening of hilarity and boasting.’
………………….Fred Lobnitz, Stewarton