Another great weekend in Grantown enjoyed by 30 members and partners. Numbers were down this year as a result of clashing with other events, particularly a Knockhill Race meeting. Unfortunately, Ian and Margaret Smillie had to pull out the event at the last minute due to family illness.
Bob Baillie had given us a very interesting route up to the official start at the House of Bruar on Friday morning taking us through Crieff, Amulree, Aberfeldy, Tummel Bridge then via Killiecrankie through Blair Atholl to the House of Bruar.
After lunch, we started off in no particular order making our way north to Dalwhinnie, Kingussie, Feshiebridge, Coylumbridge and hence via Boat of Garten to Grantown-on-Spey. The route certainly brought many happy memories of previous events such as the Highland Three day and many Scottish Rallies.
Start from House of Bruar
As usual, we were based in the Grant Arms Hotel where the food and accommodation were even better than last year. Friday finished with a cocktail party followed by dinner and then the serious business of Maximum Attack or as we knew it, the Highland Speed Challenge!
…. saw us off to the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular Railway. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the foot of the mountain we could see the railway disappearing into the clouds! Apart from being cloudy, it was freezing! Anyway, we all boarded the train for the top where we disembarked straight into the Center and Restaurant. A few brave souls made for the outside but were some to join us pretty quickly! The view from the top – nil! After a wander around the centre and a welcome cup of coffee, we joined the next descending train. The trip was certainly unusual – a pity about the weather.
Cairngorm Mountain Railway
Then we made our way to the new Culloden Battle Center which stood only feet from the battle itself. After lunch in the Center Restaurant, we were given a guided tour of the centre and the battlefield itself.
The guide was excellent and very knowledgeable – providing us with many interesting facts and figures. To those not familiar with details of the battle, and that would include most of the veterans present, he pointed out that the vast majority of the Government army under the Duke of Cumberland were lowland Scots and NOT English. It was not so much as a battle more of a massacre.
Back at the Hotel, it was quickly getting ready for a few drinks and then dinner.
A few snaps taken during and after dinner
After dinner, it was down to the very serious business of the Highland Speed Challenge which Gordon and Karen Clendinning had set up in the dining room. The layout was a bit different from last year and possibly more challenging. Perhaps this might have explained why some members declined to compete!! In addition to the Scalextric competition, Gordon had arranged a “Name the Rally Driver” competition which proved to baffle most – including a few well-known rally folk!
The Highland Speed Challenge – Scalextric track
On Sunday morning, after breakfast, Bob Baillie presented the prizes as follows:
“Name the Rally Driver Competition”
Won by the team of Susan Gould and David Fotheringham
“Highland Speed Challenge” sponsored by Guyson and The Macallan.
Gentlemen: 1st Equal – in a time of 1 minute 13 seconds, Duncan Paterson and Bob Baillie
Duncan won on a timed run-off (Bob blew it! He said he was too excited!)
Ladies: 1st – in a time of 1 minute 14 seconds, Susan Gould 2nd Equal – in a time of 1 minute 15 seconds, Mairi Parker and Marion Bicket
After breakfast, most people made for home but a few stayed on for another night and a bit of sightseeing before making for home on Monday morning.
From the proceeds of the Highland Speed Challenge plus the generous donations from Guston, Macallan and Hugh MacKinnon we were able to donate a grand total of £403 to Glasgow University Trust Fund which operates as The Paul O`Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre. Members will be interested to know that to date Gordon Clendinning’s charity Maximum Attack has raised in excess of £18,000 – well done Gordon.
Of course, many thanks are due to Bob Baillie, the Clerk of the Course, Chief Marshal and altogether general factotum, for all his hard work before and during the event. Thank,s Bob.
All in all, it was again a very enjoyable Highland Tour. Something that those present certainly wished to be repeated in 2011.
List of Entrants
Kenny Allen & Kenny Gunn Bob & Margaret Baillie Tom & Marion Bicket
Mid & Val Bruce Gordon & Karen Clendinning David Fotheringham & Susan Gould
Ian & Louise Gemmell Walter & Bette Gray Jimmy & Arlene McInnes
Bill & Eileen Montgomery Stuart & Mairi Parker Duncan & Adele Paterson
Ian & Margaret Smillie Pat & John Smith Graham & Margaret Wright