Tour – 2013 Border Run

Friday 5th to Monday 8th May

Another change of location and venue this year, away from the South West and over into the borders.  Most of the entrants had been coming to our “Runs” every year since the first one in 2009, so for most of us it was a case of renewing annual friendships before we set off.   Unfortunately, Alex Young’s wife had to call off at the last minute but Alex was accompanied in his magnificent Bentley by Johnnie and Nancy Watson.

Friday Morning and Afternoon:

The start was again from the same antique establishment beside the Clyde’s Garrion Bridge in central Lanarkshire, which was used in 2012. However, not all starters did leave from there, being more convenient for them to meet up with the entourage further down the route.  The full list of starters can be seen below.  Apart from a dull and wet start the rest of the weekend’s weather was sunny!

List of Starters

Bob & Margaret Baillie, Kilmarnock, Jag X Type  Bill & Anne Cuthbertson, Troon,E Type
Ian Smillie & Margaret Smillie, Milngavie, BMW   Bill & Eileen Montgomery, Perth, SLK
Barry & Nancy Crichton, Cumbernauld, Porsche   Walter & Bette Gray, Perth, MX5
 Jimmy & Arlene McInnes, Troon, MGF     Alex & Carol Ann Young, Fenwick, Bentley 8
Stuart & Mairi Parker, Larkhall, Honda Accord      Johnnie & Nancy Watson
Charlie & Netta Young, Strathaven, Ford      Pat & John Smith, Elgin, Vauxhall Corsa
Duncan & Adele Paterson, Newton Mearns, VW   Hugh & Tricia MacKinnon, Houston,  XK 140
Mid & Val Bruce, Annbank, Mini    Ian & Louise Gemmell, Mauchline, Land Rover

 From Garrion we travelled south down the Clyde Valley, though Lanark and on to Hyndford Bridge. Then west towards the M74, having done a slight detour along the old A74, we eventually arrived at Moffat where we stopped for some lunch.  From Moffat, the route took us northeast on the A708.  A couple of weeks earlier there had been a landslide on this road near the Grey Mare’s Tail which caused the road to be completely blocked!  Fortunately, the damage had been repaired in time – what a marvellous driver’s road up to St Mary’s Loch.  We then turned left at the Gordon Hotel on to the B709.  This was another great driver’s road where we met up with the Grays and the Alexanders who had come directly down to join the route from Perth. It was then up to Innerleithen, along to Peebles and finally up the A703 to the village of Eddleston and the Barony Castle Hotel.
Looking forward to a nice weekend for two! (Photograph from Margaret Smillie)

Friday Evening:

The Barony Castle Hotel or as it is now known as, the Mercure Barony Castle, had recently been taken over by new management, made us very welcome.  The staff seemed a bit new as well but were very helpful.  Being an old building the rooms were somewhat difficult to locate.  Apparently, the whole estate was taken over during World War II for the use of the Polish military who were billeted there.  The hotel was comfortable and the food was excellent – which was the main thing.  As usual Bob Baillie had laid on a wine reception prior to dinner – this seemed to be appreciated by all.
Gordon and Karen Clendinning were unable to be with us this year due to Gordon’s previous commitment with Top Gear, I believe!  So we didn’t have the usual Scalextric Competition to keep us away from the bar.  However, at the last minute, Stuart Parker had laid on a Motorsport Photographic Identification Quiz.  This involved a couple of dozens or so images (all taken from our website) mounted on display boards.  Despite the source of the images, heads were being scratched no end.  However, everyone took part and did seem to enjoy this diversion.  The results of the quiz were delayed until the following evening.  Mentioned should be made of the evening’s other entertainment – our chairman’s stories.  Some of which can not be repeated!

Click any image below to enlarge it 

Saturday Morning and Afternoon:

The route instructions for the previous day had been in “Ball and Arrow” style from Garrion right through to Eddleston.  Saturday’s route was to take us east in the direction of Berwick.  However, Bob had decided to use Google Maps as this seemed a fairly straightforward drive!!  The problem was that Google would get the junctions, OK but the street names used seemed to have been taken from a 19th-century street map which resulted in more head-scratching in some towns looking for the correct route!  We drove down to Peebles, east through Innerleithen. bypassing Galashiels, Selkirk and Melrose, north to Earlston (with the changed street names) east on the A6105 to Greenlaw and on to Duns.  This was our first official stop at the Jim Clark Museum.  We were obviously not the only organisation visiting Jim Clark’s Room that day – there were about a dozen or more of various models of Lotus cars, who were on a pilgrimage to the museum.  Fortunately, they were soon to depart but their cars gave us an additional attraction to ponder.    For the few who had never visited this room, it was a truly rewarding experience. It would have taken many hours to examine the whole exhibit, there were so many trophies and much memorabilia. 
 From Duns, it was a fairly short drive down to Kelso and hence to Floors Castle.  This was to be our second official stop of the day.  Prior to entering the Castle itself, most members decided to have a bit of lunch in the Castle’s excellent cafe.
Floors Castle, Kelso in the Spring


Some the of “Run” group outside the Cafe at the Floors Castle in Kelso. (Photograph from Margaret Smillie)


Some the of “Run” group outside the Cafe at the Floors Castle in Kelso. (Photograph from Margaret Smillie)
Thereafter the Castle provided an insight as to how the gentry lived in days gone by.  What a beautiful and sumptuous place it turned out to be.   Like the Jim Clark Room, you could have spent hours looking over the whole place – indoors and out.
By mid-afternoon, most would have had sufficient culture for the day, so headed back to the Barony Castle Hotel via Selkirk, Innerleithen and Peebles to arrive back at base by 5 pm.  Just in time to have a quiet refreshment or perhaps a snooze before dinner later.   Looking at the snaps below, not all seemed to have taken this sensible option !! 


Saturday Evening:

Much the same as the previous evening.  In the absence of another Reception, due to an ongoing Wedding Reception in the hotel, we all went straight in for dinner.  Service was understandably slow due to the Wedding, but the staff coped admirably – and the food was excellent once again.  Following dinner everyone was anticipating the Quiz results – at least some were!  These were duly announced by Stuart Parker.  The Patersons were outright winners with a score of 35 marks out of a possible 50.  Next were Arlene and Jimmy McInnes with 18 marks.  The third equal on 17 marks, was the “Two Numpties” (Pat and John Smith) and the “Smiles”.  On 16 were the “Crazy Crichton’s”, the Cuthbertson’s on 13 and the Youngs on 12.  It should be pointed out that not everyone submitted their entries!!   Adele and Duncan were duly congratulated on their win.  They were each presented with a prize.  The latter had been acquired at great expense from Sainsbury’s in Peebles – the Selkirk Bannock Shop having been closed in Selkirk on Saturday afternoon!

Sunday Morning and Afternoon:

Another beautiful day in the Borders.  Before the off, we all congregated in the Hotel’s forecourt – to say farewell to those who had to get home early and those who were not staying over to Monday morning – and to get our group photos taken for the website scrapbook! 
Sunday morning’s route took us up the A703 towards Edinburgh which we by-passed towards the east and eventually on to the A1.  Unfortunately, we were still using Google’s instructions, which lead to a few entrants becoming a bit lost and having to use their basic navigational skills!  However, they did eventually manage to get back on route. Around Haddington, we veered north towards East Fortune to our destination at the National Museum of Flight at around lunchtime. 
For some, this was the first visit to this Museum which was sited on the World War II aerodrome at East Fortune Farm.  Some of course had been before for driving tests, particularly those run by the MG Car Club in the 50s and 60s.  It was certainly worth the visit, with lots to see, especially the Concorde which had been brought up from Heathrow in bits to be reassembled for display.  Apart from the attraction of Concorde, there were several other hangers scattered around the site containing replicas and originals of aircraft of bygone days.  This really was the conclusion of our weekend Run.  Most people now made their way homewards, while those who had opted to stay over until Monday made their way back to the Hotel in Eddleston.  Actually, there were only three couples staying on – the Gemmells, the Parkers and the Smillies.

Monday Morning Depart: 

Following a very pleasant evening wining and dining, the three remnants of the weekend bade each other farewell and gently made for home.  We were all agreed that it had been another very successful and enjoyable Spring Run and looked forward to a repeat in 2014.
Following a very pleasant evening wining and dining, the three remnants of the weekend bade each other farewell and gently made for home.  We were all agreed that it had been another very successful and enjoyable Spring Run and looked forward to a repeat in 2014.
Thanks too to our photographers, Ann Cuthbertson, Mid Bruce and Margaret Smillie for supplying all the photos.
Stuart S I Parker,  28th May 2013

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