Tour – 2014 Spring Run

Friday 25th to Monday 28th April

Entrants for this year’s Spring Run were around the same number as the previous two years.  The bulk came from the central belt but two couples came from Perthshire and one from Morayshire.  Keep scrolling down, or click an item to go straight to it.

List of Entrants


Morning & Afternoon


Scalextric Competition


Dunrobin Castle

Falconry Display

Scalextric Competition



Highland Wildlife Park

Cairngorm Mountain Railway



List of Entrants

Bob & Margaret Baillie, Jaguar X Type, Mauchline    Ian & Margaret Smillie, BMW, Milngavie
Mid & Val Bruce, Jaguar X Type, Annbank   Tom & Marion Bicket, Audi TT, Symington
Charlie & Netta Young, Ford Kuga, Strathaven   Barry & Nancy Crichton, Mazda MX5,  Cumbernauld
Johnnie & Jay Thomson, Ford Kuga, Hamilton   Bill & Eileen Montgomery, Mercedes SLK, Perth
Stuart & Mairi Parker, Honda Accord Larkhall   Jimmy & Arlene McInnes, MGTF, Troon
Walter & Bette Gray, Mazda MX5, Perth   Billy & Anne Cuthbertson, BMW, Troon
Pat & John Smith, Vauxhall CorsaElgin    Hugh & Tricia MacKinnon, Porsche 944, Houston
George & Carol Cooper, Porsche 911, Kilsyth   Gordon & Karen Clendinning, Mazda, New Galloway

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Friday Morning and Afternoon

Lomond Shore
Loch Lomond from Lomond Shores
The three couples from the north made their own way directly to Grantown-on-Spey, as did the Crichtons and the Coopers. The others had gathered at Lomond Shores early on Friday morning.  Before starting off we had coffee – the men in the cafe facing you in the image above, while the women felt the coffee would be better in Jenners!
Click an image to enlarge
We left the Lomond shores area just after 10 o’clock making our way north via the Trossachs.  This was a similar route to the one taken in 2011 but we were given an option when we reached Fernan on Loch Tay.  Either we could go via Pitlochrie or directly to the House of Bruar.  We could either have lunch in Pitlochry or in the House of Bruar.  Either way, we were scheduled to depart from Bruar on our final section to Grantown-on-Spey just after 2.30 pm. This took us through Kingussie, Kincraig, Feshiebridge, Boat of Garten and finally after 63.3 miles the Grant Arms Hotel.  All in all since leaving Lomond Shores we had travelled 160 miles – so we are all a bit tired and thirsty!
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Friday Evening

The Hotel apparently was fully-booked and as a result, we were asked to dine earlier than planned. Prior to that, there was a Reception for the entrants in a room normally reserved for the “Bird People”.  Actually, we had this room for our exclusive use over the whole weekend. This allowed Gordon Clendening to prepare his Scalextric set-up in good time for the later competition(s).  As you might expect, by the time it was time to go up for dinner everyone was in fine fettle.  Thankfully, the meal was up to the Hotel’s excellent standard.
Reception and Dinner 
After dinner, we adjourned to the “Bird Room” to relax and have coffee, etc.  A raffle was also held which was won by Marion Bicket and Tricia MacKinnon.  Pat Smith was a runner-up and was presented with a Paul Swift driving experience T-shirt.
Coffee and Quiz 

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On Friday evening Bob divided everyone into 2 teams, Men versus Women, 10-a-side.  The selection of who played who was done at random.  Initiall,y each pair had to do 10 minutes but this was taking too long, so this was reduced to 5 minutes per pair.
Friday Evening’s Scalextrix – Gordon Clendinning setting up the track 
Scalextric Competition – the Women v. Men 
The Men were eventually declared victors having recovered from being 4 laps down at one stage!

Saturday Morning and Afternoon

Bob and Margaret Baillie had composed a motorsport quiz which entrants had to complete during the day and hand in after dinner in the evening.  To say it was difficult would be an understatement.  Your Secretary could only manage one of the questions, and even then not quite sure if he had the right answer.  Bob had arranged a visit to Dunrobin Castle, beyond Golspie on the A9.  As this would be a 172-mile round trip, we set out just after 10 am.  Fortunately, the weather was kind – not sunny but dry and a bit cold.  Having by-passed Inverness we continued up the A9 over the Dornoch Firth. Most people stopped en route to the castle for coffee and snacks before we reached Dunrobin.
Dunrobin Castle Visit 
Dunrobin Castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century.  Over the years it has been greatly extended, seen fires, been a military hospital during the wars, a boarding school for a few years but now is back in the family hands once more.  Fortunately, the castle and gardens are open to the public for part of the year.  We were not permitted to take a photograph of the interior which was a pity, as it must be one of the most beautiful and lavish interiors of any noble house in Scotland, let alone Britain. I would recommend a visit to anyone who manages to be in the area.  They would not be disappointed. After the tour of the interior, we had lunch within the castle.
Included in our visit to Dunrobin was a display of Falcons and other raptors by the Head Falconer of the estate.  This was held in the afternoon in the gardens.
Dunrobin Falconry Display
Following the display of falcons and owls, we all made our way back to the Grant Arms, looking forward to an evening meal.

Saturday Evening

The format was similar to Friday evening although we went straight to dinner. The earlier quiz results were in, the winners being Charlie Young and Johnnie Thomson. As usual, we were entertained by Chairman Jimmy with an annual joke.  
After Dinner, the second Scalextric competition was held.  This time there were two competitions, one for the ladies and one for the gents.  These were much more serious events. Lots of needle matches.
Saturday Night’s Scalextric Competitions – Ladies first
………and now the Men  
The Ladies final was won by Arlene McInnes from Mairi Parker while the men’s competition was won by Bill Montgomery from Hugh MacKinnon.  Interestingly, the ladies final was between two ex-rally competitors, while Bill and Hugh had spent their youth racing!

Sunday Morning and Afternoon

Sunday morning saw the bulk of the entrants booking out of the Hotel as they would be heading home after the two events Bob had arranged.  Jimmy and Arlene McInnes had decided as they were up in the highland anyway, to have another 5 days exploring the west, taking in Skye and Uist.  They made for Applecross as their first stop on Sunday afternoon.  Bob had arranged a visit to the Wildlife Park, south of Aviemore in the morning and a re-visit to the Cairngorm Funicular Railway in the afternoon.  But firstly was prizegiving and the “Group Photograph”!                                     Back to top of this article
Presentation of Prizes 
It was a fairly short drive down to the Wildlife park via Aviemore. As you can see from the photographs there was quite a lot to see apart from monkeys, tigers, deer and eagles.
Highland Wildlife Park 
After the Wildlife Park visit only a few decided to make the return back to Grantown via the Cairngorm Funicular railway.  The others were making their way home, so farewells were said. Actually it was only those who had opted to stay for the Sunday night who went on to the railway. Unfortunately the view from the top of railway was no clearer than the previous visit.
Cairngorm Funicular visit  

 Monday Morning, 28th April

After a quiet dinner on Saturday night, most people had had an early night. The seven couples who stayed-on left quite soon after breakfast.  Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the weekend.  I am pleased to report that £350 was donated to The Glasgow University Trust via Gordon`s charity Maximum Attack.  It was agreed that the 2015 event should return to Grantown-on-Spey.  Thanks are due to Bob and Margaret Baillie, Mid and Val Bruce for once again laying on such an enjoyable weekend.  Many, many thanks.
My thanks are also to the photographers who kindly sent in the above images.  I have used about 152 Photos out of a total of 282 sent in!  So many thanks, Nancy Crichton, Margaret Smillie, Pat Smith and Charlie Young.
Stuart Parker                                                                    17th May 2014

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