26 members in 13 cars attended this well organised event, starting off at Garrion Bridges Garden and Antiques Centre at 11.00am destination Hetland Hall Hotel, Carrutherstown, Dumfries and Galloway. After suitable sustenance we set off on a 103 mile run to Heltand Hall Hotel.
Signing on at Garrion Bridge Garden Centre.
This most interesting Run had been created by Bob Baillie and Middleton Bruce with no doubt two or three runs to check everything.
We were supplied by Bob and Mid direction sheets using the familiar Ball and Arrow system featuring signposts and inter and total mileages. The route took us on most interesting A and B roads which were a pleasure to drive on. The route took us through Lanark, Biggar, Peebles, Moffat and Lockerbie with notes on food and toilet stops a thoughtful and necessary part of any route directions.
On arrival at Hetland Hall the group checked in and familiarised themselves with the Hotel before meeting in the bar for pre-dinner drinks.
Dinner looked interesting and the food turned out to be excellent.
After dinner we retired to the “Lounge Bar” for tea and coffee. Chairman Bob suggested that a visit to the Devil’s Porridge Museum nearby would be a good choice for the next day.
The Devil’s Porridge Museum commemorates H.M. Factory Gretna which was the largest munitions factory during the First World War. The Factory was built to alleviate the significant lack of ammunition, “The Shell Crisis” experienced by British soldiers fighting in France in 1915. It was agreed by the whole group after their visit that it is a “must” if in the area.
The “House Keeping” arrangements finished by chairman Bob producing his guitar and a sing song ended the evening.
Monday 20th September
Some of the party managed to visit the Porridge Museum in the afternoon of the 20th as restricted numbers meant we could not all be accommodated. Another area of interest which would be visited in the morning was Caerlaverock Castle and Nature reserve. Only the foundations of the Castle remain and it is thought to be one of the earliest stone built Castles in Scotland, around 1300 and surrounded by a double moat and replica trebuchet. Unfortunately due to falling masonry the Castle was closed during our time there.
The adjoining nature reserve proved to be an interesting alternative featuring various viewing areas which gave a very good view of barnacle geese, the entire population of Svalbard, Norway which winter on the Solway, a most interesting visit.
Most of the group had booked for one overnight stay, some for two and Nancy and Barry Crichton and Ian and Margaret Smillie for three nights.
A vote of thanks must be given to Bob Baillie and Mid Bruce for arranging the route and visits of interest. Good byes were wished to those leaving after breakfast and with wishes and a reminder that we will come together again at the Spring Run in 2022, which will be published on the Web Site soon.