VSMA Spring Run 2022
Friday 22nd – Monday 25th April 2022
Based at the Old Manor Hotel
A total of 22 attended the event. Around 7 other couples were unable to attend and had to pull out near to the event mainly due to illness.
The start was at Caulders Garden Centre, Cumbernauld on Friday morning. Breakfast roll, tea/coffee was provided as part of the entry fee.
A route book containing all the routes for the weekend was issued. The routes were drawn up by Nancy Crichton using the ball and arrow system.
The first section was between Caulders and Lundin Links approximately 90mls stopping at Sterling Mills for lunch. The route ran through Kilsyth, over the Tak-ma-doon road, through the Carron Valley to Fintry, onto Kippen , Callendar, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan and along the Ochil Hills to Sterling Mills.
After lunch the route wandered through Dollar, Yetts of Muchart, Milnathorp, Strathmilgo, passed Faulkland and onto the Old Manor Hotel.
The usual Drinks and Nibbles Reception was enjoyed by all as we looked over the Forth from our special event room which would be exclusively for us all weekend.
On Saturday we visited the Secret Bunker used during the Cold War a short journey of 13mls from the Hotel. It was a very interesting experience. This bunker was built in 1953 in response to the threat of nuclear war with the USSR. Government and Military commanders would have run the country from there if Nuclear War had broken out!!
We then journeyed on to Kellie Castle (a NTS property) which was very close by for lunch.
Kellie Castle is a Victorian style Castle the oldest parts dating back to the 14th Century, home at one time to the daughter of Robert the Bruce. The interior was refurbished in the late 19th Century by the Lorimer Family.
After an excellent lunch there was a tour of the Castle and Gardens.
On Sunday we made our way from the Hotel through St Andrews to the Discovery Centre and V&A Museum in Dundee, a journey of approximately 25mls. Entrants had time to visit the V&A exhibition before moving to the Discovery Centre for lunch (excellent soup and sandwiches). Lunch was taken on the 1st floor gallery which had an excellent view of the ship.
After lunch a tour of the discovery was available to us. The Discovery was built in Dundee because they had a great deal of experience in building whaling ships. The ship was used to travel to Antarctica to conduct scientific research and make magnetic surveys in Antarctica. After a five month journey Antarctica was reached in January 1902.
Pictures of the Discovery
After the Discovery we moved a short distance to tour Verdant Works, a restored mill which was used for Jute production, the original buildings dating back to 1833. Jute is a natural fibre obtained from plants and used during the 19th Century to manufacture among other things sacking, ropes, carpets and tents. The raw material came from Bangladesh and was processed in this mill from the 1860s to the end of the 1800s. The highlight of the tour was the 82yr old female volunteer who had worked on the sight following in footsteps of her parents and grandparents.
On Monday, after a most enjoyable few days the entrants made their way home a few pounds heavier due to the excellent food they had had at the Hotel. All entrants were most complementary about the runs and the accommodation which had been arranged for them by Secretary, Nancy and Chairman, Bob.
It was agreed to provisionally book the Hotel for the Spring Run 2023.
Pictures: Margaret Smillie
Report: Barry Crichton