Blast from the Past- (but very oily)

Well I never-

Background

Many, many years ago, round about 1974 the West of Scotland Vintage Motorcycle Club was founded.

One of the Founder Members was “Slippery Jim Dale” named NOT because he was slow in paying, but oil seemed to adhere to him and his bikes, especially his tyres, in a remarkable fashion- AND not only clean oill! He was, however, very reluctant to part with anything motorcycle related.

His bikes were fondly known as mini Torry Canyons, despite their tyres’ teflon properties, Jim managed to fling them round corners as if they were Michelin Road Pilots, not Dunlop Universals

Jim, unfortunately passed away some 4 years ago, however, his brother Jake, noticed our web page, and as a result communicated with us, and some of the email correspondence is printed below-

My brother Jimmy Dale was a founder member of the WSVMCC  and after his death 4 years ago I have inherited a few boxes of slides illustrating many of the activities in which he took part (vintage runs, gatherings, camping trips etc.) Although I was a keen motorcyclist myself for many years these mean little to me as I have lived and worked in England for most of my life. The slides are all of quite good quality and could be of some interest to current members of your club who will doubtless be able to recognize many of the ‘bikes and owners given an opportunity to do so e.g. at a Club Meeting night. I will be delighted to forward these slides to you for whatever use they may be to you as archive material or just for general interest in old bikes (e.g. there are quite a few good close up shots of engine/gearbox details) If you are interested please contact me and I shall arrange to post these items to whomever would be able to take them into their care)

Reply-

Delighted to get your e-mail

We would be very pleased to have these photographs, since we have been building up a lengthy gallery

I remember Jim well. He was Chairman when I joined in the 70s. there are a number of us old yins still getting our legs over a m/c seat & enjoying ourselves

Very nice to hear from you

Best Regards

John

 

Hello John ; and ‘How do you do!’          T

Thank you for your response to my earlier ‘E-mail’ and I will shortly arrange to dispatch the slides to your care via the Post Office’s cheapest parcel post but I’ll keep the receipt of Posting until they arrive safely.

They come ‘free and gratis’ to you and your club mates and I hope you enjoy poring over them and working out the ‘who where and when’  relating to them  [some have  Jimmy’s scribble hints as to these details but most will need a bit of guessing. I’ve been through them superficially and weeded out some of Jimmy’s non motorbike subjects (there were not too many!) but you may still come across an odd one or two.

 I attended quite a few of the Club’s early meetings in the Uplawmoor pub (when it was still a pub) with Jimmy, Ian MacKay, Willie Bates, Norrie Provan etc. and I was back in the village and stayed in the ‘Hotel’  and marvelled at how roomy and posh it now is downstairs with everything having been moved around and improved.

 My greetings to you and all your fellow clubmen and as it may be a day or two before you receive the slides so to keep you amused till then, I’ve attached a bit of light-hearted motorcycling scribbling that I wrote some time ago just before Jimmy died. (We used to exchange these bits of scribble as a means of keeping his mental facilities busy while the Parkinson’s slowly took over much of his physical mobility.) ‘The Flight of the Angels’ is only the first two chapters of a seven chapter yarn which develops into an even dafter tale. The bit I’ve sent is all based on fact as I knew and worked with ‘Willie’ the hero on a local farm for a while. The next five chapters is pure invention of an ‘overheaded cylinder heid’ but if you’re interested I can forward it to you in due course.

                Meanwhile, keep enjoying the bikes, they give you a lot of fun in life!

                                John (Jake) Dale.

We are delighted to hear from Jake and his very kind offer to forward the slides. Hopefully, Grumpy, AKA Norrie, will attempt to convert to digital and in due course add to our Archived Discs. Meantime, hopefully again, he’ll include a few samples on our web page which will focus on some faces familiar to us some 40 years ago! Go to it Norrie & thanks again, Jake, when you read this

 

Camping Weekend 4-6th October 2019

This is a regular event usually organised by Bill Davies and his best pal Jimmmy Mac

This year however, numbers were seriously down despite the event being centred around the official 300th Anniversary of Belhaven Breweries. I say 300th, but it is known that a brewery existed there possibly from the 13th Century-  those drunken Monks ye ken.

Talking of drunks, your representatives at this particular event were forced to keep sampling the latest array of beers. They’re really on the ball here with a wide variety to suit most tastes. Our latest victim, Dave had the effrontery to go to the shop and select some samples to take away. well you should have seen what they threw  at him and said, you can have this £xxx worth for a FIVER!!!.

At the end 4 stayed at the Hillside Hotel, while the 2 hardy anals camped.

Dinner for all at the Hillside was first class, and a very good wine for a bargain price.

The next day, sore heads or no, Dave headed off home to save his fab model train layout from the impending visit of a certain grandson, while the remaining five went on a tour of the area propelled, ever so gently by Bill.

We went along the North Sea Coast, stopping first of all in Duns at the newly refurbished Jim Clark Museum. What a great place, small, but beautifully formed.

His history graphically illustrated together with a Lotus Cortina and a Grand Prix Racing Lotus.

Thence to Eyemouth, MASSIVE fish & chips, Sally seal waiting for victuals in the harbour, a sign on a boat succinctly letting you know what the fishermen thought of the EU

A tour by St Abbs (throwing it down) and then we  passed  Torness Power Station and off home to Dunbar

Dinner at the Hillside again first class and a more seemly bed time.

Sunday was a hellish wet start, especially for John Mitchell, our only biker, although with heated bum seat and a 65″ screen., and hunners of ponies at his disposal which he could hardly use.

A quick break at Dobbies Edinburgh & off home instead of the scheduled stop at the Shale Museum in Livingstone- perhaps another time

Not many but great chums and NO HASSLE- fab, fab, fab.

 

Thanks to Bill & Jim


 

Willie remembering the added cost of his front tyre some 2 years ago, when an over-enthusiastic Yellow Peril, (who admitted to hating motorcyclists), booked Willie for having about 4 mms of his front tyre over the yellow line. B-stardo!!! (not Willie)

Irish Weekend 5th – 8th September 2019

Yes we now, at WSVMCC, start on the Thursday & stay at The Dunsilly Hotel ahead of the main event.

The following text has been WRITTEN by George Shilliday, owing to technical problems and wearily TYPED by JG, since he is an all round Good Guy!

Friday morning was cooler with the threat of a shower, but still a pleasant day to go on tour as we set off from the Dunsilly Hotel. Numbers were down a wee bit from last year but it was still a quality field. Tony & Chris had organised the route (past a a notorious accident black spot!)  Editor’s Note-  this sarcastic entry was written by a certain Chairman who was “mounted” by another certain Chairman at this very spot. As a result, the  former has always found it painful to go for number 2s!) 

We then travelled northwards to the first stop at Cloughmills.

We got a sharp shower near Armoy and blustery conditions along the North coast with plenty of white horses showing out to sea.

It was much calmer in Magherabuoy House Hotel, recovering from the bustle of The Open- great lunch and nice to meet up with Linda.

The afternoon run was down the West side of Lough Neagh. Stopped at Portglenone Marina, where the lads were able to do a puncture repair for (who else but) Colin- not been a good year. There was quite a bit of traffic about as we neared our destination but we arrived on schedule at 5 pm.

The evening meal was a three course buffet, very tasty and that theme continued all weekend.

Saturday saw us head South West, led by Stephen and Emma through scenic countryside to Glaslough, an historic village beside Castle Leslie, now a classy hotel and event venue, where Paul McCartney and Heather Mills were married-  and how did that work out???

Ray/Roy opened his pub, and some had refreshments and used the facilities.

Onwards then through more scenic rural countryside to Monaghan, Clones and past Barry McGuigans house to the boat club house for lunch; courtesy of Geraldine and the Mad Dog Club, It was great food with a lakeside view, but no boat coming alongside with more beer this time!!!

The revenue from the lunch is going to two cancer charities along with the proceeds from other events the Mad Dog Club has promoted.

Saturday night’s Dinner was excellent, but just too much food for many.

Johnny’s & George’s speeches were well appreciated by all and it was good to have President Jack and Roy back with us-  also visitors David and soon to be married Kyle and Rhubekka, and Sam and Liz were congratulated on their forthcoming marriage.

After dinner we had some music in the bar and a little dancing demo by some. There was plenty of banter but we were able to retire at a reasonable hour.

On Sunday we were to head in the general direction of the ferry but also do a tour of East Tyrone and North Armagh; on the way we had a short visit to the Argory, a National Trust property. Then off to Moy and Blackwatertown followed by a comfort stop at Richill.

We then motored through Tandragee and Gilford to Brownlow House, Lurgan for lunch. This historic venue has been renovated following an arson attack (I blame the Irish Backstop and Brexit). It is now a well used tourist attraction and event venue. It was appropriate for Kyle and Rhubekka as well as Sam and Liz, that some wedding decorations were still in place from the previous day!

We made up a bit of time there and then scooted down the M1 in good time for the ferry

Altogether a great weekend, great company and good weather for the 45th exchange visit. Thanks to George and David for Photos

 

Roasty roasty Sunday 25th August 2019

By Jings, the film melted in my mobile camera, so it did, as can be seen. Rubbish fotos, wish Grumpy had been there.

Wish him well, we need him. On the mend, so he tells me.

Met at Gouldings which was fine & cool, but eventually, we emerged into the Sahara and couldn’t wait to get moving.

Thru Lanark & straight ahead via Peebles to stop in the shade in Innerleithan

The roads were remarkably empty and once over the hills we turned right at Jarrow (because the road to Sami Lyngs was closed, or so I thought- big trouble)

Tibie Shiels was covered from head to toe with foreign motorbikes from England (they should have been watching the Test match instead). So we gave it the thumbs down and hoofed it to Moffat.

Here it was busy. we tried to have lunch at the Balmoral, our usual preference but were not prepared to wait 1½ to 2 hours for lunch!

3 doors away was an alternative & while not up to our usual standard, sufficient unto the day.

Returned home as far as poss,via the A74, which is always more pleasant than the the M74

Grand day, shower calling!

Ronnie’s Run Sunday 21st July 2019

Forecast of Rain, Hail, Pestilence, Hurricanes & a Plague of Rats did not keep our Ronnie down. Neither the exaggerated news of his premature death,

Surprisingly, we met at Tarbet for a very hearty breakfast. Considering the forecast, a goodish turnout, including one of our new Members, Dave Mac

Given the conditions we decided to curtail the distance covered & headed via Crianlarich, past the Green Welly and very much enjoyed the “challenging” road to Dalmally & thence to Inveraray

We were obviously quite early, nevertheless some seemed to be starving some 2 hours post breakfast!

A couple returned by the A83 & A82 & enjoyed the DRY roads & weather, and lack of traffic.

The bulk (well named), travelled by Dunoon & Sheila’s Diner & got absolutely drookit-  bloody shame- what!

Nonetheless, a great day out, and well done to Johnny & Cathie for coming, he, having travelled about 10,000 kilometres thru Spain & France, returning barely 2 days earlier

 

Nuther Fab Sunday Run- Where Was You? 14th July 2019

Again a great forecast. You would think so called bikers would take advantage of the chance to have a “Grand Day Out”

However, those that did had a wunderbar day. Starting at GoUldings in the Clyde Valley for breakfast. Thereafter by Lanark, Biggar (hellish roadworks) to Peebles for a wee stretch of the old pins. Really busy. Few empty shops, which is reassuring to see.

Then we travelled to Innerlethen & over the hills, past Traquair House to Jarrow. 

We stopped at the Green Welly of the South- Tibie Shiels cafe. Here we met  other Club Members-  real bikers!

We really enjoyed the road to Moffat, which has been resurfaced & the sheep by this time of the year didn’t even open their eyes, never mind move!

We ate a first class lunch at the Balmoral Hotel in their garden. They even had Lamb Shanks on the menu. Spent time relaxing there.

Off home in due couse by the A74 as far as possible. A clear road and no hassle.

Terrific Tarbert Sunday 7th July 2019

You lot- you certainly missed one of if not the best Sunday run we ever had. Certain anonymous parties did not arrive- isn’t that right Les- but in the end 5 of us had a whale of a day; we’re still smiling over it.

Setting off from Milton, our usual fix in Tarbet & then via remarkably empty roads through Inveraray & then rubbing in the new tyres to Lochgilphead and then to Tarbert.

This was the second day of their annual festival, as advised by Eoghainn, who joined us there with his new (second hand) acquisition. A lovely Triumph, so it is.

A lively & lovely view of all the activities there & after a reasonable lunch, we decided to take the 2 ferries to the Mainland.

The first from Tarbert to Portavadie followed by a great run to Sheila’s Cafe near Dunoon. The road surfaces were particularly good all the way- magic.

So Sheila’s did not disappoint & as we got on the ferry waiting for us- everything fell into place, time-wise.

We went our separate ways in Gourock,

We can call the Run a RESULT

 

Midsummer Madness Inverurie 21-23rd June 2019

Starbuck’s, Milton beside the Esso station (where big Derek DIDN’T take on petrol; more anon…. !!) was our starting point and we set sail after breakfast, just after 10.00

Balloch, A811, Thornhill, Doune then a quick comfort stop at the public toilets in Bridge of Allan.

Dunblane, Kinbuck, Braco, Muthill to Crieff, then the Sma’ Glen and Amulree to Dunkeld, where Derek NOW decides to branch off to get petrol. However, Norrie (as back-marker) and he were held back slightly by traffic and as Derek branched off for this late fuel, he told Norrie to turn right over the bridge in Dunkeld, as “that’s the main road to Meigle”…… The rest of the group waited for at least 15 minutes before I went back for a look and met Derek coming over the bridge, sans Norrie.

He was then instructed to go and find / shepherd / placate said errant Norrie and accompany him to the lunch stop at the Joinery Café, Meigle. Some 5-10 minutes after the main group arrived there, an exceedingly “Grumpy” Norrie arrived, followed a few minutes later by Derek, who couldn’t catch him up, apparently.

Once Norrie was defused and becalmed about what he thought was a lack of corner marking, he agreed never to take random directions from the middle of the pack again and then proceeded to polish off an enormous lunch, i.e. normal for him. Normal (Grumpy !) service then was resumed !!

From Meigle, east by Glamis to Forfar through the farmlands of Strathmore then through Aberlemno, Brechin and Trinity, where we cut under the main road north and headed for the impressive archways over the road in Edzell and then Fettercairn.

Once through the village we then started climbing to the highest point of our journey North crossing the famous Cairn o’ Mount road. We had another comfort stop on the outskirts of Banchory at the Bridge of Feugh, where we stood for a while on the bridge itself, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the white water of the river below and conversing (or trying to !) with some of the locals; the Doric language takes a bit of getting acquainted with….(Loons, quines, fit likes and furry boots, etc etc ?!?! )

Leaving the car park, we crossed back over the bridge and through Banchory and Ramoir and then the villages of Echt and Dunecht

(dodgy West of Scotland/Ayrshire joke – Q. Whaur de ye find Echt    A. In atween Seeven and Nine…)

Turning left after Dunecht took us back into the countryside and soon we were in Kemnay and a few miles further on, Inverurie and the Kintore Arms hotel.

Lovely hotel, very friendly staff and good food some bar action then a reasonably early night for all.

Following breakfast on Saturday, we left the hotel at 09.30, heading East through Whiterashes, Newmachar, Kingseat and Belhelvie, before joining the coast road and heading North.

Many different forms of hand and finger salutes were offered to Trump’s golf resort just North of Balmedie which we passed without further incident.

We passed through the towns of Newburgh (past the world renowned RSPB area) and Cruden Bay (quick comfort stop and tour around the matchbox-sized harbour !) before having a slow tootle around the harbour area of Peterhead and heading North again, hugging the coast via St Fergus and Cortes junction, to Fraserburgh and our first feed of the day at the Tiger Hill café on the promenade. Coffees, cakes, ice creams and juices, mostly outside in the sunshine; luverly !

Out of the café and through the town, also via the harbour, a quick fuel stop (Derek was OK this time, he assured us all !) and then out the coastal route through Sandend, Rosehearty and New Aberdour until negotiating the 1-in-4 road (more like goat track !) to Pennan village, famed for being in the film “Local Hero”.

Once the obligatory photos had been expertly / Grumpily taken by you-know-who, we then used first gear again to climb back up the cliff to the main road which developed into a series of hairpins, steep climbs and sharper drops until reaching the normality of the main road into Macduff, through another busy but quaint harbour before turning South-West and inland towards Turriff (Turra to the locals; there’s a good story about the Turra Coo, too, but you can learn about that via Google !)

Just outside the town, we stopped at our second café, Auntie Lou’s, where we sat outside with drinks, cakes, enormous tuna sandwiches (Norrie again ! Where does he put it all? — must have worms in him like Anacondas….!). From there we re-joined the main road through Aberchirder (known as Foggie Loan by the locals; you couldn’t make this stuff up !) until we reached Huntly.

South of Huntly lie Rhynie, Lumsden, and Alford Bridge, all joined by some of the best roads and corners this area has, only SLIGHTLY spoiled by the dreaded stone scattering “redressing” of the road this area is notorious for every summer.

Alford Bridge to Alford is only a mile or so and on arriving, we split into two groups; those that wanted to visit the Grampian Transport Museum and those who wanted to head back the 14-ish miles to the hotel.

Everyone that went enjoyed the museum and because the exhibits are changed very regularly, I’d suggest a return visit would be just as interesting.

Back to the hotel; good bar / food / chat / blethering / lots of laughter / good speeches / bed.

Sunday dawned sunny again (can it / will it last ?? YES !!) and after another hearty breakfast we head into Aberdeen city via Kintore, Blackburn, Hatton of Fintray and Dyce, where we cruised along the beach front until visiting the Victorian public toilets at Fittie (Foot Dee, in the dialect).

We then made a detour for photos to be taken of the stunning mural artworks applied to several large buildings, quite off the main thoroughfares of the city; Norrie’s pictures of them will speak for themselves.

We then hugged the coast road above the docks area until joining our first “main” road for some 11-12 miles until reaching Stonehaven, where we managed to find just about sufficient room to park the bikes and enjoy ice creams, cold drinks, coffees, sitting in the sunshine for some 30-40 minutes before reluctantly togging up and leaving again. Our chairman reckoned “We’ve only just arrived !” however even he was persuaded, with his bad leg too, to get back onto the road.

Staying on the coast road we passed by the famous ruins of Dunottar Castle and then through Inverbervie, St. Cyrus and Montrose, where we turned West for Brechin and our lunch stop at the Brechin Castle centre. A bit of a misnomer as it’s nowhere near the Castle (go figure !) but the food was lovely and so was the miraculously continued sunshine that we ate it in. I

n fact, the only complaint was from a nesting Oyster Catcher and when Cathie and Johnny had the cheeck and effrontery (according to Mummy Oyster Catcher !) to get a bit close to her nest for comfort. Unfortunately, she’ll be complaining a lot and often as she’s been bird-brained enough to make her nest right beside the Welcome sign in the car park and on the main path to the front door !!

After sitting a good while, we left heading south again for Forfar, where we turned onto the Coupar Angus-Perth road. I shepherded the group back to Meigle, left them with a wave and a tear in my left eye, and then headed Northwards and homewards. Hopefully, everyone made it home safe and dry.

____________________________________________________________________

Text by Kenny Hair, the Organiser. Everyone really enjoyed the Weekend, and many, many Thanks

JG

Bamburgh Castle- Voyage of Discovery & Memories 1st-2nd June 2019

Many months ago, Ron Gow, who lives some 40 miles (80 return) wanted us to go on a ONE day visit to Bamburgh- as if. Yup 80 miles is a decent % of the return trip.

After he recovered from being told “no way Jose” & stopped crying, we agreed that an overnight stay would be great & left it up to him to organise.

So on Saturday 1st June we finally all assembled at Ron’s for brekkers (thanks, Jo), which was splendid.

Then Ron led us via Broughton, Peebles, Galashiels, Coldstream, Kelso etc , eventually arriving in Bamburgh and the Victoria Hotel, which was very, very nice.

We were somewhat short of time so headed off to the Castle, carrying JG up the hill & managed to negotiate a discount as there was only 1 hour left (puff pant).

The Town & Castle were well covered with visitors and the atmosphere was great. All well behaved on the tour which also overlooked the huge sandy beach, which looked fab.

Back at base & time for a wee aperitif or two. This outside with a great street carnival type feeling. The girls were well away & might have been “easy meat” had we not protected them from hungry wolves, including their own husbands!

Decided to dine a couple of doors away, where Grumpy had a huge T-bone steak, while the rest of us had lettuce & grated carrots, fortified by watching Grumpy stuffing himself, yuck! There were only 2 cognoscenti among us who wanted to watch Liverpool V Tottenham, on a HUGE screen- not only bigger than Norrie’s but even larger than Ron’s- now his is a MASSIVE one he informs us!

Not too late in bed & then a first-class breakfast. Highly recommended this hotel. We decided on two focuses (or is it foci) for the morning. Wooler first, for John’s sake- revisiting his early working time there.

The village hadn’t changed much in only 51 years! There are 5 Antique shops there and a couple feature regularly on TV. Indeed, in one of the windows is a Wooler Motorcycle (I bet you didn’t know that)- made in Denmark. JG bought a couple of momentos/peace offerings, & then we headed for focus No 2, the Jim Clark Museum in Duns.

Pity it wasn’t open yet- Ron!!! However, we found a wee Café & an expensive & distant unisex comfort station- poor girls- don’t even think about it!. To keep the cost down to 30p, we all went in together.

WE stopped for lunch near Coldstream, and experienced the first rain that morning, perhaps 20 minutes of it. Very lucky. Not so clever was the wind heading for Moffat (Ron had turned North for home by then). A quickie up the A74 then M74 & home in jig time.

Thanks Ron, for a grand trip. The writer slept for a week afterwards!

25th Annual Spring Run 30 Motorcycle Club of Ulster and West of Scotland MCC 24-26th May 2019

One of the best ever! The odd hiccup- Chicago’s own Scarface Al Capone & Elliot Ness, or is it the other way round? Our favoured guest leaving with the famous words ringing in his hears “I wouldn’t go in there for another 10 minutes if I were you”,

A Topographic Degree holder and ex ship’s pilot leading 40 people up a road clearly marked “Dead End”, and into a ploughed field and a previous and geriatric Chairman forced into a flying coffin just to get a feel for the real event AND SO ON!

Some of the WSVMCC lot met at Burnhouse X Roads on the Thursday & then motored oh so gently behind the Chairman eventually arriving at our centre for the weekend, North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer

So, Friday morning saw the 2 Clubs meeting at the Stena Terminal in Cairnryan. Johnny then insisted he lecture us (forever it seemed) with the threat of significant retribution if we failed to abide by his instructions. It’s the German DNA in him.

You may have noticed most bikes are modern. Well, we do move with the times, so the V in WSVMCC relates as much to the vintage of the riders as the age of the bikes. You may have also noticed all makes of bikes represented, but no Ducatis.

That is except the Devillish Duo, the two Ducathies

Notwithstanding, we set off for Ballantrae for fuel, then by Colmonell, Barmill, Barr and into the Galloway Forest- Galloway, Galloway, get used to it! Here, all Johnny’s threats were ignored. The bold Charlie (well named), tested the others’ initiatives to determine whether they had noticed his deliberate mistake (so he said, the lying toad). Sure it was. In fact, it’s only when the farmer, whose field they were about to cross raised his shotgun they turned around, (not easy as the road was very narrow by now). How they didn’t notice it it???

Can you imagine the chaos? Some 40 bikes up a mountain, trying to turn around and so on, and some 40 other bikes with humans waiting FOREVER for the others to surface with hay coming out of every orifice!

Eventually continuing through more of the GALLOWAY forest, we reached the A75 and then for lunch at the Selkirk Arms Hotel in Kirkubright (night tonight). First Class meal and a glorious day. Even the Flying Coffin passenger did not complain once extracted

The main group then went their merry way, including the GALLOWAY forest again, while the more discerning duo in the Said Coffin, Undertaker & Client, decided to improve their minds by conversing with the locals in Wigtown, Scotland’s Book Town.

It was also a requirement to drop into a café & have an ice cream. Here, the Undertaker (Bill D) and his prospective victim conversed with the owner, his Mammy & Daddy & his daughter who were all related and not only to each other, but apparently to the whole population (other than White Settlers) in Wigton. They urgently are seeking fresh blood—too many 1st cousins, it seems.

By a coincidence, the Undertaker, who comes from these pairts, was sort of recognised (that’s why they need fresh blood) and the bold mammy staggered on her sticks, and produced, as if by magic, one of Bills best school pals. What a moment, Eamon Andrews revived!

A gallon of tears thereafter we set off for an historical tour all the way to Galveston  and the Coast Road, eventually reaching the A75 & Stranraer, We passed a Wartime Aerodrome where they trained bomber pilots, the Solway coast where the Mulberry Dock was tested and where bomber pilots learned low flying over the water to represent bombing runs. You learn something every day, but not how to get out of a flying coffin and with dignity (Dignity- sounds kind of familiar)

Another repetition was “White Settlers” and their impact on house prices and the inability of locals to afford the hike in prices. Shades of the Highland Clearances.

The evening was the real pleasure, meeting old and new friends with a similar hobby while having varied backgrounds. No room for snobbery. All you can hear are howls of laughter and the clink of glasses. Occasionally, you have to carry an over-enthusiastic up to his or someone else’s bed. SURPRISE!

Further displeasure was on show when Johnny got up to advise about the next day. Charlie Farley was in the firing line and further torture was promised should the marking fail again.

Once again the routes included the, yes you’ve guessed, the Galloway Forest and this time we headed for Gatehouse-on-Fleet for a soup and sandwich lunch. Again, excellent. Unfortunately, it rained the whole day.

During our stop in Port William, we met Deena the dug and her White Settler owner (hiss). So we included the wee mite (Rottweiler) in our Group Photo,.Zoom in Norrie.

We spent a bit of time there soaking in the atmosphere and the rain. Then we headed home, some directly, but most, you’ve guessed, (the Galloway Forest).

The roads were wet, gravel at the edges, and the inevitable happened to one of our more careful and non-hooligan riders. This is where our Chicago incident occurred, where Elliot Ness (US Tax Man) swapped fizzogs with Scarface Al Capone. Both Elliot & his Kawa got somewhat battered and bruised. Elliot could still manage 8 courses for Dinner, but his 2 wheeled friend, remained on the trailer.

Because Dinner could not be brought forward from 8 pm, the respective Chairmen made their speeches ahead of dinner in the bar. The serious stuff was OK, but their parting jokes were hilarious. Thanks George & Johnny.

Dinner quality as always was 1st rate. Most were nursing some form of headache from the previous night and retired early-ish. No wife swapping to my knowledge took place on the Saturday, but who knows about Friday???

Sunday was a short day, with a longish way to Portpatrick- what a bonny place, and lunch at The Crown- very good indeed.

At this stage I would like to thank Norrie for all the work involved in fixing the photos onto these pages, as nothing is more boring than solid text. As always, a Rolls Royce jobmany thanks.

Since we were in Galloway & Rabbie Burns territory, – “and here’s a hand o’ mine- till we meet again”