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”

Sam`s Old Bike run Sun. 12-5-19

Our Chairman eventually arrive somewhat deflated after suffering an instant deflation to his rear tyre at Burnhouse. Resourcefull Johnny had a tubeless repair outfit, no holding him back then.

Our crew are very happy after eating an excellent lunch at the Kirkmichael Arms.

Les Ritchie enjoying a first class lunch with Liz and me.

My Ferguson tractor waiting for further instructions.

Everybody enjoying afternoon tea back at the ranch at the end of a good day out with Ben keeping a watchful eye on the hens.

We all gathered at the Maritime Museum for breakfast (Aka the lost keys) and set off heading for Dundonald, and then onto Bogend Toll through to Mauchline, then to Coalhall, then Hollybush, and from there to Dalrymple, then onto Kirkmichael for lunch at the Kirkmichael Arms.

After a very satisfying lunch we set off on a pretty direct route back to my Ranch for Afternoon Tea. All that participated enjoyed themselves. Colin Ness and myself enjoyed the run on our old Triumph and BSA motorcycles in the spirit of the day.

Sam Duncan.

Thanks Sam,  J.G.