By Helen Harkness
(You weren’t expecting that one were you? & I warn you, I’m feeling quite emotional)
Way back in September 1978, when “Tyred Topics” was only on edition no.99, and we were still filling 9 pages of A4, the late Bob Harrison wrote of how he ‘accidentally’ came to join Spadeadam MC and the pleasure & friendship it had brought him. He described the club at that time as a “happy and very competitive car club due to the fact that no-one is left on the sidelines”. Bob was only a relative newcomer when he wrote that. He’d only been a member for 2 years, but reading some of the old “TT’s” you get a sense of why it had made such an impression…. Spadeadam M.C. is, and always has been a club that runs with it’s own new ideas and has it’s own personality! 38 years later, it’s comforting to read that some things don’t change much; 12 car entries were way down one year. Membership numbers had fallen, but then picked up again. The chancellor of the exchequer had just hit motorists hard in their wallets and it looked like it was the end of rallying. Committee members didn’t agree on some item on the agenda and it took a tediously long meeting to decide an outcome! The other thing that I like to think has not changed is the enthusiasm, the humour and the friendship within the club. Because really, without Spadeadam Motor Club and its members I know that my life would be that much poorer; I’d never have done closing car for 3 stages on the RAC; I’d never have won or even driven on a road rally; I’d never have been stood at 2am in a service area in -18 ºC temperatures. I’d never have navigated in a stage rally for Rob or Nigel and so much more. And I’d never have met the really wonderful folk who have helped me on the way. To borrow from Whyte Melville “I freely admit that the best of my fun, I owe it to Spadeadam Motor Club.”
But then again, some things have definitely changed…for example back in 1978 we ran an autocross event at Gilsland show and it was sponsored by “Scottish & Newcastle Breweries” and “Marlboro Cigarettes”!! Can someone tell me if the winner received cigarettes & alcohol as a prize? And I really, really want to know why we no longer have a fancy-dress disco?! I think that should be on the next AGM agenda.