By Helen Harkness
As some of you may have noticed, for the last 6 months your newsletter has been:
This has been down to the hard work of Caroline Lodge. Who very kindly agreed to look after it for 6 months, to give me a bit of a break. I cannot thank her enough. So, apologies to everyone reading this, normal service has now been resumed and if you spot any errors or omissions, please keep them to yourself! 😉 If you feel that you’d like to put pen to paper, fingers to a keyboard, or chalk to a piece of slate, please get in touch. June has been a busy month for a lot of us. It started with South of Scotland Car Club’s “William Paterson Memorial Targa”on the 3rd of June. We had our magnificent team of marshals out on two of the test locations, first the MOD at Eastriggs then up near Auldgirth. “Colin the Corsa” and myself were out in action, with Barry Lindsay in the navigator’s seat. Phil Hodgson was also out in the Silver MX5.
We’ll not mention the cones I hit, or the reversing on the Collin test- which was run backwards, revealing the flipping big drops off the side of the track! I will say that I did enjoy the loose gravelly tests, and my brief moment of driving glory when I surprised my navigator as I went sideways around a long right hander and then somehow managed to flick it back the other way, so I was positioned perfectly to go right through the cones.
Didn’t manage it the second time through and probably couldn’t do it again if I tried! Phil finished 8th O/A and I finished 11th O/A.
Thanks to those that marshalled and our friends at SOSCC for running it.
If you haven’t had a go at targa rallying, it really is good fun and it would be great to see more Spadeadam crews doing them.
We then had the June Club night, which was the Photo Hunt, organised by Barry. You are given 20 odd photos all with something covered by the Spadeadam logo. You are also given a map with a route on it, showing the sections of road that the answers can be found on. You are then sent off into the evening sunshine to discover that you need to go to the opticians for an eye test in the very near future (results in next month!)
The following weekend I was rallying in my backyard, on the ATL Carlisle Stages. Based at the auction at Rosehill, using the forests of English and Scottish Kershope and the wheel breaker that is Ash Park. The event would have been a 2-day-er for Rob Graham and myself, in the Mk1 Escort. We were using a new note system and we were running 7th on the road, so it did make for the odd “moment” on what where some slippery stages. For us however, it was a short event. We sustained damage to the exhaust on the 3rd stage and then an issue with the gearstick compounded it and that was us stopped in stage, becoming the midges’ latest meal. I still have the scars!
As it was a 2-day event, and the car wasn’t going to be fixed for the next day, Nigel and I went to marshal in Ash Park with Team JJ Marshals Club. The ruts and rocks were as bad as ever and as much as I love rallying and rallying basically “on our doorstep” (5 minutes from our back door to Ash Park!), I’m quite glad that the car wasn’t put through the pain of that stage.
The following weekend (I told you it was a busy month!) we had an autotest. The results of which you can find elsewhere in this newsletter. I’m not sure if I am really ready to talk about this event in full yet, as I’m still feeling a little sensitive about the final result! So, a full in-depth report will be given in next month’s newsletter.
Then, the final weekend of the month, we decided to do something really exciting! Something that involved a ferry, and 2 nights away from home, and for Nigel and me, another dice with “death-by-midge” marshalling with Team JJ. Friday afternoon, we headed northwards to Dunoon for the Argyll Rally! We were not alone in this adventure, as Barry and Caroline were competing on the event, and Jonathan Lodge and Michael Lindsay were servicing. So, it was more a case of “SMC on tour”. Also competing on the Saturday were Rory Young and Allan Cathers, and John McIlwraith.
We were marshalling on stage 1 and being run again as stage 5 and had been put on Junction 2, which was basically the first corner. We saw all SMC members through the first stage. On the return for stage 5, we were missing Rory and Allan.
Checking the results on our way back to the finish showed that they had retired “off the road”. Barry and Caroline had finished 18th O/A and 2nd in Class. John had been given a time penalty which meant he finished 26th O/A and 6th in Class. It was a happy mood in the chalet on Saturday night, there was even some dancing to the band later on in the resort’s bar! I for one was quite sad to be leaving the next day. Thank you for letting us tag along… where are we off to next?)
All in all, June has been a pretty good month. July is shaping up to be much the same, with an event of some sort on every weekend. If you’re out and about, why not let me know… and write a few lines about what you’ve been up to.