Rotary’s 2017 Classic Car tour goes off with a Bang
The firing of Major General Patrick Marriott’s cannon signalled the start of the Rotary Club of East Sutherland’s Classic Car Tour. On a glorious Saturday at the end of May, 62 cars, with their crews fuelled by bacon rolls at the Dornoch Social Club, left the Square to travel to the north coast and back, a distance of around 170 miles. The route took in Rogart, Strath Brora, Kinbrace and Thurso before assembly for lunch and a group photo at the Castle of Mey. They then were driven to John O’Groats, where the RNLI’s Scrabster lifeboat arrived to give an on-board tour to a lucky few participants. Return to Dornoch (where a glass of champagne was waiting) was by way of Wick and the A9, with a stop at the Clynelish Distillery. There, tea and a delicious pastry were accompanied by a dram for the navigators and a wee ‘take-away’ for the drivers. Despite the dire weather forecast the rain held off, much to the relief of the owners of convertibles.
There were only two minor hitches. The clutch on Roger Rippon’s 1927 MG 14/28 seized up near Thurso but he and his crew were transported back to Dornoch in time to receive the prize for the second oldest car on the tour. Another MG had a puncture but fortunately near enough its home for the owners to complete the journey in their modern car.
The day closed with a lively ceilidh in Dornoch’s West Church Hall. A wonderful supper was generously provided by Vicki Fairbairn and Wilma Gardjner-Gill with service from catering students from the North Highland College. Various prizes were awarded, including one for the winner of a fiendish champagne quiz devised by Peter Wild and another to celebrate the centenary of the enormous La France, driven and restored by John Harrison on his second visit from Suffolk. This year’s innovation was a raffle confined to the participants. The prize was a weekend with a posh new Jaguar provided by the Park’s Motor Group, generous supporter of the Tour.
Each car was sponsored and such was the generosity of owners, their families and friends that over £13,000 was raised. The monies will go to the RNLI and Rotary charities
On May 19th next year the tour will be to the Achiltibuie area with a finale and tea at Dunrobin Castle.