South West Scotland Centre
Here you find updates from South West Centre, view photo's from Rallies & Events held
Committee 2017 - 2018
|Vice Chairman||Graeme Gabriel|
|Rally Secretary||John Moir|
|Committee||Ian Bowman, Jim Ferguson, Aileen Moir, Fiona Robertson, Andy Thompson|
|27 - 29||Coylton||Halloween Rally||Booking Slips to John Moir - 0141 571 9623 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
|25||Auchinleck||Dinner Dance||For more details & tickets contact Patricia Duff - 01292 281462|
|28 Dec 17 - 2 Jan 18||Kilwinning||New Year||For more details & special Booking Form contact Jim Ferguson - 01292 261103 or email@example.com|
Coylton – South West Centre 27th – 29th October 2017
The Halloween Rally was held at Meadowhead Farm at Coylton with only a total of 7 vans. 6 South West and 1 SCC.
On Friday night the opening was done by Fiona Robertson, who knows the area very well so was able to tell everyone the best places to visit. It was a cold, but dry night so everyone enjoyed the Sweet Potato and Carrot soup to heat us up. During the soup, we had someone independently to judge the 6 vans that were dressed up for Halloween.
On Saturday night we all headed up to the church hall for plenty of games and a wee boogie on the dancefloor. Everyone joined in with lots of fun and laughter. One of the games “blow the spider” I think Ronnie Duff had some beans before coming out as the noises coming from his straw (well enough said!!). Half way through the night, we stopped for a break for some supper and give all of the old timers a chance to catch their breathes. An enjoyable night was had by all.
On Sunday at the coffee morning, the winners of the competions over the weekend were Sandra & Graeme for best dressed van (I think Graeme paid them), Tommy Gilmour for best Halloween costume and John McMaster and Jim Calder were given prizes for the general Halloween competition. So well done to everyone.
Tommy Gilmour had the pleasure of presenting beautiful 12 week old Harper (John & Elaine McMaster’s granddaughter) with her first rally plaque. She even came prepared with her fancy dress outfit as a pink elephant. Cute as a button.
Also during the coffee morning, Fiona read out a letter from the South Ayrshire Befriending Project (the new charity we are supporting this year). They wanted to thank us and also gave us a booklet with details of the project and their annual report. So if anyone wishes to see the letter and the report, I will be carrying it in my van, so just give me a shout.
The Rally Marshalls for the weekend was John & Aileen and Graeme & Sandra.
Hope you all enjoyed the weekend.
Irvine – South West Centre 6th – 9th October 2017
On Thursday night myself and Graeme arrived at the rally as we were helping Jim & Maureen to run the event. Graeme proceeded to drive onto the field and as it had been raining over the last few days, he sank quicker than the Titanic. After numerous wheel spins, Graeme’s tantrum and Jim bent over with laughter, we eventually got him out and we got set up. Now I know why it is called a Rally, as his car looked as though he had been Rallying along a dirt track road.
On Friday morning, thankfully it was a dry day, but the field was not in a great shape (thanks to Graeme). The vans started to arrive with some having to unhitch and motor – move their van into their spot. A total of 10 vans arrived – 3 SCC, 1 CC and 6 South West Centre.
For the opening, we had lovely bacon rolls which everyone scoffed. Gina Davidson opened the Rally and took us down memory lane (well the older ones anyway!), telling us about her first Rally (luckily we don’t do horse and cart anymore!!) and she spoke about all of the characters that she and Alex had met over the years on the rally field.
The AGM was held at Redburn Community Centre in Irvine on the Saturday which went very smoothly and the new committee were elected. Marion Leggatt stepped down from committee this year, so was presented with a plaque by our Chairman Tommy Gilmour for her service and all of her hard work for the centre over the years. Our charity for the past year was the Liver Transplant Unit who will be given a cheque for £559.86. For the coming year our new chosen charity will be South Ayrshire Befriending Project (SABP for short), so hopefully everyone will put their hands in their pockets and raise lots of money to support this cause.
After the meeting, most of us went to the Old Loans Inn for a meal, which the food was delicious. The social was held in the small marquee which is on site and a great night was had by all. Jim Ferguson supplied the music and was on top form as usual and we had our very own Village People (Ronnie Duff, Tom Robinson, Ian Graham, Graeme McKenzie and Tommy Gilmour) doing the YMCA and the ladies doing the Time Warp (Gina Davidson, Fiona Roberston, Jean Gilmour, Margaret Graham and Jessie McKenzie). All that I can say is that we should start hiring them out for events and dinner dances. It was a sight to see. Fiona & Tom Robertson also celebrated their Silver Anniversary which we had them doing their first waltz to the song that they had on their wedding day and Tom with his 2 left feet. I’m surprised Fiona had any toes left. Jean Gilmour made a beautiful cake for them which everyone enjoyed a slice of.
At the coffee morining on the Sunday, Ian Graham won the weekend’s competition. The collection for our new charity was £23.00.
The Rally Marshalls for the weekend was Jim & Maureen and Graeme & Sandra.
East Calder – South West Centre 22nd – 25th September 2017
Hello again fellow Caravanner’s
We were back at Linwater for our nomination rally. The rally ran from Friday 22nd September until Monday 25th September. The rally Marshalls were myself and my wife Aileen, assisted by Tommy and Jean Gilmour. The rally was attended by fourteen vans in total, seven from South West, three from East, two from West and two from SCC. Most vans stayed until the Monday and some beyond that but some left on the Sunday. The rally was opened on Friday by Marion Eames, Marion made a great job of advising us of the local amenities including Edinburgh’s Open Doors weekend which was starting the next day. We had all brought or cups along and were served soup and bread by the Rally Marshals.
On Saturday evening we held our social. This took place in the events tent We started off by playing a game of name that face, this started to trigger off the off the grey matter and proved popular with the participants. The game was won by Donald Baird and his wife Margaret, well done that couple. We then helped ourselves to rolls of egg mayonnaise, gammon or cheese salad followed by ice cream, fruit salad and meringues in any combination, this was washed down by tea/coffee. After our supper we played a game of catch phrase. It was just as well the grey cells had been stimulated by the previous game because they were certainly needed for this game. Once everybody had seen all the cards and the marking was completed, the winner was none other than Pat Calder. Well done Pat, your grey cells are still in great working order. The evening was rounded off by a bit of chat before returning to our vans.
On Sunday morning we held our coffee morning and the results of the competition were announced four people tied in first place. The winner was chosen randomly from this group and turned out to be Ian Bennett. We held a collection for our nominated charity and raised £25.50. There was a junior treasure hunt which was completed successfully by Callum and Maisie Fergusson and they were presented with activity books.
The next rally will be the South West AGM rally at Loans near Troon, with the meeting being held in Redlands Community Centre. Please remember to bring your CMC membership cards if attending.
The AGM rally will be followed by the Halloween Rally which will be held at Medowhead Farm at Coylton in Ayrshire and will take place from Friday 27th until Sunday 29th October and there are still plenty places left.
This rounds off my report.
Keep on caravanning.
Castle Douglas – South West Centre 8th - 11th September 2017
Loch Ken Rally
Hello again Fellow Caravanners
Our last rally, the ‘Loch Ken Rally, was held at Glen Laggan Caravan Site, which is about a fifteen minute drive from Castle Douglas. There were 12 vans in attendance, two from Dumfries and Galloway and ten from the South West. The Marshalls were Tommy and Jean Gilmore assisted by Jim and Maureen Ferguson.
The opening ceremony was held in the events shelter and our acting Chairman Graeme Gabriel introduced Fiona Anderson from the Dumfries and Galloway centre to open the
Fiona told us of events happening in and around Castle Douglas over the weekend, namely a food festival, a car rally and a bike rally. She had printed out some information sheets which she put on display in the events shelter. Our Marshals the served us with tea/coffee and homemade pancakes. After catching up with friends we returned to our vans.
We returned to the events shelter on Saturday evening for our social. We played heads and tails which was won by Robert Anderson and followed by a game of bingo. In the bingo the first line was won by Tommy Gilmore and the game was won by Robert Anderson. Well done Tommy and Robert. We were then served our supper. The supper went down well, it consisted of Cottage Pie followed by old fashioned caramel cake. We then played another game of bingo. This time both the first line and the game were won by Marianne Bowman. Well done Marianne. Then we continued with an imaginative story game that we had started off at a previous rally. This completed our entertainment and we rounded off the evening chatting, before returning to our vans.
We held our coffee morning on Sunday and collected £22.95 for our nominated charity. We were served tea/coffee along with the last of the caramel shortcake and some home-made cakes. The result of the biscuit quiz was announced, this was won by Sandra Peachy. Graeme presented the Marshals with their plaques, thanked them for the work they had put in and announced the date and time of the next rally which will be the Nomination Rally at Linwater from the 25 – 27 September. This rally is now fully booked. Most people are leaving on Sunday with a few of us staying until the end of the rally on Monday.
That’s all for now folks.
Hope to see you all at Linwater.
Carry on Caravanning
Kilwinning – South West Centre 25th - 27th August 2017
Greetings Fellow Caravanner’s
We met for our latest Rally, the ‘Marymass Rally’, at Eglinton Country Park. The rally ran from Friday 25th August to Sunday 27th August. It was attended by thirteen vans, twelve from the South west Centre and one from the Scottish Caravan Club. The Scottish Caravan Club was represented by Vice Chairman Ronnie Duff. Ronnie is also a South West Centre member. The marshals were Jim and Maureen Ferguson with Tommy and Jean Gilmour assisting.
The opening ceremony was held in the small hall adjacent to the play park, we were grateful that it was held indoors because for about an hour late on Friday afternoon there had been tremendous deluge of rainfall resulting in most of the pitches being flooded and all of us having to wade, wellie’s or not, up to the hall. However that was the last of the rain and the rest of the weekend was more or less sunny although sodden underfoot.
The rally was opened by SCC Vice Chair, Mr Ronnie Duff, Ronnie being a local man was well qualified to advise us of local events the most notable being the crowning of the Marymass Queen, which would occur the next day on Saturday. We were welcomed to the rally by our Vice Chairman Graeme Gabriel. During his welcome he announced the fiftieth birthday of one of our SWC committee members Fiona Robertson. Fiona was presented with a card that evening. We then had a roll and sausage, a cup of tea or coffee before heading back to our vans.
At seven o’clock on Saturday evening, we were back to the hall, bringing our own bottles, for our social. Fiona and her husband Tom kindly shared Fiona’s birthday celebration with us by serving us all a toast. This gave us time to catch up with friends in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere. Our rally Marshals had prepared pie and beans for us all and our rally secretary Jean Gilmour had created a cake to celebrate Fiona’s birthday. After the first cut by Fiona and her husband Tom, the cake was shared amongst us all. Once we had eaten our fill and the clear up had been completed, we were entertained by music, followed by a fun ‘finish that song’ competition, then rounded the evening off by chatting and dancing. A great time was had by all and people were slow to leave and head back to their vans.
The closing ceremony was held on Sunday morning and a collection of £33.00 was taken for our nominated charity. The winner of the welcome pack quiz was announced. This was Sandra Peachy, with full marks. Well done Sandra. We had our tea/coffee and home baking. Our Vice Chairman Graeme Gabriel closed the rally and presented our rally marshals with their plaques. Graeme also announced details of the next rally, which is the Loch Ken Rally and will run from the 8th ‘till11th September. Graeme also announced that this rally is now fully booked.
It was also announced, for those wishing to attend our South West Centre AGM that contrary to the rally book that due to over booking the meeting would now take place in the Redburn Community Centre, Dickson Drive, Irvine, KA12 9EW and not the Racquet Hall at Eglinton Country Park.
That’s all for now folks.
Hope to see you all soon.
Troon – South West Centre 4th - 6th August 2017
Hi Again Caravaners,
Our annual Petanque rally was held at Glenburn Dairy, Loans near Troon from Friday 4th - Sunday 6th August. The marshals were Graeme Gabriel, Sandra Peachy with Jim and Pat Calder.
The rally was opened on a lovely Friday evening by Marion Leggat. Marion advised us of various local events which included a craft fare in Troon and a piping competition at Dundonald both of which were to take place the following day.
The rally was attended by two vans from the Scottish Caravan Club, nine vans from the South West Region and one unattached van.
The Petanque competition took place on Saturday afternoon. It was a fun occasion which started off in glorious sunshine and ended with the final being played out in a heavy shower. The final was played between SCC vice chair Ronnie Duff and South West member Jim Calder and was refereed by George Gabriel. It was an exciting and well fought match which compensated for the heavy shower and was eventually won by Jim Calder. Well done Jim and hard Luck Ronnie. Third spot went to Jean Gilmore, the wife our chairman Tommy and fourth spot went to Robert the grandson of Hamish Stewart the President of the Scottish Caravan Club. Well done to all.
On Saturday evening there was a social held in the Glenburn Dairy event space where we took along our own bottles and were entertained by bingo, quizzes and music.
We were back in the Glenburn Dairy event space on Sunday morning for a coffee morning. This closed the rally. Lucky van prizes were distributed and the marshals were presented with their plaques. We all said our goodbyes then set off to pack up for home.
The next rally, Marymass, will take place at Eglinton Country Park from 25th – 27th August.
Hope to see you all there.
Keep on caravanning
Dumfries – Scottish Caravan Club 28th April - 2nd May 2017
Scottish National Rally
Gretna – South West Centre 21st - 28th April 2017
Pre National Rally
Moffat – South West Centre 13th - 17th April 2017
Hi again fellow caravaners,
We held our Easter rally in the Green Frog caravan site at Hammerlands in Moffat. The rally started on the Thursday but the official opening was on the Friday. The weather on the whole was bright and sunny but cold, with the odd shower. There was some rain but that was mainly at night. Given the time of year, I think we did quite well. The rally was run by Jean and Tommy Gilmour assisted by Ronnie and Patricia Duff. The rally was opened by Ian Bowman, Ian was introduced by our acting chairman Graeme Gabriel, Ian and his wife Marianne have only recently joined the South West Centre after he Marianne had returned to Ayrshire from Lincolnshire. Ian spoke of how he and his wife had been rallying with the Caravan Club for 25 years and had attended around 400 rally’s in this time many of which they had ran. He told of the ways different centres organise their rally’s with some not having an opening ceremony. He then went on to speak of the meaning of the flags which he was about to unfurl and how they denoted a gathering point and symbolised friendship.
On Saturday evening we held our social and Easter bonnet competition. We all gathered in the events shelter with our chairs and our refreshments. This was a good occasion to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. We kicked off with the Easter bonnet competition there was great hilarity and the competition was eventually won by new to rallying, John McMaster. Our music man for the evening was our acting chairman Graeme Gabriel and he entertained us with a game of guess that theme tune. We grouped into teams of various sizes and not surprisingly, the largest and probably the youngest going by average age, won. This team was captained by John McMaster, this was the first time he and his wife Eileen had rallied with us and only the second rally they had attended. After this we managed to clear a little space in the shelter to allow some revellers to enjoy a little line dancing and some action dances. Our rally team had prepared a selection of filled rolls and provided us with Tea or Coffee and this rounded off the evening.
On Sunday morning we held our closing ceremony although the rally would continue until Monday. The results of the quiz were announced, the answers to which were all names of sweets past and present. The quiz was won by Marianne Bowman who must either have either the sweetest tooth or the best memory. Well done Marianne. On the afternoon we held an Easter egg decorating competition. There wasn’t a great many entries but some entries were very thoughtful. The competition was one by John McMaster with my wife Aileen second and Sandra Peachy third. We rounded the afternoon by rolling our eggs and having a bit of a chin wag to the thunderous backdrop of Scottish music coming from Tommy’s car. I think some folk would have liked him to do the Highland Fling. After this we did went our separate ways.
On Monday morning it was nice and sunny for packing up and all those that were left helped pack away the events tent. This marked the end of the rally.
The next rally Aileen and I will be attending will be the Scottish National in Dumfries which will start on Friday 28th April.
Hope to see you all then.
Carry on caravanning.
Coylton – South West Centre 17th - 19th March 2017
Early Birds Rally
Hi again fellow caravans,
Well it was a wet windy start to this year's "Early Birds Rally" and if we thought the Blue Nose was wet, the rain during the Early Birds was no wetter but more sustained. Aileen and I arrived late Friday afternoon after fulfilling grand parenting duties in the morning and had set up our van in torrential rain, clothes I thought were waterproof turned out not to be and took the rest of the week to dry out. Our rally was held at Meadowhead Farm and our opening ceremony was held in a barn so at least we were dry for that. The rally was opened Robin and Lesley from the farm, it's nice to have those that provide space for the rally, participating in the event. Lesley did the talking and told us how the farm had been in the family for a hundred years. She also spoke of the local area and mentioned the local hostelry ‘The Trysting Thorn Hotel’, this is where we would be heading the following night for a meal and amusements. Well done Lesley and long may your family reign. The rally was attended by Bruce and Sandra Fenton, Bruce is chairman of the North Scotland Centre, he and Sandra were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, they had brought along a selection of drinks to share with us and our Rally Secretary, Jean Gilmour had made them a celebration cake. We toasted their good health and continued happy marriage and sampled some of Jeans lovely cake. It was also our former Chairman and now Vice President of The Scottish Caravan Club, Ronnie Duff’s birthday. We presented Ronnie with a card and our best wishes.
Saturday was a much brighter day with just the odd spit of rain and as is usual people, did their own thing. Aileen and I headed for the bustling streets of Ayr and after a wander round the shops we took our dog Troy to the beach where he had a good run around to burn off some energy. On our way back to the car we headed back through town and found a Polish coffee shop called the Kawiarnia Coffee House and no I can’t pronounce the name but they welcomed dogs. We had a coffee and a cake and the owner gave Troy had a treat, well he had three treats and now when we pass he drags us in. It’s just as well that we love it too.
Come evening, we all headed down to the afore mentioned Trysting Thorn Hotel for 7pm and our meal in a basket. On arrival we were directed to a back room which in more clement weather could be opened out into the rear beer garden. The Hotel was busy, which is a good sign. We had pre chosen our meals from a limited selection. The evening was relaxed and we had time to order drinks from the bar and have some chit chat with our near neighbours at the table. The food arrived and I think those that choose fish and chips as a main course had made the best choice. After the eating was finished Fiona announced that she had organised some games for us to play. We started with a serious session of bingo which was won by Sheila McAuley we then went on to play Crazy cuts, which involved us forming teams and cutting shapes from scraps of paper for our team members to guess what shape we were cutting out. This simple game proved to be great fun and caused much hilarity. Next we formed into groups and played dominoes with the winner in each group moving round to another group. There seemed to be a different set of rules played at each table and I don’t think many of them would have been approved by serious players. In all the confusion that reigned here I don’t remember if there was a winner so if there was and I haven’t mentioned you, please accept my apologies. This brought our evening out to a close and we headed back to Meadowhead Farm and our vans.
We wakened on Sunday morning with a slightly heavier spit in the air and busied ourselves preparing for the journey home. At eleven o’clock we assembled in the barn for our closing ceremony and the results of the quiz were announced. All the solutions to the quiz questions were names of birds. The quiz was won by our centre chairman Tommy Gilmour, much to his delight as can be seen from the photos. Shortbread and teacakes were distributed by our rally team and this was washed down with tea and coffee. A breakdown of the attending vans was announced by Tommy and also the date and place of the next rally which will be at Moffat on Thursday 13th April and will run for five nights.
Our friend and centre member Pat Calder spoke to me of a letter she had received from Anne Orrie. In the letter Anne explains that her husband and former centre chairman Geoff is going through some difficult health problems and has now reluctantly given up driving. Anne doesn’t tow so they will no longer be joining us on rallies. They have sold their second car and caravan and bought a static on a site near Dobbies Garden Centre on the road to Coylton. Aileen and I met Anne while out shopping recently and she spoke of this and also said Geoff has good spells and not so good spells and she felt at that time he was going through a not so good spell. We wish Anne and Geoff all the best at this difficult time from them and I’m sure we will still here from them.
That’s all for now folks and hope to see you all soon.
South West Centre P.R.O.
Irvine – South West Centre 24 - 26th February 2017
39th Blue Nose Rally
Hello Again Fellow Caravaners,
For this year’s Blue Nose rally or should it have been Wet Nose, we returned to Irvine Maritime Museum.
The opening ceremony was held in very wet and windy conditions and the rally was opened by Robert McAllister of the West centre. Robert was last year’s winner of the indoor bowling competition but he didn’t rub that in. Instead spoke of old friends who have not been seen for a while and some of the high jinx they got up to. Our ralliers must have found the talk very interesting because everybody braved the wind and rain to hear him out and applauded at the end.
We awoke on Saturday morning to find the rain had stopped, the wind had died down and the sun was out. One of the advantages of this location is that in spite of the previous evening’s heavy rain we were all on hard standing and not surrounded by a sea of mud.
As is usual people did their own thing on the Saturday, I took vantage of a ticket discount to the museum that was part of the rally pack. I found it very interesting there is of course the maritime theme but there was also a backdrop of heavy engineering that produced the machines and engines used in the industry. They have examples of engines ranging from steam through to turbines.
On to Saturday evening, most of us headed round to Redburn Community Centre for our social. We were fed a light supper consisting of pie and beans followed by trifle and tea or coffee, by a very efficient rally team consisting of Campbell and Maureen Gilmour and Ronnie and Patricia Duff. During the evening we had our indoor bowls competition as is always the case, this was a light hearted but very competitive evening with last year’s winner, the afore mentioned Robert, matched against his wife Janet. Robert came out the winner of this round but didn’t get to the final this year. The final was played between Ian Bowman and Ronnie Duff with Ian eventually winning. This gave us Ian as trophy winner, Ronnie as runner up and Campbell Gilmour in third place. The trophy was presented to Ian, very graciously, by Robert. It’s now back in the hands of a South West member. The competition had taken longer than anticipated and the hall was being cleared up while the final was still taking place but it was done in time then we all headed back to our vans.
We wakened on Sunday morning to the gentle pitter patter of rain, which by the time the 11 o’clock closing ceremony came round had turned to another soaking downpour. Thank goodness we were on hard standing and not a grassy field. We drank our tea and coffee with our hoods up or under umbrellas. The closing formalities took place. The place and date of the next rally was announced, which is the “Early Birds” at Coylton from the 17th – 19th March, we said our good byes then headed off looking for drier weather.
That’s all for now, hope to see you all at Coylton.
Keep on towing.
Auchinleck – South West Centre 26th November 2016
The South West Dinner Dance was again held at the Railway Hotel Auchinleck.
We were welcomed by South West Centre Chairman Mr Tommy Gilmour.
Mrs Patricia Duff, South West Centre Treasurer, said grace.
The Loyal Toast was given by South West Centre Chairman Mr Tommy Gilmour.
The toast to the Centre was given by Mr Dave Smith, Chairman Scottish Caravan Club
and the vote of thanks was given by Mr Hamish Stewart President Scottish Caravan Club.
The hotel did a great job getting the meals out given that there were another function on elsewhere in the hotel that night.
The band this year was the Nite -Talk Duo. They did a great job by performing a great variety of music which kept many on their feet for most of the evening. This was a good opportunity for friends to meet up before Christmas and exchange cards.
That’s all folks
South West P.R.O.
Eglington – South West Centre 28th December 2016 - 2nd January 2017
New Year Rally
We returned to Eglinton Country Park for our New Year Rally. The rally ran for five nights starting on the 28th of December 2016 and finishing on the 2nd of January 2017. For the second year in a row we had an electric hook up which saves on gas and benefits those that like the telly.
This year the theme was a train journey and we eagerly climbed aboard the express for the journey from 2016 to 2017.
Our team consisted of -
Engine Driver - Jim
Buffet Manager – Maureen
Station Master - Ronnie
Conductor – Patrica
Ticket Collector – Tommy
Catering Staff – Jean
Engineer – Graeme (also our resident D.J.)
Trolley Dolly – Sandra
Rail Guard - John (Me)
Catering Staff - Aileen,
The journey started on Wednesday with our resident D.J. Graeme introducing South West Centre Chairman Tommy Gilmour. Tommy welcomed all those attending the rally and went on to introduce South West Centre member Maureen Gilmore to open the rally. Maureen recounted some of her memories from forty years of rallying, which was amazing as she didn’t look a day over thirty. The evening progressed with dinner, then Graeme getting us on our feet trip the light fantastic. It was also a good opportunity for old friends to become reacquainted.
On Thursday we were back on board The Express at 7pm sharp for dinner. This was followed again by our Graeme pumping out the tunes to get us on our feet and dancing. We took a break from dancing to play a game of tower building, using rolled up newspaper with the tallest tower being the winner. The game was won by the yellow team, unfortunately the blue team were disqualified for using their team captain, Jean, as the core of their structure.
On Friday we were back on board at 10:30am for breakfast, all our travellers had healthy appetites so must have been recharging the energy that had been depleted during all the dancing and games the night before. Again at 7pm sharp we were back on board the express for dinner followed by dancing as before dancing paused to allow us to play a game of dominoes, only the tiles were our fellow travellers dressed in tile costumes. As always in dominoes the game started with the highest double being played first this involved lying on the floor spotted side up. The game proceeded in the normal manner of dominoes and was won by the green team, being the first team to play all of their dominoes. Once the game was over it was a refreshing sight to witness the players spring agilely from the floor to their feet to disrobe from their tile costumes.
Our big night was on Saturday when we held our “Dinner and Party Night in the Buffet Car”. The Buffet car opened at 5:30pm with dinner served at 6:00pm.
Our fellow travellers arrived sharp, all resplendent in formal dress for the dinner and evening ahead. As on previous evenings the dinner was a great success and was followed by Engineer and resident D.J. Graeme aided and guided by Engine Driver Jim getting us in the party mood with some foot tapping tunes. We took a break around 10:30pm to allow the marshals to clear up the hall and lay it out for the New Year party to come. At 11:00 pm the party started and many of our travellers had changed from formal dress into a more relaxed look befitting the party ahead. The hour to the bells seemed to fly by and as always was celebrated with much shaking of hands, kissing of cheeks and general well-wishing after which the party continued long into the early hours of New Year’s Day.
I should mention that during the break earlier in the evening, it had been discovered that nine pregnant ladies (heffers) had turned up, although at this stage we didn’t know they were pregnant, they were occupying the field next to the toilet block. This was a bit disconcerting since we didn’t know how or why they had escaped from their confinement and arrived on our doorstep, so to speak. Fortunately our music man Graeme encountered them first and had the foresight to shut the gate and re-confine them but unfortunately it put the toilet block out of action during their occupation of the field.
This brings us to Sunday, New Year’s Day. The Buffet Car reopened at 7pm for the final evening. We had a supper after which our duo of music men, Graeme and Jim took turns each on the D.J. decks. We took a break from dancing and played the dice game, Left Right and Centre after which the music resumed to round off the evening. The clear up started at the end of the evening and everyone helped to clear up the hall and put away the tables and chairs.
On Monday morning the rally came to an end. At 10am the generator was turned off and those still around helped gather up the cables and connection points. By 12am the field was just about deserted.
Well that’s it for now folks. Next rally is the Blue Nose on the 24th – 26th February at the Irvine Maritime Museum.
South West P.R.O.
Coylton – South West Centre 28th September - 30th October 2016
Hi fellow caravaners,
Our Hallow’een rally was held this year on Meadowhead Farm, Coylton, in Ayrshire as is usual, the Rally started on Friday, with the first van arriving at around 10.30 am and ran until Sunday, with the last van departing sometime after 1.30 pm. The weather was mixed and as is often the case the best of it was on the day departure.
This was the first rally my wife Aileen and I have ran and we were delighted that the rally was opened by the angel Gabriel resplendent in white robes and glittering golden halo. He spoke us of his closeness to god, ‘I don’t think he was referring to mortal frailty’, and he recounted that he had recently been in conversation with the big man, then went on to advise us of nearby towns and the welcoming gates of Dobbie’s Garden Center. Once our eyes had become accustomed to the glitter, we realised that the figure before us was wearing glasses and had the familiar voice of George Gabriel who, as we all know, is a legend throughout the seven centres of Scotland and beyond. Good job George.
After the opening ceremony we had a best dressed van competition and I’m pleased to report that everybody took part in the event. This could have posed a problem when it came to judging but our former chairman and now member of the Scottish committee, Ronnie Duff, had suggested that we try and enlist the services of Robin from the farm. Robin brought along his partner Leslie and they scrutinised the vans. They were very impressed with the overall standard and found two or three of the vans very spooky indeed but they judged the winner to be Jim Ferguson. Jim had augmented his van decorations with sound effects and a visual display on his iPad. I thought it looked very thoughtful and was very spooooky.
Way to go big boy.
On Saturday during the day, our ralliers did their own thing and I believe a number of them took the advice of the angel Gabriel and visited Dobbies.
Come Saturday evening we had our Halloween social this was held in Coylton Church Hall and was, I think, a great success. It commenced with our music man for the evening, Graham Gabriel, playing a waltz for Jim and Maureen Ferguson. They were celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary. We then went on to play Halloween games like broom sweep, pass the pumpkin, dookin’ for apples and corners. Pass the pumpkin generated great hilarity due to a bit of rivalry between Jim Ferguson and young Lewis, a grandson of Ramsay and Sheila McCauley. Well done Lewis we love to have you back. We then had a light supper and danced the night away until 9:30 pm after which we had to tidy up the hall to be clear for 10:00 pm.
We wakened on Sunday morning with the clouds gone and the sun shining, at last but sadly our rally was coming to an end with the closing ceremony held at 11:00 am. We had the usual mug of tea or coffee with Halloween biscuits provided by Jean Gilmour, the wife of our Chairman Tommy. Thanks Jean ‘lovely biscuits’.
That’s all Folks except to say that our next meeting will be the New Year Rally on the 28th of December at Eglinton Country Park, booking slips to Jim Ferguson.
See Ya’all John Moir
South West P.R.O.
To view all photos from the Rally please click on the link below
Kilwinning – South West Centre 30th September - 2nd October 2016
Our A.G.M rally was held at Elington Country Park, Kilwinning with a total of 16 vans 1 CC, 1:5 Scc and 13:5 S/West.
Fred Sewell PRO of Scottish Caravan Club opened the rally, we also had a member of the South West attending his 700th rally well done to Hugh Wilson (I wonder if his first caravan was horse drawn), this was followed with soup which was great as the temperature was dropping.
On Saturday we all headed up to the Racquet Hall for our A.G.M. meeting which went very smoothly and the new committee were elected. Our new chairman Tommy Gilmour presented Jim Calder, Gerry McLintock and Ronnie Duff with a plaque for their service on committee and for all of the hard work they have done for the centre as they are retiring (maybe from committee but am sure we still find them something to do). Our chosen charity for the past year was Ayrshire Hospice who was presented with a cheque for £624.66 which the centre had raised over the past year. For the coming year the centre has decided the charity we are going to support will be the Liver Transport Unit so hopefully we can raise loads of money for them. After the meeting most of the ralliers went out for a meal which everyone ate too much. At night we all headed back up to the hall for a wee dance and a few games where everyone had an enjoyable night.
On Sunday at the coffee morning, Sandra won the weekend competition (I helped her I handed it in). A big thanks goes to Jim and Maureen, Ronnie and Patricia for an enjoyable weekend.
As this is my last report as PRO I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. For everyone who has sent me pictures and the ones that done reports for me when I couldn’t attend the rally and also my secretary Sandra for teaching me the computer to do the report.
South West Pro
East Calder – South West Centre 16th – 19th September 2016
Our nomination rally was held at Linwater Caravan Park East Calder with a total of 14 vans. 10 S/West, 2 East, 1 West and 1 SCC
Maureen Ferguson opened the rally, and remembered everyone about how close the big shopping centre was (thanks), this was followed with roasting soup which was a welcome as the temperature was dropping.
Saturday morning, we woke up to a sunny day, most of us got dragged to Livingston shopping centre (I got nothing for me but still came back skint). By the cut of time (2pm) we had 10 members put forward for committee. The social at night was held in the event tent (it’s now known as JET ask Jean). We were served pie and beans (windy night) followed with a trifle which went down a treat, everyone sat about having a good auld natter and a wee dram or two.
Sunday morning, we all sat outside for the coffee morning, Kenny Robertson won the weekend competition, well done to him. Tommy Gilmour give thanks to the marshals for the weekend and the next rallies that are being held (I think he practicing for next year), some of us (the ones that work) had to head home in the afternoon some still had another day in the sunshine.
Thanks go to Patricia, Ronnie, Pat and Jim for an enjoyable weekend.
South West PRO
Castle Douglas – South West Centre 2nd – 5th September 2016
Loch Ken Rally
12 vans attended the Parton Rally at the week-end, this consisted of 2 D&G and 10 South West.
On Friday the weather wasn’t too bad for the caravans to arrive, so the boys had it nice and dry when bringing in the vans. The opener on Friday night was Eric Grimmer, and after this we put the chairs in the events shelter and enjoyed Jean’s homemade lentil soup.
Saturday brought the rain so everyone went out and did some shopping. At night we had our social in the shelter where everyone had their supper, and tonight it was sausage rolls and beans. The question was “was it Heinz beans”. We then had our sweet followed by tea and coffee. This was a relaxing night with everyone chatting and having a refreshment. Before we knew it was nearly midnight.
Sunday brought the sunshine for the coffee morning, with Eleanor Beresford winning the competition. In the afternoon the caravans who were left watched the Tour of Britain cyclists go by the site and cheered them on. (Did anyone see Ramsay on TV?)
Monday the 6 who were left woke up to rain so everyone packed up and went home.
Thanks to the marshals, Tommy, Jean, Jim and Maureen.
Kilwinning – South West Centre 19th – 21st August 2016
The Marymass rally was held at Kilwinning Country Park, Kilwinning with a total of 11 vans 8 South West,1 West, 1 SCC and 1 CC.
On Friday morning when we got up to get everything organised the heavens opened up and if the truth be told it did not stop until we all hitched up to go home on Sunday, but in true rallying spirit we all just got on with it. Ronnie Duff opened the rally which was followed with rolls and sausage, tea and coffee.
On Saturday some braved the rain and went into town to watch the parades and check out all the entertainment that was going on. At night we had a wee social in the hall, where Maureen and Sandra had put on a salad supper for us all, we also had a wee boogie and everyone joined in (even Alex Davidson was on the floor showing off his moves).
As it was still raining we had the coffee morning back in the hall, where Aileen Moir won this weekend competition.
The rally marshals for the weekend were Maureen and Jim, Sandra and Graeme.
South West PRO
Troon – South West Centre 5th – 7th August 2016
Petanque Competition Rally
The Petanque rally this year was held at Loans Troon with a total of 14 vans attending 12 S/West,1 Yorkshire Pennines, 1 unattached.
On Friday night Stevie Gilmour opened the rally, which was a first for him (after all these years rallying he’s grown up enough to open one, we are all so proud of him), this was followed with tea, coffee and a salad roll.
On Saturday the weather held out for our petanque competition, everyone took part and a lot of close games was had. The final was between Ronnie Duff and myself and it was a cracking close game, but I managed to beat him. (am still waiting for Fergie to congratulate me). Before the social we were watching
David Brown of the Yorkshire Pennines carrying speakers and an electric organ up to the event tent it got some of us wondering what we were going to, but what a wee concert he put on for us with his homemade songs and getting everyone involved in singing (I say singing all the dogs back in the vans were howling). A big thanks goes to David for an enjoyable night (and after one of his songs all the men want a 2 berth van now).
On Sunday at the coffee morning Sharon Gilmour won the weekend competition.
A big thanks goes to Jim and Pat, Gerry and Lorraine for an enjoyable weekend.
South West PRO
Scarborough – South West Centre 2nd – 16th JULY 2016
Scarborough Holiday Rally
Our holiday rally this year was held at Scarborough camping and caravan site, a total of 14 vans first week and 11 vans the second,6 South West,4 East,2 West, 2 Dumfries & Galloway,2 Fife & Tay.
We arrived on Saturday to a sunny very windy day, but we all managed to get our awnings up without too many fall outs. The weather for the first week was a bit of a mixed bag a bit of sun, rain (at night) but mostly cloudy, so it didn’t stop us going out exploring the area or just sitting outside having a blether. We also had a couple of socials in the event tent, for supper Sandra and Maureen put on a salad buffet for us all which everyone enjoyed (thanks to them both). After we had all been fed we played a few games (John Moir is now known as Pink Spot John (I let him explain why). Week One competition was won by Ruby West. Also Sharon won Ms Wet Pyjamas (the lesson here is when you go to the shower block you take your towel with you) sorry Shazs I had to tell.
The second week the weather was much the same as the first, and we had another couple of socials where we were fed again (with my favourites sausage rolls and beans and cheese burgers) thanks to Maureen and Sandra. We also played a game of jenga who would think a game with bits of wood could be taken so serious what a laugh watching everyone taking part. Week Two competition was won by Mike West (I think the Wests had internet with them)
Saturday morning came to soon and we all said our good byes to new and auld friends before heading home.
The rally marshals for the fortnight were Jim & Maureen, Graeme & Sandra.
South West PRO
Maybole – South West Centre 17th – 19th JUNE 2016
It's a Knockout & 900th Celebration Rally
The 900th celebration rally was held at Thomaston Farm, Maybole with a total of 18 vans attending. South West 12, West 1, North 1 and SCC 4.
On Friday morning we got up to a beautiful day, sun shining and the view over the bay was out of the world. Some of the vans had travelled quite a distance to get here and they were telling us of the heavy rain they came through, all we got was a sun tan. Jim got that burnt he looked like he was duking for chips. George and Nan Gabriel opened the rally and gave us a wee insight about the centre and how it all started, this was followed with soup.
On Saturday afternoon the weather was still with us and it was great to see everyone taking part in the potty sports and a lot of fun was had by all. For the final, we had 7 doing a water balloon and spoon race, the overall winner was Bruce Fenton followed by Tom Robertson and Tommy Gilmour so well done to them.
To accommodate everyone at the social the event tent got 2 extensions built on to the side of it (which was a great idea of mine (a wee dig at JF). Once everyone was in and seated Fraser Todd gave a toast to the centre on reaching its 900th rally. Sandra and Maureen had made a salad buffet for supper. I think they thought they were feeding the 5000 as there was that much, but in true caravanning style nothing goes to waste. Most of us managed a couple of platefuls. Jean Gilmour had also made a celebration cake to celebrate the 900th rally and Christine Brown brought a selection of homemade baking which went down a treat (just ask Fraser he was like a kid in a sweet shop). After supper we all had a wee blether and a drink and put the world to right, so a good night was had by all.
Sunday at the coffee morning we had more cakes (this rallying is good for the waist line) and Hamish Stuart gave thanks to all who attended (if you want Hamish to do anything for you just dangle a homemade empire biscuit with plenty of jam in it and he’ll do anything for you).
Sandra has asked me to thank everyone that helped her run her first rally:
Jean Gilmour for the cake, Christine Brown for all her home baking, Aileen Moir for the soup, Jim and Maureen Ferguson for all their hard work during the rally (sports Saturday supper etc.) and keeping her right along the way and me for taking her van there mmm.
South West Pro
Castle Douglas – South West Centre 27th – 29th MAY 2016
Dae Whit Ye Wa'nt Rally
Due to my caravan being sick, I couldn’t go to Mollance Farm so I asked a man with many words of wisdom to do a report for me (thanks Jim).
A grand total of 8 caravans made their way to Castle Douglas tae dae whit they wa’nted and what a weekend it was. It had everything you wanted, sun, fun and good company. On Friday Chairman Ronnie did what he wanted, he decided to open the rally himself, (he just wanted the openers gift) which was a bit different and as it was nice everyone sat out till late. Saturday was a free day to go exploring round the area with the women probably spending money, and at night we had a get together with everyone joining in the fun which included going round a line of cones with a football, paramedics were on standby. Sunday was another sunny day and after the coffee morning it was the unofficial Petanque competition with the winner George Gabriel taking the trophy (he got 3 byes), well done George. On Monday it was time to head home till the next rally.
Thanks to Ronnie & Patricia and Jim & Maureen for a great weekend and supplying the sunshine.
REPORT BY THE ONE AND ONLY JIM FERGUSON
Troon – South West Centre 13th – 15th MAY 2016
19th Hole Rally
The Troon rally was held at Glenburn Dairy with a total of 8 vans, 7 South West and 1 CCHM.
On Friday night Jim Calder opened the rally, and Ronnie welcomed Eric and Christine Brown who were attending their first rally, this was followed with delicious soup which I think every-one enjoyed as most of us had 2 mugs (thanks to Aileen).
Saturday morning, we woke up to a beautiful day and in the afternoon we had a 6-hole man made crazy golf competition which was won by George Gabriel and Ronnie Duff so well done to the both of them (I think there was a bit of cheating going on check the pictures with one holding the bath and the other chipping the balls in). At night we headed up to the event tent for a wee blether and a game of countdown (we made up a new dictionary with some of the words and spelling we got) well done to Patricia’s team for winning.
Sunday morning the weather was still with us when we were having our coffee morning, the week-end competition was won by George Gabriel.
I would like to thanks every-one who turned up and making it an enjoyable rally and a big thanks to John, Aileen and Sandra for helping me with it.
South West PRO
Muir of Ord – Scottish Caravan Club 29th APRIL – 3rd MAY 2016
South West Centre National Rally Photos
On Friday a total of 5 South West vans headed to the Muir of Ord for the 66th Scottish National, on the way up we went through wind, rain, snow and some sun-shine but we all got there in one piece.
Friday night we all went up to the hall were we all received a warm welcome from the hosts the Highland centre with various soups and caught up with auld friends.
Saturday we had the opening it was a bit cold but it stayed dry which was the main thing, after the opening some of us went exploring the area (the pub for lunch). Saturday night was the dinner dance which every-one enjoyed and danced into the wee small hours.
Sunday was the big day for the sports, Ronnie got his sports team together for a wee warm up (a wee half or two to heat us up). We done well in the sports coming third, but well done to the Fife and Tay for winning and the Highland for winning the best cheer- leaders, after the blood and sweat of the sports it was back to Ronnie’s for a buffet and a dram (thanks to Patricia for the spread she put on).
Monday it was time for some of us to head home, the members of the South West centre who attended Ronnie, Patricia, John, Aileen, Ramsay, Sheila, Hugh, Tommy, Jean, Sandra and myself (Kira, Troy and our new addition Hope the dog section) would like to thank the Highland centre for a warm welcome and running a very successful national rally.
South West PRO
CROSSFORD – South West Centre 14th – 17th APRIL 2016
Bargain Hunt 2 Rally
Due to other commitments I couldn’t attend Crossford rally, Maureen Gilmour was asked to come out of retirement and write a report for us as you can see she has not lost her touch.
Once again we returned to Overton Farm for our second Bargain Hunt Rally. This title comes from the Car Boot Sale which is held on a Sunday. Last year it was a blistering hot weekend, however this year we could have quite comfortably called it the Four Seasons Rally.
The rally commenced on Thursday. However after cancellations and changes to day of arrival only two vans came on Thursday with the remaining vans arriving on Friday. A few of us went over to “The Oven Restaurant” for tea which we enjoyed, although not good for the waistline.
Marion opened the rally on Friday evening and welcomed new ralliers John & Jacqueline Dunlop from Kilwinning, with their little dog Sheila. This was followed by Burger Rolls, Tea and Coffee.
Saturday we woke to wall to wall blue sky which looked wonderful until you stepped out of the door “it was freezing” and over the course of the day we had all of the four seasons. Most of us went out during the day and visited the local garden centres, all returning in time for the Scottish Grand National. Winner of the sweep was Tommy Gilmour with Ronnie and Patricia Duff taking second & third prize. This was followed by a lovely two course dinner over at “The Oven” which everyone enjoyed. A vote of thanks was given by Jean Gilmour to the family at Overton Farm who come in to serve our meal, which as usual was excellent. Over the weekend both the Farm Shop and Restaurant were visited on several occasions by the ralliers which goes to prove that “caravanners do bring money to an area”.
Sunday morning was sunny but with a bitterly cold wind. Coffee and home baking was served, followed by the competition prize, won by Jim Calder, and the Lucky Van Prizes. The Car Boot sale was not so busy yet too early in the season and our sympathies went to those standing out in a bitterly cold wind. A few wandered over looking for bargains.
Our new ralliers enjoyed their first rally with us so much so they have joined The South West Centre. We look forward to welcoming them back on the field.
We had 10 vans on site 1 SCC - 8 South West – 1 unattached.
The Rally Marshalls this weekend were Marion & Tommy Leggatt assisted by Campbell & Maureen Gilmour.
Report by: Maureen Gilmour
Moffat – South West Centre 24th – 28th March 2016
The Easter rally was held at The Green Frog, Hammerlands, Moffat with a total of 16 vans (1 SCC, 1 North, 1 Cheshire, 1 Unattached, and 12 South West).
On Thursday some of the vans arrived and the heavens opened up and it rained all night.
Friday morning, we woke up to a beautiful day, sun shining the start of a great sunny week-end (how wrong were we).
Yvonne Fisher of the North centre opened the rally (she must have done her homework as we got an insight of the sights around Moffat) which was followed with roasting hot soup.
Saturday morning, we woke up to rain and it rained and rained. At night we headed up to the hall for a wee social with games and dancing and supper, we also had the Easter bonnet parade (well done to Jim Calder for winning). During the evening we toasted the great Jim and Pat Calder for adding another great title to their name they are now GREAT GRAND-PARENTS (which makes me feel auld as their daughter(granny) used to be in the gang that ran about the field a few years ago).
Sunday as we headed for the Easter service/coffee morning it was dry (well for 5mins) we all had to pile into Tommy’s awning (just as well we are all friends) when the rain and hail-stones came on. The Easter quiz was won by Jim Calder. Due to the weather the games and the rolling of the eggs had to be cancelled which was a shame.
Thanks go to Tommy and Jean and Jim and Maureen for an enjoyable Easter week-end.
South West PRO
Report & Photos by Graeme Gabriel
Coylton – South West Centre 11th – 13th March 2016
Early Birds Rally – March 2016
The Early Birds rally was held at Meadowside Farm in Coylton with a total of 11 vans (10 South West and 1 SCC). We were all on hard standing, but some of us were on a bit of a slope (which was quite good as Stevie Gilmour could walk under the vans and give them a wee check out).
On Friday night the opening was held in the shed as it was getting a bit cold Jean Gilmour (Vice President of SCC) give us a wee history lesson of the area which was followed with a welcome cup of soup.
Saturday morning, we woke up to a lovely day (well some of us did), Ronnie and Campbell woke up to a bit of a mess, well let’s just say their vans were on the flight path of all the birds and the birds thought the vans were the elsan pit (bet they don’t sit their next year). At night we all headed up to the church hall for a wee social where we played games and had a few dances, the supper was a salad and superb home baking (which was hoovered up)
On Sunday morning at the coffee morning Sharon Gilmour won the competition (well done to Sharon).
Thanks go to Fiona and Tom, Ronnie and Patricia for a great weekend.
Graeme Gabriel - South West Centre P.R.O.
Report & Photos by Graeme Gabriel