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A Brief History of the Club

The Borders Vintage Automobile Club started life in 1972 with just a handful of members.    The Club rapidly increased its membership in the early years due to a series of successful rallies held at Mellerstain House, the home of the Earl and Countess of Haddington, near Kelso, in the Scottish Borders.    The first two gatherings of veteran and vintage cars at Mellerstain were contained within a hastily-erected, fenced compound and for a small entry fee, the visiting public was invited into the enclosure to view the cars.   From the enormous interest shown by the general public it became clear that all the ingredients were to hand for a full-scale gathering of historic vehicles.   It would be necessary to man the main gates to the estate in order to collect an admission fee, allow car parking in an adjacent tenant farmer's field, dispense with the fenced compound and allow the public to roam at will throughout the grounds.

An agreement was reached between the Mellerstain Estates and the fledgling Borders Vintage Automobile Club and from then on the annual Historic Motoring Extravaganza simply expanded to such proportions that suitable areas in which to place the various vehicle classes, trade stands and other attractions became a problem.   Allthough some of the annual events were more successful than others, mainly due to the weather, all went well up to the year 2001.   It was in that year that disaster struck in the form of the widespread Foot & Mouth epidemic.   By Government decree, all events that would attract a large gathering of people into the countryside, had to be cancelled.   Apart from the financial loss, around twenty new members join our Club at this annual event and its cancellation, together with abysmal weather the following year, struck the Club an almost devastating blow.

However, the Club has survived, grown in strength and has always been able to fully man a committee of around ten members to administer the Club's annual programme of monthly events, handle its business and its finances and generally to be an organisation well-respected in the Borders Region.

Today, our membership stands at around the 200 mark and now that our annual rally appears to be successfully established at the magnificent Thirlestane Castle, by Lauder, we see our Club well-placed for a lasting and prosperous future.

But a Club is its members and you will see below and on further pages, a selection of pictures of our cars and their owners.    With each picture there is a short profile of the member.

Click on a picture to enlarge it!.

Robin Wild with his 1952 Bentley Mark 6

Robin is the Vice-President of our Club having served in various posts over many years.    Now retired he can give more time to his passion for vintage motor-cars particularly his beautiful Bentleys.    However, he does enjoy restoring Morris Minors and there are several good examples of his work on our Scottish Borders roads today.

David Pratt with his 1973 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

David held the office of Club Chairman from 2003 until 2010 and following a break in 2011 became Chairman again in 2012 to oversee our 40th Anniversary Celebrations.   He continues on the committee as our Health & Safety Officer.    He resides in Galashiels in the heart of the Scottish Borders.   David is now retired after a career in the Electronics Industry both locally and globally.   He is a Board member of Scottish Borders Enterprise.    We see him pictured here with his magnificent E-type, a certain prize winner at any 'Concours' rally.

Mike Webber with his 1964 Porsche Spyder Replica

Committee member, Mike Webber, is clearly a lover of fine motor cars in that he also has a Ferrari Dino Replica, a 3-litre Deon Alpha, pictured on the Members' Cars page.   He runs the family Travel Agency business 'Worldchoice' with branches in the Borders and East Lothian.    In a previous life he was a Design Engineer responsible for the development of Nuclear Power Stations.    However, if you are interested in looking into the world of hotel reservations, take a look at 'Frontdesk' in the drop-down box below.   You could find it rewarding.

The Club Secretary with his 1969 Triumph Herald

Our Club Secretary, Kenneth Wilson, takes a few moments from the pressures of the day at our annual Extravaganza, to pose alongside his beautifully prepared Triumph Herald.   Kenny took over the duties in 2001 when the previous Secretary decided to retire after twelve years in office.    Together with his many secretarial duties, Kenny assists in the production of our quarterly magazine, The Starting Handle.    Although a busy man in his professional life as a Civil Servant, he finds the time to efficiently carry out the administration work necessary to run our Club.

Ian Lindley with his 1952 MG TD Mk11.

Committee Member, Ian has owned this car for twenty-five years during which time it has been well used.    Since moving to Peebles it is fair to say that the area has been totally explored and the magnificent driving opportunities throughout the Borders fully enjoyed.   Ian asserts that the nimbleness and performance of an MG TD makes it the perfect Borders sports car.   VXY 610 is a well-known car in MG circles having an interesting past and also being featured in what is now the bible to restoring "T" types, as well as many other publications - including the "I Spy Book of Cars".   Ian and wife Karen have a great daughter, Amanda, who at 8, can't wait to get behind the wheel of her own MG!

Jim Cowan with his 1960 MG A Mk 1

Jim is our Club Treasurer and, since the Club has held its annual rally at Thirlestane Castle, he has also organised the panel of judges necessary to carry out the all-important tasks of selecting prizewinners from among the seventeen classes of vehicles.   This is a core activity at any vintage vehicle rally and errors here could mean serious problems for our Club and great disappointment to our valued entrants.    He is pictured here displaying his beautiful MG at the 2007 Scottish National Horse Trials.

Neil Morrison with his 1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk 2

Neil is a long-standing club member and for several years was the Club's Competition Secretary and Entries Secretary for our Annual Extravaganza.    He is also a very keen rally enthusiast.   He delights in taking part in the more competitive events such as Le Jog.   Being an excellent navigator he often accompanies rally drivers of great experience thus making the team very hard to beat.   He is pictured here in relaxed mood visiting friends in the Scottish Borders.

Allan Baillie with his 1998 Jaguar

Allan is our Club Show Stand Convenor.   This means he works tirelessly generating enthusiasm in our members and organising journeys to other vintage shows both in the Borders and neighbouring Counties in England & Scotland.   His latest acquisition is this beautiful Jaguar 'Executive' V8 4-litre.   The car is pictured on the Club Stand at the Crichton Festival of Transport, Dumfries, on Sunday 27th July 2008.

The Rt. Hon. Lord (David) Steel pictured between his 1965 Austin Gypsy & his 1972 MG Midget

Lord Steel has been an enthusiastic member of our Club for many years.   He regularly attends our annual Historic Vehicle Extravaganza and for many years hosted a Barbeque night at his Tower House in the Borders.    David is a keen rallyist having participated in the London - Cape Town Rally and can be seen manning a check point during the Le Jog Rallies.   More time now for these activities since retiring as the Presiding Officer for the Scottish Parliament.

John & Jean Weatheritt in their 1975 Morgan 4/4

John & Jean live in the Yetholm area of the Borders and possess many fine motor cars.    The Morgan is an ex-Works car and is just the machine for enjoyable motoring in the Borders countryside.    As active members of the MSCC we see them here exploring possible routes for a future rally through the Borders.

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Click  Picture Gallery  to see more members with their cars