by David Pratt, Chairman
How long have you been involved with the BVAC and what is your role within the organisation?
I joined the club in June 2000 and my first club meeting was the annual Barbecue which was held at Aikwood Tower. I had just bought my 1979 E Type and was desperate to show it off. Unfortunately, it broke down only a mile from home and I couldn’t get it there! I am currently The Chairman of the Club, a position I first held from 2002 to 2010, then again for the year 2012 and now again since 2018. I was Chairman when we had to leave Mellerstain House, where we had held our Motoring Extravaganza since the formation of the Club and before we moved to our current home at Thirlestane Castle.
When did your love of cars originate and why?
I guess my love and interest in cars started way back but job and finances didn’t allow me to indulge my fantasies. The first motorised vehicle I owned was an NSU Quickly which I bought for £5 when doing my national service in Germany (I sold it when demobbed for a bottle of gin!) I then had a BSA 125 Bantam and then a Lambretta.
What was the first car that you ever owned?
The first car I owned was a Hillman Minx circa 1960 which had a bench front seat and a column gear change. Very suitable for my courting days and when I started a new job and had to spend 6 months training in Newcastle, it earned its keep. No heater and no radio travelling up and down the A1 which I don’t think had any dual carriageway from London to Newcastle! Then a series of company cars staring with an Austin A40, Austin Cambridge, Vauxhall Crests, Vauxhall Ventura, Ford Granada and the last a Saab 9000. Then when our company was bought by an American Company we had to buy our own cars and that’s when I got my first Jaguar.
What is your favourite car that you have ever owned and why?
No doubt about my favourite car, my 1979 series 3, 5.3 litre E type roadster. Lots and lots of fun and pride although it was quite temperamental!!
What is the best road trip that you have ever taken and why?
Daphne and I did many Continental Rallies, in France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and so on, these were mainly Regularity Rallies and we joined David and Judy Steel on all of them. Thank goodness, David had to help push me a few times!
What vintage car or classic car do you currently own?
I have just sold my XJ12 series 2, 5.3 Jaguar and I have a 2002 long wheel base Daimler. Very comfortable and reliable for those long trips. BUT I have a new car, just purchased a Morris Major 1932. Quite change for me, very sedate and I hope good fun.
Have you ever owned a Mini?
I have never owned a Mini but when we got married Daphne sold her beloved Ford Anglia to put down the deposit on our first house! And when we move to Scotland I bought her a Mini Traveller which we put on the Sleeper train along with we and 2 and .9 children, Andrew was born 3 weeks later! We arrived at Waverley Station at 6am, the car smelling from having had the cat in a basket, 2 goldfish in bowls 2.9 children to be greeted by pipe band practising for a visit from the Queen. We arrived in Galashiels and it was Gala Day so all the flags and bunting were flying. I told Daphne I had organised a special welcome!
What does the BVAC mean to you?
I have enjoyed my membership of the Club, the fun and friendships made. The contribution I think the club has made to the Scottish Borders and hope to be still around to celebrate the 50th Anniversary in 3 years’ time. But not as Chairman!