White Tail Rally
It's a long way to Mull so Maggie and I set off on Thursday for a night in Dumbarton.
Weather very good on the way up the M6. We only had about an hour of light rain. We went over Shap in sunshine before pulling into Morrisons, Carlisle for a meal and to top up with petrol. (15.5 litres to cover 225 miles. That's about 66mpg.)
Our next stop was just off Junction 24 on the M8 to get our last fill up of cheaper petrol from Govan ASDA.
Friday morning and we set off in heavy rain to catch the ferry at Oban. It stopped raining while we were on the ferry and we put the tent up dry.
The rally is held in the grounds of a hotel. The club had arranged a marquee for an outside bar, seating, a stage plus room to dance.
The bar had a couple of decent real ales from the Fyne Ales brewery, also bottled beer and shorts.
Outside a surplus parachute suspended from a cherry-picker covered the cooking area where a reasonable selection of food was on offer from fairly early in the morning until late at night. The parachute idea worked very well and kept the rain off the chef.
In previous years the club had paid out an arm and a leg to hire a pair of turdi from the mainland. This year they had a converted caravan. Dave Mountifield, one of the club members, had done an excellent job fitting it out. It had the lot. Electric light. Solid wood flooring. Four stalls with flushing loos and three washbasins with running water. The stalls even had loo brushes and coat hangers.
The rally had attracted many of the usual suspects including Pete Barlow, Nigel Woodthorpe, Barry Carter and a fair slice of the Mayflower MCC. Plus Bob who has seen the light and swapped his BMW for a 700 Deauville.
The weather stayed mostly dry and warm on Friday afternoon with only the occasional squally shower. The site was already very wet underfoot but, even with what was to come, stayed surprisingly mud free.
The early evening electric blues disco was excellent. Any one who plays Studebaker John and the Hawks has got to be good.
A couple of singer/guitarists took over from the disco. They were good, only spoiled a little by being over amped causing the speakers to 'blurt'.
The weather deteriorated during the evening and the rain became almost constant. It did not really stop until after lunch on Saturday. The site had plenty of cover so it did not cause us a problem. Some hardy souls went out for a ride or walked the mile into the village to catch the bus into the local town.
After the rain stopped Maggie and I went for a walk over the airstrip and along the beach while the weather stayed fine.
Unfortunately the weather went downhill as the evening progressed with showers giving way to steady rain which kept up all night.
We took the tent down in the morning just as a heavy burst of rain came through. We did not hang about long after that and headed out to the ferry.
It continued to rain so we bailed out into Dumbarton Travelodge (Other budget hotels are available.) Nigel Woodthorpe went past just after we pulled in. He had been intending to stop at Moffat for the night. But the weather being the way it was and the forecast of high winds to come he rode straight home, arriving about 10pm.
As to the rally itself.The Isle of Mull MCC had put in a lot of thought and effort and have found excellent venue. It was just a pity about the weather.
Like the club members the hotel staff also worked like Trojans and should be applauded for their efforts.
- Dave Cooper