Thursday 19 July 2012

Rally - Morris Bear at the Ready

As runners and jumpers from all around the world arrive in London (that’s near France by the way) this week for the big skipping and throwing extravagance next week, Morris the Bear’s preparations for his own big adventure are also reaching a climax.

As revealed on this Blog a couple of weeks ago (11th July), Morris is intending to participate in his own motoring marathon to help raise funds for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. This will be a major world-wide first for any Bear regardles of nationality.

Unfortunately, BBC Scotland television, who were intending to document and follow Morris Bear’s progress, have had to cancel their extensive plans as all camera crews and presenters have been dispatched south to the after-school international sports day.

Anyway it would appear that the plans of his proposed adventure have reached the ears of the national press and anyone buying this week’s ‘Lanark and Carluke Advertiser’ will find out more about Morris Bear, his plans and his helpers.

Note attention to detail - BJ is 'running-in' his driving shoes and the number plate is tie-wrapped!
 Photo courtesy: Douglas McKendrick, Hamilton Advertiser
An extract from the paper:

Two men and a bear are busy preparing for a marathon 1000 mile journey around northern Scotland, raising cash for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Blackwood’s Jim Brown and Brian Johnstone are tackling La Crofterra Pandemonia, a two-day classic and sports car tour, along with Morris the Bear.

The two men are members of Coltness Car Club, affectionately known in motorsport circles as ‘The Bears.’

Their mode of transport for the 500 mile event on September 1 and 2 is a 1971 MG convertible. And as a result the men are hoping the promised change in weather patterns do occur and the rain stops since they, and Morris, are too large to fit into the car with the hood up.

“The tour starts in Fort William and ends in Inverness, which means we will have to drive 1000 miles with the hood down. Hopefully the sun will be shining by then, otherwise we are going to be somewhat damp by the end,” said Jim Brown.

A well known figure in Scottish rallying, he is chairman of Coltness CC and known in the sport as ‘Papa Bear’.

“Thanks to a loan of the MG from Pathhead Nurseries, we are tackling the event, and at the same time hoping to raise cash for a worthwhile cause, Macmillan Cancer Support,” he said. The two day tour is open to pre-1981 Classic Cars, and Sports Cars, GTs and Kit Cars of any age.

Morris has already been introduced to some of Scottish motorsport’s leading figures, and been photographed giving advice to people such as Scottish champion David Bogie, and motorsport scribe Jaggy Bunnet.

Morris now has his own facebook page charting his travels ahead of the September adventure. On it he says: “Me, Papa Bear, and BJ Bear are coming out of hibernation to represent the Coltness Car Club bears on a tour of the Scottish Highlands.

We are taking part in La Crofterra Pandemonia which is a 500 mile classic car tour, starting in Fort William and finishing in Inverness. Including the distance from home and back, we hope to travel approximately 1000 miles.”

“Our mode of transport is a 1971 MGB convertible which will need to have the roof off for the full journey as it’s a bit of a tight squeeze, and the three of us won’t fit in otherwise!”

“As Grandma Bear is poorly and, along with many others, relies on the support of charities such as MacMillan Cancer Support, we are hoping to raise some money for this worthwhile cause.”

“In doing so, we hope to have some adventures and meet up with some Highland bears on our travels. I've already made some new friends on facebook recently and hope that they will all help us with our challenge.”


Already Morris has attracted 125 friends to his facebook page which is being constantly updated in the great build up to his mammoth motoring marathon. 

There is however one major drawback to Morris’ fitness and preparation plans, or two drawbacks to be precise, and they are Papa Bear and BJ themselves. Morris’ strict health and diet regime has been frequently interrupted with visits to the pub, curry shop, car club nights and has even been seen in the company of bearesses, instead of attending rallies to gain practical experience and gyms to boost stamina.

Although La Crofterra Pandemonia is a non-spectator event - it could be worth a visit now!

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