Wednesday 18 April 2018

Rally - Marshals .

The recent post about Marshals generated a lot of discussion but the intention always was to follow up publication of the short version in today's 'Motorsport News' with the full version in the on-line mag a few days after, and that will follow shortly. However, the inducement/threat to 'mollycoddle a Marshal' was intended as a bit of fun with regard to an otherwise serious concern. And yes we should be thankful to these volunteers who stand out there in the wind, rain, sleet, hail, snow and midges, up to their ankles in mud and glaur, but we must temper such generosity and kindness, in case it is taken to excess.

In fact, there was a notorious case of such generosity being carried too far way back in the mid 1970s when a pair of young scallywags took to the forests. The driver was a well known dealer in the motor trade and the co-driver was in the whisky trade, working in the Publicity Dept of Glasgow based White Horse Distillers.

Strong rumours persist to this day that the co-driver used to carry a stock of White Horse Whisky miniatures in the rally car and would dish them out to Marshals at Stage Controls. Of course this had nothing to do with bribery in the quest for more clock readings or overlooking Lateness, it was all about thanking the volunteers. On another occasion it was reputed that when the car had gone off mid-stage, miniatures were chucked out of the window to encourage spectators to come down off the bankings and push. It worked like a charm!

During that time White Horse also sponsored Gavin Waugh and Peter Handy in the White Horse Whisky Avenger. Mike and Jim Little prepared the car in Carlisle and serviced on events from an identically liveried Hillman Avenger estate. Anyway, the young co-driver referred to above also carried a stock of such miniatures for promotional purposes and ran 'Chase Car' duties at the bigger events whereupon the same gifts were used to introduce 'foreign folks' to the 'water of life'.

Furthermore, rumours abound that this naturally enriched and distilled beverage was distributed widely on the early Tour of Mull rallies as prizes and when White Horse supported Chris Coburn and Rodney Spokes in the Vauxhall Magnum with White Horse personnel again in full product promotional assistance mode. If the MSA ever found out what was going on, they'd have had a fit. Oh, happy days.

Anyway, I'll let you know when the full article on Marshalling is published

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