My big pal Jaggy was all set to retire from the world of Scottish rally reporting at the end of last season and let it be known to a few close friends and acquaintances. The idea was to attend the return of closed roads to Mull and then just fade away, but those he conversed with had other ideas.
Some were supportive, others were dismissive whilst quite a few asked awkward questions, like who would report on those competitors that other titles and outlets ignore? The clubmen and women further down the entry lists.
Not just the victors and class winners, but those whose targets are more modest, like improving and getting faster than their last time out or just getting round in one piece. It could be argued that the young and ambitious, the midfielders and the tail enders are more important than those at the front, for without them, the front runners wouldn't have a rally to contest!
Since then a few folk have had a serious chat with the big lad and he's swithering. That was followed by the bombshell that 'Motorsport News' was sold. Surely that was the final nail in the deflating tyre.
Then the phone rang. It was the Editor of 'Motorsport News'. The title had been bought by Kelsey Media and the word 'investment' was used to persuade the Editor that there was renewed hope for the UK's last remaining national weekly motorsports title. The Editor is staying with it and he asked if their northernmost rallying correspondent would stay too!
It's too early to say what the plans are, but here's hoping that the weekly paper can resume its rightful place informing, educating and entertaining Britain's rally and club motorsport fans.
Coincidentally, with Andrew Cowan's memorial service taking place this Saturday, I came across this 'Motoring News' clipping from 1972. It was a report on the Jim Clark Rally which featured an epic duel between Roger Clark/Jim Porter and Andrew Cowan/Brian Coyle, a duel which Clark won by ONE second from Cowan.
I don't recall who the reporter was. In those days MN only used the author's initials, in this case, 'RJT' and the photographer wasn't mentioned at all. However, I do know who that photographer was - an incredibly artistic, talented and gifted young man who had only recently started taking photos and writing short reports for MN.
I wonder who that could possibly have been, eh?