The organisers of yesterday’s rally couldn’t have played it any better. They demonstrated that life must go on while acknowledging a nation’s loss. Before the rally started, drivers and co-drivers, service crews and officials, family members and spectators gathered together. Over 300 souls shuffling into position in nature’s own amphitheatre surrounded by the natural grandeur of the Galloway landscape.
At 9.45 am, rally driver Scott Sloan blew up the pipes to play that wonderfully evocative and soulful lament “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep”. That was followed by a two minute silence in which you could hear a pin drop. No that’s not right. You couldn’t actually hear a pin drop - the silence was broken only by a gentle breeze rustling the trees and the water tumbling over the rocks in the wee burn which ran through the Talnotry service park. As Scott’s partner Gillian counted down the seconds, Scott brought the modest ceremony to a close with the pipes providing the perfect conclusion to a moment’s quiet contemplation.
Yesterday was not a show of saccharine sentiment, it was dignified and respectful. Anyone who enjoys the solace and splendour of the Scottish Highlands as much as the thunder of hooves on turf would have appreciated that peaceful and green Galloway glade followed by the mechanical stirring of horsepower in action. I don’t care what anyone else says, I was there and witnessed Scottish rallying paying its dutiful respects.
It was simple and sincere, without all the political pomp and pagentry that state events usually command. No sporting governing body, political party, ecclesiastical order or band of courtiers could have done better or found a more fitting setting.