Monday 4 March 2024

Rally - MullMurmurs

Good news and not so good news. The good news is that the ‘MullMurmurs’ book is now at the printer’s as of this morning, but the not so good news is that the finished product will be a wee bit dearer than planned. The deal with the cover sponsor fell through a few days back leaving little time to re-arrange things for today. In all fairness the sponsor had a domestic issue to deal with so family matters must come first and so I have no qualms with his decision and we haven’t fallen out.

Fortunately some good friends of the Mull Rally came to the rescue and helped out so I must thank John, Calum, Andy, Neil, James and Kerrie, and Saint Tunnock’s of Biscuitry. Even so I am still the major ‘shareholder’ hence the wee price increase!

I must admit this has been a bit of a scary trip down memory lane going through eighteen years worth of MullMurmurs rally bulletins. What memories this exercise has conjured up! At it’s heart it is still eighteen years of rally reports but written in a rather different ‘less serious’ style than expected of the newspapers and magazines of the time. Some might use the word ‘irreverent’ whereas others might say it is politically incorrect, but that’s how things were, so nothing has been changed for the book.

I have tried to replicate the urgency of the production process, at least that’s my excuse for the mistakes, mis-typing and spelling errors. These have been deliberately left in. The news was gathered in a rush, bashed out hurriedly on a typewriter (later laptop and dot matrix printer) to cut the stencils which were then used to print the bulletins. Once printed they were passed to the distribution teams to get them round the spectators, competitors and local folks on the island. While that was happening, the production team, i.e. me, had packed up and driven on to the next stop to try and get ahead of the rally again to gather and disseminate more news.

Reading through all these bulletins again just made me wonder how we all managed to do it against the clock while attempting to comply with the rally timetable and road closures. Mind you, some tales will never (can’t) be told!

That’s why the style of the book accurately copies the style of the bulletins as they were issued. Rather than tidy it up, that’s just how things were.

It’s all rather different to Brian Molyneux’s book ‘The Best Rally in the World’ which covers the beginnings in 1969 and takes the story up to 1993, so the Murmurs book will fit perfectly picking up the story in 1993 and taking it 2010. Someone else can do the next one, 2011 - …..

Brian’s book is actually out of print so copies are hard to find. On that basis I have asked Neil Molyneux if he has the original draft. If there is enough interest, maybe we could arrange a reprint ???

Anyway, I can now get back to the real job, ‘The Scottish Rally Championship 1990-1999’ which is well underway, but it’s complicated. Many youngsters will be unaware of the trials and tribulations of the time where different handicaps and time penalties were applied to certain four wheel drive cars and turbocharged cars. Methinks that will need a chapter of explanation on its own.

It might be hard to believe, but rallying was a bit more fun back in the day than it is now, or is that just old age, rose tinted specs and grumpiness creeping in? Or can I finish this in two words? Castrol R.

Anyway, I’ll let you know when the Mull book is available.

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