Thursday 4 July 2024

Jock's Run

Jock’s Run …. It was a day of mixed emotions, with delight and wonder at the numbers who turned up but having to be set against the reason why so many had done so. It did indeed provide a fitting tribute to one of the nicest guys in Scottish rallying and someone who deserves a wee bit of help in very trying times. There is no cure for CJD, so something needs to be done now to help those who may need help in future.

The turnout was bigger than expected with folk on motor cycles, cars, rally cars, vans, trucks and tractors coming from all over Scotland. From Inverness and Fort William in the north to Duns, Dumfries and Dalbeattie in the south, and even the Isle of Mull, the hordes descended on Biggar showground for the gathering and the Road Run.

If anyone thought that organising hundreds of visitors in over 260 vehicles was a task too far for a bunch of amateur organisers they had sorely miscalculated the abilities and enthusiasm of Biggar Young Farmers Club. What a team, what an organisation and what an inspiration.

From getting the vehicles in off the public road and arranging them into groups and ranks to marshalling the convoy on the run itself, the young men and women had it all in hand. As for the run itself they had even managed to over-ride the temporary traffic lights at the roadworks in Carnwath to reduce inconvenience to other road users and also minimise disruption to the convoy itself. It was also surely coincidental that at every junction which the convoy had to negotiate there was a strategically placed ‘incapacitated’ tractor blocking the roads and holding up regular motorists while the convoy passed. At least I thought it was coincidental that an awfy big 8 tonne tractor was inadvertently delaying other road users. Nobody dared argue with that amount of ironmongery on wheels!

Leading the convoy were Jordan and Cameron in Jock’s self built Quantum Xtreme two-seater which returned to the showground minus its petrol filler cap. Some ‘numpty’ forgot to twist it back on having filled the small fuel tank en route! But at least they made it back in one piece without having to call out the AA.

On their return to the showground, the smell of cooking wafted across the field attracting drivers and passengers to the barbecue where food was being served. And what food it was, fresh baker’s rolls with Covington beef burgers followed by Taylors of Biggar ice cream. In fact the Hillhead of Covington farm is renowned not just for its dairy herd but its cross-bred Holstein and Jersey beef which was used for the burgers. There was also a ‘vegetarian’ option, the burgers came from a grass-fed herd!! And all finished off with a Taylors ice cream made from locally sourced fresh farm milk. To be sure, there wasn’t a tastier menu to be had on the day anywhere in Scotland.

Fortunately, Jock was just about well enough on the day to visit the showground at the finish of the run having seen everyone passing through Libberton, a fact that the local villagers couldn’t have missed as some of the ‘less experienced drivers’ suffered a bit of clutch-foot slip and left some parallel black lines on the public road while the truck drivers appeared to have missed the Road Traffic Act regulation that musical air horns are illegal - and by heck they were loud, they would have blown the soot oot o’ a coal fired factory lum! I think the folk in Lanark heard them.

There was support too from hundreds (thousands?) of locals lining the route, waving and cheering with some youngster holding up self painted signs to the truckers urging them to ‘Peep Peep’ and formations of tractors lined up in fields as the entourage passed.

The lumps in the throat just got bigger and bigger and there was barely a dry eye in the hoose.

And so ended a most memorable day topped off with raising thousands for the ‘CJD Support Network’ charity. The rugby shirt auction raised £3,600, the ‘Just Giving’ page added another £10,000 plus and the main event bolstered that with thousands more. The full figure raised will be announced when they have finished counting! And every penny will be put to good use.

And thanks again to the wonderful bunch of young men and women from Biggar YFC, stars each and every one of you, and here’s a thought, if the car clubs of Scotland need a hand for marshalling duties at special stage rallies, the YFC and their tractors could solve an awfy lot of route problems!

And finally, our thoughts and best wishes must be with Susan and the boys with their ongoing struggle in these heart breaking times.

Address for Just Giving page:

Abbie Baillie is fundraising for The CJD Support Network (

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