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We must be doing something right. This year's Kingdom run is number four, and every year it has grown. Year one - twelve cars, two - twenty seven, three - forty eight, and this year fully subscribed at fifty cars with a healthy waiting list. Due to the lack of classic car runs in Scotland, it is not easy to find out what is successful with other people. We have chosen to split the day in two, with two runs of approximately sixty miles. In the break we arrange to visit a local tourist attraction, and at the end we have a barbecue and autotest. This formula seems to keep everybody happy, not just the octo-heads'.
This year we decided to venture out of Fife and ahead for Loch Tay. Our route took us to Glen Eagles - golf courses and all, the beautiful town of Crief, through the Sma Glen and on to Aberfeldy in Perthshire. From here we followed the River Tay till we reached Kenmore at the head of Loch Tay. Our target was the Croft-na-caber centre at Loch Tay where Edinburgh University is involved in building a Crannog is a house on stilts. Good enough explanation? No? Okay, many years ago (I won't go into detail) some of our ancestors built constructions in the middle of lochs that resembled houses on stilts. The remains of some of these still exist and Edinburgh University in partnership with the Croft-na-caber centre are building one, by hand, with no modern tools, exactly the same as those constructed by our ancestors. It certainly caught the interest of the Kingdom Runners, who all commented on an unusual attraction and most plan to come back to see the finished article.
After two hours at Loch Tay, the run started once again. With the large volume of cars we decided to flag off cars at one minute intervals to prevent congestion on some very small roads. At the start of the second leg we attacked a very steep hill which resembled a Swiss mountain pass, but on single track roads. Yours truly started first, to get a head start to let me get in position to take pictures. I waited, and waited, but no cars. What could be wrong? After a while a Maestro slowly made its way down the other side of the aforementioned hill - followed by forth or so Kingdom Runners. The best laid plans and all that. The amusing point to this tale is that, in the instructions I had warned all pre 56 cars that they may wish to take the easy route back to Aberfeldy, but all had decided to tackle the steep hill, only to find themselves stuck behind a so-called modern' car.
I followed on after the bulk of the run passed, and found our distance award winner Louse Scobie from Berwickshire in his 1933 J2 at the side of the road in the middle of the Scottish Highlands. I think I may have run out of petrol . I never go anywhere without some petrol in the boot, just in case. After filling up and directing Louse to Crief, we were both on our way. He did complete the whole run, doubling back to join the original route. A worthy winner of the distance award.
No other mishaps occurred on the run, so our trail car had a quiet run with no emergencies to deal with. At the barbecue we had our prize giving, where Louse received his award, and car of the day - picked by Barrie Andrian from the Crannog Reconstruction team - was won by Andrew Crystal in his T'-type. He promised to take Barrie for a run in his pride and joy - what people will do for a bit of silverware . . . only joking Andrew.
The day as a whole was a success, I think. It is very difficult to tell if people like the day out when you are running around, just a little stressed out. As usual, thank you to all the club members who helped with the relatively smooth running of this year's event, and the team at the Crannog who made us feel very welcome. Our only problem, where to go next year - anybody got any ideas?