Eighteen MG’s assembled at Caulders Braidbar Garden Centre in Newton Mearns on Sunday morning in time for the Centre to open at 9.00am, representing the following models; an original TF, modern TFs ZB, MGA, MGB, BGT V8, RV8, CGT, ZT190, a fair cross section. After signing on and appropriate sustenance the group headed off on the morning route passing through many small East Ayrshire villages en route to our lunch time stop at Dumfries House. We had been warned to be careful of speed bumps/humps and sure enough 8 miles into our route we began to encounter these but more road delights were to follow. East Ayrshire council roads department seemed to spend their budget on speed bumps and only patching pot holes of which there were many resulting in many “washboard” surfaces – not Barclay and Alison’s fault, they could only warn us.
We wandered through some interesting scenery passing around or through the villages of Galston, Newmilns, Darvel and Muirkirk which is the location of Kames Motor Circuit which by the time you read this the Caledonian Centre will have attended a Classic Car show on Sunday 2nd August. We moved on through Mauchline and Cumnock to Dumfries House for our lunch stop by which time approx. 55 miles had been covered.
Barclay and Alison had managed to arrange a private tour of the House that had had the benefit of the input of a Trust set up by Prince Charles which managed to raise enough money to save the House and Estate from being lost to the Nation. The tour of the House was very interesting and the guide Mr. MacDonald gave us an insight into what condition the House had been in before being rescued. The House contains the largest collection of Chippendale furniture and some individual pieces worth around £1.5million. Our lunch was served in an area of the House reserved for us as a group (one of the servers being a young man who is butler to Prince Charles when he comes to stay). The weather during the morning was surprisingly good, there being no rain until we reached Dumfries House, not what had been forecast!
After Lunch we set off through lesser known areas of East Ayrshire and for the first few miles there was no improvement in the road surfaces but things were to get better. We motored on towards the coast passing various points of interest which Barclay and Alison had researched and given us details. These interesting points are often reflected on after the tour is finished. Soon we had the first sighting of Ailsa Craig (Paddy’s Milestone), many curling stones have been quarried from this location. We passed Grants Whisky distillery and Trumps Turnberry Hotel where we could see the preparations were well underway for the Women’s Open Golf Championship to be held at the beginning of August. As we made our way along the coast we passed Culzean Castle on the left which is a National Trust Property that is well worth a visit if you are in the area. We then passed along the “Electric Brae”, an optical illusion. I remember as a child my father stopping there (much less traffic then) and was amazed to watch my ball apparently running up hill but it was really running down hill – it was very weird. We were now coming in site of the town of Ayr passing the Heads of Ayr Farm park, the site of the former Butlin’s Holiday Village which had a rather mixed reputation in its’s time . On now into Burns Country and then we entered the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum that was redeveloped in 2009.
Everyone who attended enjoyed themselves as they recalled the route while they sat down to tea/coffee and a scone – well done Barclay and Alison!!
Before departing Chairman, David Reid, on behalf of the entrants thanked Barclay and Alison for a very successful first run, which is always a bit nerve racking.
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