Some of what follows is true. I’ll leave the reader to decide which parts.
We awoke to another scorcher of a day, the sun splitting the sapphire sky. Will this summer never end?
The accommodation at the 5 star Hotel Greenhill had been most enjoyable. We left, carefully closing the window that had conveniently been left open the night before, and slipped into our priceless vintage MG. Our destination Ardrossan to rendezvous with the millionaire Barclay Henderson, recently minted after flogging his regalia business to the Noble-Thompson/Smith conglomerate. (Apparently a suitable figure for depreciation had been taken into account during the sale negotiations and all parties were satisfied.)
After a small detour round the scenic town of Stevenston, we met up with the rest of the Arran wannabes for a wafer thin mint (resembling a bacon roll) and a cup of tea. Of course Henderson (Alison this time) wanted yet more money from us. As if the revenue from the regalia business sale wasn’t enough!
Full of enthusiasm and bacon roll we headed for the ferry crossing to Brodick. This should have been straight forward, after all, we booked months in advance. However, there’s always one and this time it was Bob MacGillivray who thought he would beat the crowds by booking his crossings in reverse.
And so it was, that after a suitable bribe had been paid to the relevant CalMac employee, we all set off for Brodick.
Our first point of call was the Arran Heritage Museum and they could not have made us more welcome. Shame about blocking the only road round Arran for 10 minutes while we all parked on their lawn! There were plenty of exhibits to spend time looking round as well as a café and gift shop.
The museum had generously provided a superb octagonal glass trophy for The Car You Would Most Like To Take Home – now taking pride of place on George and Wendy Rome’s mantelpiece for their beautiful MG A.
The weather had let us down at this point and after taking time to appreciate the Arran Pipe Band (and their attempts to play and chase midges at the same time) we headed for the Auchrannie Hotel.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent familiarising ourselves with the many splendid amenities that the Auchrannie had to offer, one of which was the bedroom where my tour ended with the F1 qualifying.
Dinner time and resplendent in our finest jeans and T shirts we headed for the restaurant. We had to run the gauntlet of Tony “looky looky” Smith and his newly acquired regalia business in order to reach our table but we made it with just enough cash left for a starter.
The food was excellent and plentiful. Barely conscious after my Haggis Nachos starter nearly forced me into a food coma, we emerged from pudding into the after dinner quiz. There followed a punch up with Anne Howitt’s table over the spelling of Dolly or Dollie or Doleigh, but we emerged victorious – in the quiz not the punch up. Anne won that one.
Sunday arrived and the sun was splitting the sapphire sky. Hold on, I’ve used that one already, however, this time I really mean it! After a slimming breakfast of sausage, bacon, hash browns, tattie scones etc. we set off on a tour of the beautiful island of Arran.
The group had carte blanche to please ourselves regarding the day’s activities but most enjoyed touring the island in various different directions. We headed for Lamlash, following a figure of 8 round the island taking in the Arran cheese shop and distillery visitor’s centre en route eventually returning to Brodick mid-afternoon. I confess to a certain amount of arm ache after waving to numerous MG’s throughout the day – and some guy called Austin Healey.
The Auchrannie fitness centre was then put to the test by a few, prior to reinstating the calories at dinner.
Dress code for dinner was that you should actually wear something. This email was obviously missed by the lady across the hall from Tony Smith who decided that a towel would suffice. Perhaps it might have done, had it not slipped off while the said lady was attempting entry into her room. Tony being the gentleman that he is, looked the other way. (Nice video by the way Tony)
The food again was excellent with only mild heartburn to follow. We were regaled by tales of Tony’s educational history throughout the evening but after parting with twenty quid he persuaded me not to list his various achievements in the report.
Monday arrived, the sun splitting the sapphire sky…again. We gathered outside for the group photo shoot arranged by the absent Bob MacGillivray. I suspect it was his way of being first in the queue for breakfast. Anyway, pictures taken we stampeded up to the restaurant for any breakfast that Bob had left.
All packed up, we headed for the return ferry. Mid way back over the Clyde we passed the ferry coming the other way and were able to wave to Bob on his way back. Nothing like getting your money’s worth.
Off the ferry and the short trip to Largs for a visit to Nardinis. Famous for its ice cream as well as its fish and chips, obviously I chose macaroni.
Having run out of places to eat, we headed off on the long road home.
A fabulous trip, brilliantly organised by Barclay and Alison. Same time and place next year?