Monday, June 09, 2014

Nostalgia on Gumball Sunday

Standing on the bridge which goes over the M74 and down into Wamphray is not usually what passes for entertainment on a Sunday! Yesterday was an exception.

And I was not alone. Every vantage point along the motorway had people watching the road.

It was the Gumball 3000! This sees a variety of unusual cars, and drivers, set off from Miami Beach, destination Ibiza. Yesterday's stage was from Edinburgh to Manchester and on to London.

You don't need to be short of a bob or two to take part, and I think it helps to be completely bonkers! Lots of celebrities driving rare cars down the M74 doesn't happen every day.

Did I say interesting cars? This is a 2013 Jaguar F-type, entered by Karl and Helen Hartey.

You can read about all the entrants here.

One thing for sure was that most of the foreign participants seemed to be enjoying the support of those on the bridges, and acknowledged that accordingly, in a variety of ways! Great fun.

Standing watching the traffic hurtling down the road, brought back memories of travel south from Scotland in the 1950s. Yes, that's me above, wearing my kilt, and standing in front of my dad's Austin Devon. I'm thinking this will be around 1952.

Our annual family holiday was usually to Morecambe, and I looked forward to it immensely. We left home as early as possible on the Saturday to head south on the A74. No motorways back then. The main road went through the centre of Lockerbie, and that was often our first break. 

The biggest hurdle was getting over Shap, and if successfully accomplished without the radiator boiling over, then Kendal was usually the next stop. If we were lucky, we were driving along the front at Morecambe by late afternoon or early evening, after at least eight hours on the road. It was a major trip.

I don't remember the Devon, but I do remember my father's next car, an Austin Somerset. My box of old family photos does not have a photo of this car, but I always look out for one when I visit classic car shows.

I have a memory of seeing the sign to 'Newton Wamphray' as we passed through Annandale on the A74, along what is now the B7076, the service road for the motorway. "Strange name", I thought, "I wonder who lives there?" Its been home to me now for a while, twelve years!

I recall that we stayed at the Maxwell Hotel on Sea View Parade. As we always went on the same fortnight every year, we often met the same people. One of the traditions was to have a group photo taken of the guests. That's Mr Maxwell, the hotel proprietor, right at the back. In case of doubt, that is me, front row, third from the left, sporting a tartan tie! My mother is the middle of the row behind, and my dad is on the far right of row three.

These were happy times. This must have been a some years later. Here we are on the promenade, mum and dad on the left. Is that really a cricket bat I'm carrying!

Nostalgia over for today.

Pics © Skip Cottage

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff again Bob.
    My journeys were the reverse of yours - a 7 hour+ trip from London, initially to help our friends refurbish Lochwood Toll Cottage and then to a wee turn-off half a mile on from the old Wamphray turn-in - Orchard.
    Cars were Morris Minor, Vauxhall Victor and Vauxhall Viva, and nearly every one involved some drama or other.
    We'd settle ourselves in, having got some provisions from Johnstone Bridge Post Office and then maybe head out to wet our whistles at Dora's Red House. And then it was long holidays, trying to wrest back the totally overgrown garden.
    Very happy days indeed.

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