Following swiftly on from the opening of the new Jim Clark Museum, Bo’ness Revival Hillclimb was held over the weekend of 31st August to 1st September 2019.
For 2019, the Bo’ness Revival committee produced a glossy A4 format brochure amounting to almost 80 pages. In addition to the usual credits, class entries, participating clubs etc, were extensive features on the history of hillclimbing and Bo’ness, Kinneil House Estate (which hosts the hillclimb) and Jim Clark. Xclusively Jaguar was one of the sponsors of the event and hence was given a full page advert in the Official Programme.
Once again, Ron Siddle had invited me to be co-driver in his C-type re-creation, however, this time we were taking part in the road run rather than the competitive rally, which made for a slightly more relaxed drive, and I also had the advantage of knowing where I was going, as the Jim Clark Museum is very close to where we live.
We set out from Bo’ness in a light drizzle which was none too pleasant in a car with no roof, and I was grateful that Ron had replaced the small individual windscreens with a slightly more protective half screen! As the drizzle turned to a torrent I was even more grateful for the larger windscreen! Thankfully the rain gradually eased as we crossed the Lammermuirs and by the time we reached Duns the weather was quite pleasant.
Lunch was served at a hall just across the road from the newly re-opened Jim Clark Museum in Duns, with the opportunity to visit the museum before returning to Bo’ness.
When we returned to Bo’ness we found that the rain there had not stopped all day and those who were not on the rally had retreated to the hotel for dry clothes and warming refreshments.
The tradition of a Saturday evening dinner with presentations, which began last year, was continued at the Belgica Café, the venue being provided by one of the event sponsors.
By Sunday morning there was talk of cancelling the event altogether if the field was saturated, however, as cars began to arrive, those people who were already there helped to put them into position. Very soon the ground was badly torn up and straw had to be put down to help the cars gain traction, but still we battled on.
We later had fun reminiscing over Bo’ness – all of the passengers in cars of other marques got out and helped to push, while the passengers in Jaguars stayed put and let us do all the work! Most of the drivers had no idea of how to switch off their traction control and no idea how to drive in slippery mud! No wonder the Triumph drivers stood and watched in amazement!
It was so bad that instead of doing pretty pictures of cars in fields I thought I would show the real story of how we struggled to get the cars positioned – it certainly made a change, anyway.
During the day the weather improved and it was only the JEC area that never dried out properly, due to its position at the base of a wooded slope.
While the competition cars dealt with mud in the lower paddock and slippery conditions on the track, the sun came out and by mid-afternoon the arena was dry enough for the carkhana to begin. One competitor took part in a hearse, while Ron Siddle completed the course in his C-type.
Meanwhile, Wayne Scott did a roaming commentary on some of the cars at the show, interviewing owners such as Rob Jenner who had been asked to bring his completely original 4000 mile from new 1968 Triumph Herald along to the show.
Following the carkhana, Wayne Scott returned to the arena and interviewed owners of selected cars, one of which was Brucie, my 1997 X300 4 litre Sovereign lwb.
For some of us, the star of the show for 2019 was TKF9, a genuine Jaguar D-type (XKD 517), seen to the left with Doug Niven, and again with Doug Niven as passenger and below with Cliff McKinnon, organiser of Bo’ness Revival Hill Climb, making it quite clear how he feels about this car!
Prizes presented by Alan Westbury of the TR Register
*To prevent ‘trailer queens’ from winning this award a car must have completed either the Bo’ness Road Rally or Bo’ness Saltire Rally 2019
Little did we know that it was probably going to be our last show for a long time!
Pictures by Letitia Mace, Rob Jenner and Cliff McKinnon
Ash Marston, Jaguar E-type Series 2 fhc – Champion ‘Bo’ness Revival Classic Car of the Event’ *
Gordon Walker, Jaguar S-type HVK862C – Third place ‘Bo’ness Revival Classic Car of the Event’ *
Edinburgh & S.E. Scotland JEC Region – Third Place ‘Bo’ness Revival Best Club Stand’ (prize accepted by Rob Jenner on behalf of the club)
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