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Classic vehicle rally back at Groats with well-polished style in the sunshine


By David G Scott

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Vintage vehicles from far and wide descended on John O'Groats on Sunday for a colourful display of cars, trucks, tractors, motorbikes and much more.

This 1945 Kelvin K3 Stationary Engine was voted Best Overall Exhibit. It is owned by D and G Broughton from Brough and had previously been fitted within the Isabella Fortuna fishing vessel. David Broughton is pictured with his grandchildren Benjamin and Hannah. Picture: DGS
This 1945 Kelvin K3 Stationary Engine was voted Best Overall Exhibit. It is owned by D and G Broughton from Brough and had previously been fitted within the Isabella Fortuna fishing vessel. David Broughton is pictured with his grandchildren Benjamin and Hannah. Picture: DGS

Willie Mackay acted as compere for the Caithness and Sutherland Vintage and Classic Vehicle Club's (CSVCVC) rally introducing entertainments such as Violet's Highland dancers and Wick RBLS Pipe Band and also announcing the various winners of the different categories along with honorary membership awards.

The occasion was an opportunity for classic enthusiasts to dust off their pride and joy pieces and get them back on the road to Groats after a three-year hiatus due to Covid restrictions. It was a fun-filled family day out for many and apart from a slight breeze the sun shone throughout most of the day.

Willie Mackay once again acted as compere for the event. Willie said he was delighted to be back in his role after the three-year hiatus due to Covid restrictions. Picture: DGS
Willie Mackay once again acted as compere for the event. Willie said he was delighted to be back in his role after the three-year hiatus due to Covid restrictions. Picture: DGS
The event recorded a great turnout on the day. Picture: DGS
The event recorded a great turnout on the day. Picture: DGS
Gordon Tait and his daughter Shona who both played in the pipe band at the event. Shona recently graduated with distinction in engineering and Gordon was showing his off his 1952 Hillman Minx Mark V. Picture: DGS
Gordon Tait and his daughter Shona who both played in the pipe band at the event. Shona recently graduated with distinction in engineering and Gordon was showing his off his 1952 Hillman Minx Mark V. Picture: DGS
Vice chairman Les Bremner (acting chair for the day) from Halkirk with his 1951 MG TD. Les won top award for Class D – Post War Cars 1946- 1959. Picture: DGS
Vice chairman Les Bremner (acting chair for the day) from Halkirk with his 1951 MG TD. Les won top award for Class D – Post War Cars 1946- 1959. Picture: DGS
This classic TVR shone brightly in the beautiful sunshine. Picture: DGS
This classic TVR shone brightly in the beautiful sunshine. Picture: DGS
Queue of cars waiting to enter the field. Picture: DGS
Queue of cars waiting to enter the field. Picture: DGS
A beautifully restored 1948 Field Marshall Series 2 Tractor owned by Nicol Mackenzie, Halkirk. It came first in its farm vehicle class. Picture: DGS
A beautifully restored 1948 Field Marshall Series 2 Tractor owned by Nicol Mackenzie, Halkirk. It came first in its farm vehicle class. Picture: DGS
Bedford 1966 HA Van used by Garry Dickson from Durran for his Windowcraft business. Next to Garry is his wife Jackie. Picture: DGS
Bedford 1966 HA Van used by Garry Dickson from Durran for his Windowcraft business. Next to Garry is his wife Jackie. Picture: DGS
John King from Halkirk brought this 1988 Opel Manta GSI Coupe which won second place in its class. Picture: DGS
John King from Halkirk brought this 1988 Opel Manta GSI Coupe which won second place in its class. Picture: DGS

Speaking on the day, Club committee member Jasper Bremner said: "We've had a fantastic turnout with a lot of late entries and we've turned nobody away.

"There's a bit of sunshine. which is grand and we've had a few people dropping in who've been doing the North Coast 500 as well. It's all going really good."

Some tourists doing the North Coast 500 route had just chanced upon the rally and decided to drop in. Free entry was an added incentive but donations were happily handed in to help support next year's event.

Alan Bews travelled from Kirkwall with his 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo. Picture: DGS
Alan Bews travelled from Kirkwall with his 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo. Picture: DGS
Another winner of its class was this immaculate 1967 Ford Anglia owned by Norman Lowe from Brora. Picture: DGS
Another winner of its class was this immaculate 1967 Ford Anglia owned by Norman Lowe from Brora. Picture: DGS
Many classics had been well polished up for the popular event. This 1975 Triumph Dolomite Sprint is owned by Stephen Jappy from Dornoch. Picture: DGS
Many classics had been well polished up for the popular event. This 1975 Triumph Dolomite Sprint is owned by Stephen Jappy from Dornoch. Picture: DGS
1963 Ford Anglia owned by Nick Manson from Thurso. Picture: DGS
1963 Ford Anglia owned by Nick Manson from Thurso. Picture: DGS
Highland dancers get high in the air during their routine. Picture: DGS
Highland dancers get high in the air during their routine. Picture: DGS
Stationary engines displayed at the entrance to the field.
Stationary engines displayed at the entrance to the field.
Elaine Rapson-Grant from Scrabster did some brisk trade selling her artworks at the event. Picture: DGS
Elaine Rapson-Grant from Scrabster did some brisk trade selling her artworks at the event. Picture: DGS
Model boat display. Picture: DGS
Model boat display. Picture: DGS
Model boat display. Picture: DGS
Model boat display. Picture: DGS

There were numerous awards for the various classes of vehicle and also honorary awards for CSVCVC stalwarts. These were presented by Iain Sutherland, cousin of the late Edward Sutherland and past club chairman along with his wife, Irene.

Honorary membership awards went to Bert Macleod from Thurso, ex club chairman; David Green from John O’ Groats; and Edward Mackay from Helmsdale.

Vice chairman Les Bremner said he was acting chair for the day as the chairman Kevin Sutherland was laid low with Covid. "It's unbelievable," he said. "We're really overwhelmed by the turnout today. It was a dry day with a touch of sunshine and when you have that you'll always get a big rally at John O'Groats."

Willie Mackay, at left, compered the event and club members Les Bremner and Iain Sutherland stand next to him as the awards are handed out. Picture: DGS
Willie Mackay, at left, compered the event and club members Les Bremner and Iain Sutherland stand next to him as the awards are handed out. Picture: DGS
Iain Sutherland, left, gives an honorary award to Edward Mackay from Helmsdale. Picture: DGS
Iain Sutherland, left, gives an honorary award to Edward Mackay from Helmsdale. Picture: DGS
Iain Sutherland gives an honorary award to David Green from John O’ Groats.
Iain Sutherland gives an honorary award to David Green from John O’ Groats.
Iain Sutherland, left, gives an honorary award to Bert Macleod from Thurso, ex club chairman. Picture: DGS
Iain Sutherland, left, gives an honorary award to Bert Macleod from Thurso, ex club chairman. Picture: DGS
Hamper winner collects his prize. Picture: DGS
Hamper winner collects his prize. Picture: DGS
AI Willie's van may be one of the most recognisable vehicles in the far north but it wasn't officially in the show. Picture: DGS
AI Willie's van may be one of the most recognisable vehicles in the far north but it wasn't officially in the show. Picture: DGS

Compere Willie Mackay said he was delighted with the event. "It's the first time since 2019 and we're back here at John O'Groats with hundreds of people and it's been a great success. There were people from all over Europe who were on tour and just came along. It was free entry with donations only and it worked very well indeed."

2022 Caithness and Sutherland Vintage and Classic Vehicle Club Winners

Class C – Post Vintage Cars 1931 – 1945

1 – 1987 Austin Ruby Special – Robbie Gibson, Shebster

2 – 1936 Austin 10 Cambridge – David Green, John O’Groats

3 – 1934 Austin 10 – Terence Almond, Latheron

Class D – Post War Cars 1946- 1959

1 – 1951 MG TD – Les Bremner, Halkirk

2 – 1957 Wolseley 1500 – David Green, John O’Groats

3 – 1952 Hillman Minx – Gordon Tait, Wick

Jim Macgregor from Latheron Mains and his wife Rhona in their 1930s Austin. Picture: DGS
Jim Macgregor from Latheron Mains and his wife Rhona in their 1930s Austin. Picture: DGS
1957 Wolseley 1500 owned by club member David Green from John O'Groats. It came second in Class D – Post War Cars 1946- 1959. Picture: DGS
1957 Wolseley 1500 owned by club member David Green from John O'Groats. It came second in Class D – Post War Cars 1946- 1959. Picture: DGS
Young Highland dancers and pipe band members take the stage for a portrait picture. Picture: DGS
Young Highland dancers and pipe band members take the stage for a portrait picture. Picture: DGS
Wick RBLS Pipe Band take the field. Picture: DGS
Wick RBLS Pipe Band take the field. Picture: DGS
Car owner Kees van Dorth, left, and friend Jan were touring the Highlands when they came across the rally by chance. Their classic six-cyclinder Volvo dates from 1969 and had come all the way from Amsterdam. Picture: DGS
Car owner Kees van Dorth, left, and friend Jan were touring the Highlands when they came across the rally by chance. Their classic six-cyclinder Volvo dates from 1969 and had come all the way from Amsterdam. Picture: DGS
Willie Mackay, left, speaks to classic Volvo owner Kees van Dorth who had travelled over from Amsterdam with his classic Volvo. Picture: DGS
Willie Mackay, left, speaks to classic Volvo owner Kees van Dorth who had travelled over from Amsterdam with his classic Volvo. Picture: DGS
This fire service vehicle was a popular attraction. Picture: DGS
This fire service vehicle was a popular attraction. Picture: DGS

Class E – Classic Cars 1961 – 1979

1 – 1967 Ford Anglia – Norman Lowe, Brora

2 – 1968 Landrover Series 2a 109 – Roger Smith, Auckengill

3 – 1969 MG BGT – John Cuthbert, Castletown

Class F – Classic Cars 1980 – 1995

1 – 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo – Raymond Macdonald, Wick

2 – 1988 Opel Manta GSI Coupe – John King, Halkirk

3 – 1989 Ford Orion Ghia – Janice Falconer, Thurso

Class G – Future or Emerging Classic Cars 1996 – 2020

1 – 1998 Jaguar Sovereign V8 Auto – Walter Mowat, John O’Groats

2 – 2010 Ford Focus RS – Stuart Davidson, Helmsdale

3 – 2019 Morgan Plus 4 – Ian Grant, Scrabster

Class H – Modified Custom Vehicles Pre 1996

1 – 1957 Volkswagen Beetle – Justin Kirby,Wick

2 – 1968 Ford Escort – James Mackay, Janetstown

3 – 1987 Vauxhall Cavalier Antibes – Robert McLean, Castletown

1980 JCB digger 3C entered by Garry Bain from Muir of Ord was voted winner of Class S – Other Vehicles and Machinery. Picture: DGS
1980 JCB digger 3C entered by Garry Bain from Muir of Ord was voted winner of Class S – Other Vehicles and Machinery. Picture: DGS
Justin Kirby from Wick with his custom 1957 VW Beetle. Justin won top award in Class H – Modified Custom Vehicles Pre 1996 Picture: DGS
Justin Kirby from Wick with his custom 1957 VW Beetle. Justin won top award in Class H – Modified Custom Vehicles Pre 1996 Picture: DGS
Dr Robin Wybrew from Watten with his 1965 Morris Minor. The car is very much in use and can be frequently seen out and about in Caithness. Picture: DGS
Dr Robin Wybrew from Watten with his 1965 Morris Minor. The car is very much in use and can be frequently seen out and about in Caithness. Picture: DGS
A classic Morris Minor Traveller from Sinky Bain in Thurso. Picture: DGS
A classic Morris Minor Traveller from Sinky Bain in Thurso. Picture: DGS
A lovely primrose yellow MG MGB Roadster from 1981 owned by John Forbes, Wick.
A lovely primrose yellow MG MGB Roadster from 1981 owned by John Forbes, Wick.
1961 Austin A40 Farina Mk 1 owned by John Bain from Inverness. Picture: DGS
1961 Austin A40 Farina Mk 1 owned by John Bain from Inverness. Picture: DGS
Apart from a bit of a breeze conditions were perfect for the event. Picture: DGS
Apart from a bit of a breeze conditions were perfect for the event. Picture: DGS

Glass M – Classic Motor Cycles 1980 – 1995

1 – 1978 Triumph Bonneville T140 – James Bremner, Wick

2 – 1977 Suzuki GT 750B – Donald Anderson, Thurso

Class N – Classic Motor Cycles 1980 – 1995

1 – 1982 BMW R100RT – Jim Wright, Gillock

Class P – Commercial Vehicles (Light Class up to 7.5 tons)

1 – 1970 Morris 1000 Van – Allan Ross, Wick

2 – 1970 Austin Pick Up – Jim McCue, Dornoch

3 – 1958 Ford 300E Thames Van – Nick Manson, Thurso

Class Q – Vehicles (Heavy Class over 7 ½ tons)

1 – 1971 ERF M Series – Ronnie Fulton, Invergordon

Class R – Agricultural Machinery

1 – 1948 Field Marshall Series 2 Tractor – Nicol Mackenzie, Halkirk

2 – 1944 Fordson Standard N Tractor – Don McLeod, Lyth

3 – 1966 Massey Ferguson 135 Tractor – Don McLeod, Lyth

Class S – Other Vehicles and Machinery

1 – 1980 JCB Digger 3C – Garry Bain, Muir of Ord

2 – 2002 Lincoln Blackwood Pick Up – Dan Mackenzie, Barrock

3 – 2008 Mercedes Benz S 500 Limo – Roger Broughton, Dunnet

Blood Bikes were at the event to talk about their lifesaving work. The Highlands and Islands Blood Bikes volunteers transfer samples across NHS hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries. Picture: DGS
Blood Bikes were at the event to talk about their lifesaving work. The Highlands and Islands Blood Bikes volunteers transfer samples across NHS hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries. Picture: DGS
Googly eyes on a Honda 50 moped. Picture: DGS
Googly eyes on a Honda 50 moped. Picture: DGS
Austin J40 Pedal Car that was a hit with young children. Picture: DGS
Austin J40 Pedal Car that was a hit with young children. Picture: DGS
2019 Morgan Plus 4 owned by Ian Grant from Scrabster. It came third in Class G – Future or Emerging Classic Cars 1996 – 2020. Picture: DGS
2019 Morgan Plus 4 owned by Ian Grant from Scrabster. It came third in Class G – Future or Emerging Classic Cars 1996 – 2020. Picture: DGS
2016 Polaris Slingshot owned by Eian Sutherland from Scrabster. Picture: DGS
2016 Polaris Slingshot owned by Eian Sutherland from Scrabster. Picture: DGS
Declan McPhee from Wick's Harbour Chip Shop Ford Escort van dating from 1990. Picture: DGS
Declan McPhee from Wick's Harbour Chip Shop Ford Escort van dating from 1990. Picture: DGS
Jackie Dickson, from Durran, had a late entry with her Vauxhall Chevette L from 1978. Picture: DGS
Jackie Dickson, from Durran, had a late entry with her Vauxhall Chevette L from 1978. Picture: DGS
Wick RBLS Pipe Band provided some stirring music on the day. Picture: DGS
Wick RBLS Pipe Band provided some stirring music on the day. Picture: DGS

Class T – Stationary Engines (Open Crank)

1921 Taylor Vacuum Type C – Graham Turner, Shebster

Class U – Stationary Engines (Closed Crank)

1 – 1945 Kelvin K3 – D and G Broughton, Brough

2 – 1945 Wolseley WD11 – C and G Sutherland, Thurso

3 – 1930 Lister A – C and G Sutherland, Thurso

Class V – Show and Shine (Anything Goes)

1 – 2016 Volkswagen Caddy – Lara-Louize Ryan, Castletown

2 – 2006 Volkswagen R32 – Lara-Louize Ryan, Castletown

3 – 2021 Toyota GR Yaris – Donald Henderson, Lybster

A nice array of colours on the field. Picture: DGS
A nice array of colours on the field. Picture: DGS
This ice cream van may have been working on the day but is itself a vintage vehicle. Picture: DGS
This ice cream van may have been working on the day but is itself a vintage vehicle. Picture: DGS
1934 Austin 10 owned by Terence Almond from Latheron won third place in its class. Picture: DGS
1934 Austin 10 owned by Terence Almond from Latheron won third place in its class. Picture: DGS
One of the late entries was this 1937 Morris 8 tourer from Robert Mackintosh from Inverness. Picture: DGS
One of the late entries was this 1937 Morris 8 tourer from Robert Mackintosh from Inverness. Picture: DGS
Wick's pipe band convener Colin Mackay, left, with Dr Robin Wybrew who joined the band in 2019. Dr Wybrew was also displaying his 1965 Morris Minor which he frequently uses for trips to Caithness General Hospital where he works. Picture: DGS
Wick's pipe band convener Colin Mackay, left, with Dr Robin Wybrew who joined the band in 2019. Dr Wybrew was also displaying his 1965 Morris Minor which he frequently uses for trips to Caithness General Hospital where he works. Picture: DGS
George Sutherland brought his two door classic Jaguar but had lost his glasses. Willie Mackay, at left, gives George back his glasses which were found in the 20-acre field by a member of the public. Picture: DGS
George Sutherland brought his two door classic Jaguar but had lost his glasses. Willie Mackay, at left, gives George back his glasses which were found in the 20-acre field by a member of the public. Picture: DGS
1976 Triumph Stag owned by Les Bremner from Halkirk. Picture: DGS
1976 Triumph Stag owned by Les Bremner from Halkirk. Picture: DGS
Stalwart of ploughing matches, Don McLeod from Lyth on his 1966 Massey Ferguson 135 tractor. Don won second and third prizes for his tractors. Picture: DGS
Stalwart of ploughing matches, Don McLeod from Lyth on his 1966 Massey Ferguson 135 tractor. Don won second and third prizes for his tractors. Picture: DGS
This 1945 Kelvin K3 Stationary Engine was voted Best Overall Exhibit. It is owned by D and G Broughton from Brough. Picture: DGS
This 1945 Kelvin K3 Stationary Engine was voted Best Overall Exhibit. It is owned by D and G Broughton from Brough. Picture: DGS

Furthest Travelled

2003 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA – Paul Philllips, Kirkgunzeon

Ladies Choice

2003 MG TF – Richard Penman. Murkle

Best Overall Exhibit

1945 Kelvin K3 Stationary Engine – D and G Broughton, Brough

Best Restored and Modified Car

1957 Volkswagen Beetle – Justin Kirby, Wick

Youngest Competitor

Brooke Body, Thurso

This Austin J40 Pedal Car dated 1965 proved popular with children. Picture: DGS
This Austin J40 Pedal Car dated 1965 proved popular with children. Picture: DGS

Only a handful of volunteers set up the rally and the committee is looking for new blood and people to help set up the event for next year.

If you would like to join the club, annual membership costs £15 and family membership £20. There is a Facebook page for the club as well that people can find out more information from at: www.facebook.com/CSVCVC


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