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Dreiradtreffen 2015

by

David Tocher

Inveraray castle

Last year at the Dreiradtreffen held in Bad Malente Tom and Bill offered to host the event next year in Scotland. The offer was eagerly accepted. When the UK contingent returned home Tom and Bill quickly sussed out a town with a hotel and told people to get booking. The place chosen was Inveraray in Argyl. Very quickly, to the surprise of the hotel, the limit on entries was reached within a month or so.

I persuaded Jan to come along but it did take a lot of cadjoling as she has a long memory. We had a summer camping holiday in western Scotland many many years ago and she well remembers the awful weather and the midges. If you have ever experienced the scottish midge whilst camping then you know how miserable you can feel as it's impossible to escape their attention.

We spent what turned out to be an indifferent summer in Ireland and because of the imminence of Quicksivler's first MoT decided to start from Leeds rather than Limerick. The final master plan was for Jan to take the train up to Glasgow (as she didn't fancy a long drive on major roads), I'd drive up the previous day to somewhere near to the south of Glasgow, pick her up from the station and then together head off to Inveraray. What could possibly go wrong?

I set off up the A1(M) into what turned out to be more than showers. By the time I got to Scotch Corner it was pretty awful but it cleared as I crossed over the Pennines towards Carlisle. The skies cleared and the run to Strathevan was in sunshine.

New Lanark

As I had plenty of time I went to New Lanark to see the Robert Owen model factory and town. The setting in a steep wooded valley with the River Clyde pouring over a series of waterfalls was in marked contrast to other similar schemes I'd seen such as the mill and village at Saltaire or Port Sunlight.

A date in Glasgow that couldn't be missed was now pressing and using the sat nav I got to the central Station on time without any problems. I was surprised at how light the traffic was and the absence of people in Glaagow and I was able to park on a double yellow for what transpired to be much longer than expected! I never found out why it took Jan so long to get to the exit. I fielded endless questions about the car from passers-by and apart from being bothered by a born again christian trying unsuccessfully to convert me wasn't 'got' by a traffic warden or whatever they are called these days.

Trusting the satnav we set off into the Friday afternoon traffic. I was concerned that we seemed to be going towards Paisley and I started to think I'd entered the hotel group HQ post code rather than the actual code for Inveraray. The sat nav sent us west and then over the Irving Bridge towards Loch Lomond. The weather, which had be lovely during the morning, turned into heavy rain and we sheltered under a tree and ate our sandwiches so we weren't wasting time!

Inveraray

The rain shower passed and the final run to the hotel was very scenic. We were one of the later arrivals and the bar was full of people obviously there for the meet. We were fed and watered at the evening meal and given our instructions for the next day. The tours were run the same way as in Bad Malente except we were split into gold and pink groups which would go clockwise and anticlockwise round the route meeting for lunch.

Bridge over the Atlantic
Coffee stop

The next day dawned and the sky was blue and as it turned out stayed beautiful all day - better weather than our previous scottish holiday already! We assembled in the grounds of the castle. There were a mixture of vehicles, Pembletons, Trikings Carvers, JZRs and even a Reliant! We set off in our two groups with a time delay between the them. We went up and down mountain passes, along single track roads by the lochs - stunning scenery in every dirction. There was some other rally with 60s and 70s British cars travelling against us which, on single track roads, made life interesting. We met the other group at our lunch stop at a hotel by a sea loch and enjoyed the views. We set off again and went north to Oban and our coffee stop at the point where Loch Etive enters the sea.

The local garage was full of people attempting to refuel with only one pump. It all seem to take ages but it had to be done. The evening was a re-run of the previous one with drinks in the bar, a meal and then further drinks. Not at all boring!

New Lanark

The next day dawned and the weather still held - amazing! We again assembled at the castle and set off in two groups but both going in the same direction. The scenery was less rugged but more sea. We finished the day and the event back at the castle were we had our coffee and left the cars on display for visitors to admire and take pictures.

All the cars

We had twelve Pembletons present; Mike Bulley Graham Edmonds, Colin Ferguson, Don Eden, Duncan Grimmond, Rob Jenkinson, Sam McIntyre, Dave Parr, Tom Rae, 'Spike' Stephenson, David Tocher and someone else I can't recall (sorry!). There were three Carvers and the one on the right was obviously very tired after the run and needed a sleep.

All the cars
All the cars

Monday moring dawned and again it was clear once the low cloud was dispersed by the sun. Our plan had been to drive to see the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies and then wander back to Leeds via the east coast. Once we passed Loch Lomond the low cloud returned and Jan got very cold so back to Glasgow and pop her on a train. I decided to return to Leeds by the same route I had come. Apart from a 2 mile tailback for road works (it was a 20' section single track caused by a trench and no sign of anybody actually working - the tail back on the west bound side was even worse) on A66 it was a lovely drive back in sunshine to Leeds. Jan arrived home about 15 miinutes after me. It was a great end to a well orgainised event. I'm looking forward to the next one to be held in The Netherlands in 2016

David


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