Report of the Scottish Caravan Club East and West Centre
70th Celebration Rally
Linwater Caravan Park
23rd -27th January 2020
After preparing the caravan, coupling up in the winter sunshine, we set off to attend the East and West 70th Celebration Rally at Linwater Caravan Park, coming through some light rain, we arrived on the Thursday just after noon with Margaret saying hello, Iain showing us our pitch. It was a nostalgic journey as it was the last Rally organised by the East Centre and my mind was cast back to our first East Centre Rally – Halloween, away back in October 1982 at Biggar, with 4 sets of Marshals led by Ian and Betty Fraser.
After lunch on the Thursday we had a nice relaxing afternoon and looked forward to a special weekend, as it turned out, we were not to be disappointed. After a lazy morning on the Friday, we went to Livingston and spent a couple of hours wandering around the outlet before returning to Linwater. The Friday evening opening at 7.30pm was performed by Ronnie Duff, Chairman of the Scottish Caravan Club. Following the opening everyone had a Glass of red or white wine or juice to toast both Centre’s 70th Birthdays. This was then followed by oatcakes and haggis, crackers and pate, tea, coffee, after all Robert Burns will be celebrated all over the world tomorrow 25th January. There was a very good turnout of members at the rally, 22 outfits in total, and most of the SCC Centre’s represented although some members made a weekend of the Celebrations and stayed in the Dalmahoy Hotel.
Saturday allowed an opportunity for those members who still had not visited Livingston to enjoy some retail therapy and allowed time to get back and prepare for the Dinner Dance at Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club. The Marshals had arranged for a luxury coach to come into the caravan park, pick us up and take us effortlessly to the venue. On arrival at the Hotel we were ushered into a main lounge by the staff where we were offered wine, beer or soft drink prior to the doors opening to the function suite. East Centre Chairman, Margaret Devine gave a welcome to everyone and Linda Williamson, the West Centre Chairman, gave a rather quaint Grace, prior to the meal. The wide range of food on the menu included a choice of three starters, three main courses and three sweets, all presented in a very professional way and this was then followed by tea or coffee.
During our meal the band unobtrusively set up for the evening entertainment at the front of the function suite so that little dance time would be wasted after the meal was completed. Linda introduced the band and so the six members of The White Doves’ were given a very warm welcome from SCC members and visitors. The band played a wide range of dance music from traditional Scottish Country Dance tunes, to special requests and free style dance steps, resulting in the dance floor being continually full throughout the evening.
Dave Smith, the President of SCC, gave the traditional Vote of Thanks during the Band’s respite break, needless to say he couldn’t resist telling one of his famous jokes, this time it was the guy who invented the knock, knock jokes being presented with the Nobel prize, keep it up Dave, you might still come up with a good one sometime. Following Dave, everyone was invited to take a piece of one of the two 70th Birthday Celebration cakes. The band again returned for their final session and immediately had the floor filled to capacity with a steady build up to the Grand Finale of the evening. Scottish favourites including the Proclaimers 500 miles and Runrig’s Loch Lomond amongst other favourites before finishing with Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns that rounded off a very successful and entertaining evening. A big thanks is due to the highly professional manner of the staff and the organisation of the events co-ordinator at Dalmahoy as well as the Centres’ organisers for a brilliant evening. Roll on the first SCC Forth and Clyde Centre Rally for the 1st Dinner Dance.
After saying goodbye to all our friends, we had to leave the hotel to get the bus back at 12.15am to Linwater. Although weary, it was the end of a fantastic evening.
Sunday morning closing was at 10.30am. The heavens opened, but a good number came out for the Final Closing of an East Centre Rally. Tea, coffee and shortbread were served before Iain gave the answers to the competition and announced Nick Hendry as the winner. After the Lucky Van prizes were given out, Margaret gave a lovely last speech for the final East Centre Rally. Iain and Margaret were formally thanked by SCC President, Dave Smith, and then presented with their Rally Officer’s plaque.
On Sunday afternoon the final AGM’s of the East and West Centres took place in Dalmahoy Church hall at 2.00pm. They both went smoothly, well attended by both Centre’s Members, as well as some visitors.
A vote was taken on what the New Centre’s name should be and it was finally agreed that it would be known as “The Forth and Clyde Centre”. People were thanked for their input both at the meeting and for other comments throughout the amalgamation process.
On a personal note, on behalf of Pat and myself, I would like to wish the New “Forth and Clyde Centre” a very successful future and we cannot wait to attend a Centre Rally in the first few months of 2020.
George & Pat Lallaway.