Davie Reynolds writes:
The Oldies Highland Fling – Edition 4 – Birnam 13-16 May 2019
After a week of horrendous weather I was beginning to think that the Oldies annual gathering, also known as the Highland Fling, would for once be flung before it began. However, as I drove up the A9 on Monday morning 13 May it was evident that, for the fourth consecutive year, we were in for another scorcher of a week. And so it was from day one, the sound of happy Lycra-clad pensioners, electric motors and much changing of gears rang out around Jessie Mac’s and the Taybank Hotel.
It was great to see most of the now familiar faces Alex Cameron, Davie Robb, Bert Waugh, Charlie Stewart, Jim Robinson, Alex Horn, Ian Russell, Davie Smith, Tam Barr, Andy Graham, Jim Smith, Jim Wood, Alistair McDonald and, all the way from the Antipodes, George McBean. It was also great to have a day visit from Gordon Galloway and Alex Smith who rendezvoused with the peloton at Pitlochry for a chat and a pit stop; both looked well and on form after a difficult year.
Communal eating is one of the highlights of the Fling and on this occasion Bert served up a very fine chilli while Alistair conjured up a top class lasagne. Local hostelries and the excellent local chippie helped fill the gaps and keep the calorie count high. As if the food and conversation was not enough, Ian played and sang us through his ever expanding songbook. It was noted that, like some of the bikes he had gone electric – a fine performance.
The Fling Tankard golf championship was again held over the Aberfeldy course in sweltering sunshine. While Alex Cameron, Charlie Steward and my good self suffered in the heat, George prevailed to lift the tankard on the back of years of high temperature acclimatisation in Oz. Sadly Bert could not play due to injury (more of that later) but walked round the first nine in his elegant straw hat offering encouragement and much needed advice.
There was of course some cycling done, mostly still unaided, but the tell tale whine of the electric motor could be heard as full power was deployed on some of the more testing routes. Cupar Angus, the Murthly circuit, Loch Na Craig, Pitlochry via the tough Logierait cemetery climb, Blairgowrie, Bridge of Cally and Kirkmichael were all visited. Two unfortunate accidents gave some concern after Davie Robb fell heavily trying to negotiate his way past a giant tractor on a single track road. Bert also came a cropper negotiating a tricky descent of the stairs in Jessie Mac’s but physio applied by Charlie had Bert back on the bike before the week was up. We hope Davie is making a full recovery and that he won’t be deterred.
So the Fling and the Oldies go from strength to strength. The concerns about the possible closure of Jessie Mac’s have also eased somewhat as a provisional reservation has been secured for next year – watch this space.
Jim Robinson writes:
John was a popular and active member of the Club, well-remembered by the Oldies of his time. He was a member from 1962 to 1971 and was Club Champion in 1964. We lost touch with him when he moved south and have now been informed by his daughter of his death last week at the age of 74. Like many members from that era he obviously had fond memories of his time with the Club and his daughter, Monica, sent us some photographs and a Club handbook which he had kept.
The photographs are shown below along with a couple from the Club’s own archive.
Jim Robinson writes:
As of now, 16 Oldies have signed up for our return to Jessie Mac’s in Birnam in May (13th-18th). Furthest travelled is George McBean who is flying in from Australia but the others are from various far-flung corners of Scotland and England. A modicum of pedal turning is envisaged, some of it aided by ‘mechanical doping’. After all, how else can 70 and 80 year old’s get up hills?
Jim Robinson writes:
John is, I would think. the oldest former member that we are aware of. At 92 he is still hale and hearty (more or less) and recently sent me a photograph of members and their wives taken at a Club Presentation in the early 1950s. From the left – Hugh Mitchell, John Mortimer, Davie Wallace, Andy Nolan (below), Hugh Hart and Sam Robinson. Sadly, only Hugh and John are still with us.