Record entry for Bute Vintage Club’s road run

Bute Vintage Club's annual rally and road run attracted more than 90 vintage tractors, and hundreds of spectators, to Rothesay on Saturday.
Bute Vintage Club's annual rally and road run attracted more than 90 vintage tractors, and hundreds of spectators, to Rothesay on Saturday.

A record entry of more than 90 tractors gathered in Rothesay on Saturday morning for Bute Vintage Club’s annual charity rally and road run.

The fleet - including more than 60 mainland visitors, from as far afield as Campbeltown and Kirkcowan - attracted hundreds of admiring spectators of all ages to the town’s seafront promenade.

To cheers from the crowd, the tractors - the oldest a 1941 Fordson owned by Billy Crawford of Stuck Farm, the youngest a John Deere 3350 belonging to Billy Miller junior of Inverkip - were waved off by actor, entertainer and Bute resident Johnny Beattie, at the start of their road run around the island via Craigmore, Mount Stuart, Kingarth and Scoulag Moor en route to the terminus at Isle of Bute Sailing Club.

The tractors and their drivers were joined once again by a faithful supporter of the rally, Lawrence Macduff of Kilmarnock at the wheel of his 1967 AEC Reliance bus painted in the distinctive red-and-green livery of David MacBrayne’s bygone coach services.

One of the most interesting participants this year was a 1971 Douglas Tugmaster driven by Stan Ferguson from Port Bannatyne, purchased only two months ago and thought to have been first used to manoeuvre aircraft on board HMS Ark Royal.

The proceeds raised at this year’s event are to be split between Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Bute Forum for Older Voices.