SELKIRK Vintage Rally has been cancelled for the first time in its history, writes Kenny Paterson.
It was due to take place on Sunday, September 16, but the organisers took the decision as the site of the annual showcase at Sunderland Hall near Lindean has failed to recover from last year, when heavy rain turned the field into a mudbath.
Rally chairman Gordon Edgar said: “There was a lot of damage last year and with the wet weather we have had this year we have not been able to repair it.
“The condition of the field means we could not guarantee the safety of entrants or members of the public. It was a difficult decision, but has been made to ensure the future of the rally.
“Robert Smyly, the owner of Sunderland Hall, has been very helpful and we will be back on the third Sunday of September in 2013.”
Last year’s 18th staging of the rally saw 1,500 entries from across the UK as well as an estimated 3,000 spectators.
It is regarded as the last major showcase of veteran, vintage and classic vehicles in the Scottish calendar.
The former Scottish Borders Council convenor, Alasdair Hutton, has opened the rally on a number of occasions, and was saddened about its cancellation.
He told TheSouthern: “This is a practical step, but very disappointing. It is very sad that an event which proves a big attraction to thousands of people has been cancelled.
“I completely understand why the organisers have made this decision and nobody will have wanted this to happen.
“I think it has become the biggest vintage rally in the country. In terms of visitor and participant numbers, it was holding up very well.”