THEY came from all over the UK to take part in what has become a major event on the Scottish Carte Grand Prix circuit.
It all happened on Saturday as Denholm, bathed in glorious sunshine, hosted the fourth annual Border Bogie Challenge.
From the state-of-the-art to the Dennis the Menace, all kinds of unpowered, handcrafted vehicles were given the chance to show their mettle down the spectacular hill course at the west end of the village.
Very much in the former category was the sleek C12, crafted and driven by Steve Thomas, a lecturer in carbon fibre technology from Chippenham, who sped down the 1km senior course in a time of 57 seconds – a new course record.
Steve’s was one of only a handful of bogies in the 26-strong adult class to break the one minute barrier and he was clocked at an astonishing 40mph as he crossed the finishing line.
At the other end of the scale was the wooden soapbox, complete with pram wheels, which 11-year-old Jack Ellis had brought to compete from his home in Wakefield.
Built by his cousin who works at the Cross Keys in Denholm, the bogie, appropriately named Scrap, crossed the line at a relaxed 4mph in the shorter junior class.
“This sums up the spirit of the Border Bogie Challenge,” observed Guy Satchwell, who compered the event.
“Young Jack was just thrilled to be there and Steve, too, clearly enjoyed the camaraderie and thrill of impressing the real carte enthusiasts,” said Guy. “It was the biggest and best challenge ever.”
The husband and wife team of Graham and Carol Kerr from Galashiels, with their lime green liveried carte Piston Broke, took the Sandy Milligan Trophy for the day’s most stylish bogie, while Carol, in her own vehicle, was the second quickest female behind Michelle Ash, who won the Scottish Borders Brewery Trophy in her classy Centa Bavaria.
A popular local winner was 13-year-old Fraser Lothian who did Denholm proud when he completed the 600-metre junior course in 58.8 seconds.
The fastest junior in the GP class – for higher-tech bogies – was Alex Thomas from Aberlady in Night Train. Another youngster, Orlando Hayward, representing Team Flake from Coldstream, lifted the Borders Vintage Automobile Club award for driver ability.
The pilots of Monkey Business were deserved recipients of the award for the fastest gravity sidecar.
Second in that exciting class was a duo from Aberdeen whose time would have been faster if the sidecar passenger was not intent on spraying spectators with a battery-operated water pistol during the descent. The antics did, however, earn the pair the Spirit of Border Bogie Challenge 2012 award.
The Thomas Crapper award for ingenuity and engineering excellence went to Where’s My Spanners, run by Dominic Quinn and Andy Clayton from Glossop in Derbyshire.
Finally, in an innovation this year, Ben Wilson won the hill descent trophy for bicycles over a thrilling new track.
With so many bogies, bikes, pilots, support teams, families, kids, pets and a record number of spectators, the event was deemed the best ever by organisers.
Between the opening parade and the trophy presentation ceremony, the throng was kept royally entertained on the Green by St Boswells Concert Band and Molly Marshall and her school of dance.