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The following 'News' pages were archived on 23 July 2004

Donald MacLeod Memorial Award - Wed 17 Mar '04

The Donald MacLeod (Domhnall Easy) Memorial Award is presented annually by the WITPG to the person who is considered to have made an important contribution to the benefit of the Group during the previous year (2003).  Murdo, who originally comes from North Uist, is now living in Inverness where he is the transport manager with animal feed stuff wholesalers, Harbro Ltd.

Murdo is a keen vehicle enthusiast, with his special interest being buses.  He is the Northern Area Chairman of the MacBraynes Circle and has a vast knowledge of the MacBrayne bus fleet.  He was instrumental in the organising of our memorable bus trip to Skye in June 2001, and he also organised MacBrayne buses for us to use at the Lewis Carnival and the West Coast Road Run.

Murdo was the guest speaker at the AGM held at the Retirement Centre on 17th March, where he gave a very interesting talk on the work of the MacBrayne Circle, which now has 10 preserved buses. It was fitting that John Angus should present the award to Murdo as they have become great friends since the WITPG was formed.

The WITPG and the MacBraynes Circle work well together and we have to thank Murdo for that. Thanks also for taking the time to come over from Inverness and give us such a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

ABOVE: Murdo MacPherson, (right) accepts the Donald MacLeod (Domhnall Easy) Memorial Award from WITPG Membership Secretary John Angus MacLeod

Stornoway Garages & Motor Hirers - Wed 18 Feb '04

Our guest speaker for this evening was  local historian and Isles FM presenter, Norrie MacGregor.  His talk concentrated on early garages and motor hirers in Stornoway.

He started his talk by telling the audience where and how he gathered his information and then went on to explain in detail the history of the garages, petrol pumps and motor hirers that were based in Stornoway.  Following this, we had a question and answer section were Norrie used his vast knowledge of Stornoway history to give an informed response to the questions put to him.

Our grateful thanks to Norrie MacGregor for giving us an excellent nightís entertainment, and we certainly hope that Norrie will come and talk to us again soon.

Transport Quiz Night - Wed 21 January '04

A transport quiz night was arranged for Januaryís entertainment, with the questions being set by WITPG chairman Roddy J MacDonald and vice chairman Calum MacLennan.

The topics covered all aspects of road transport, as well as questions on local transport and general knowledge. These quiz nights have been hailed a great success, with plenty of friendly and often hilarious banter coming from the competitors.

The transport quiz teams were:

Team 1:
J. Kernahan, Calum MacLeod (Stealag), Angus Norman Campbell (ANC), Martin MacPhail.
Team 2:
Alisdair Murray, Ian Murray (Plum), James MacLeod, Ian Mitchell.
Team 3:
Donald N Morrison (Fury), Kenny Murdo MacLeod, Michael MacLennan, Norman Graham (Noddy).
Team 4:
Garry MacLeod, Alan (Waddel) MacDonald, Hector and Ian MacDonald (Heb Haulage).
Team 5:
Donald A MacLeay, Calum MacLeod (Gobs), John MacIver (Shonnie), Murdo John MacKay.

Team 3 eventually emerged as winners with an impressive 34 points.  Team 2 was in second place with 28 points, Team 1 was third with 18 points, Team 5 had 16 points and Team 4 had 9 points.

Video Night - Wed 17 December '03

On this occasion we held our very popular local video night, which was well-attended.  The video on show was a real treat and was filmed in glorious weather on Lewis and Harris in September 2002 when the West Coast Road Run visited the Western Isles for the first time.

Angus Morrison, Knockaird, Ness, and Donald Murray of Back filmed the video. It is a must for commercial transport enthusiasts and those who will appreciate the beauty of the natural island backdrop that the vehicles travelled through during their brief tour of the Isles.  A fine selection of lorries: AEC, Albion, Atkinson, Austin, Bedford, Commer, Foden, GMC, International, Leyland, Scammell and Seddon are all represented.

As with all of Angusís videos, the photography locations are selected with an expert eye.  There is also some superb background music by members of the Ness Melodeon Band, which all makes for great viewing on a cold winterís evening. We are indebted to Angus Morrison for an outstanding video.

MacBraynes Circle - Wed 19 Nov '03

Murdo MacPherson and Stewart Groundwater of the MacBraynes Circle were scheduled to give a talk on MacBraynes buses and the work of the MacBraynes Circle.  Unfortunately, this event had to be postponed until further notice.  Instead, a video on Bedford vehicles was shown, which everyone enjoyed.

Members Photo Night - Wed 15 Oct '03

We held a Members Photo Night on Wednesday 15 October, with photos provided by Vice Chairman, Calum MacLennan.

The pictures were mainly slides of commercial vehicles that were taken at the Grampian Truck Show, Alford, Aberdeenshire and the Haddington Agricultural Show, East Lothian.  Photos included a good selection of artics, recovery vehicles, classic vans and pickups, modern and vintage tractors and, of coarse, classic commercial vehicles.

Illustrated Talk - Wed 17 Sept '03

Our winter season started with a superb illustrated talk by guest speaker for the evening, Ian Smith.  Ian, originally from Achmore in Lewis, lives in Dunblane, Perthshire, and has had a lifelong passion for cars, describing himself as a Ďcar junkieí.

In June 2003 Ian was given the chance to take part in the 21st American Great Race.  The Race is the countryís longest running vintage automobile rally, with more than 100 vintage automobiles participating each year in a time-speed-distance race covering 4,000 miles of some of the beautiful back-roads in North America.

More than 40 cities host the Great Racers with a celebrity-style welcome.  Always free to the public, fans along the way enjoy an up-close-and-personal view of the vintage machines.

Ian was in the navigatorís seat for the Splinterbox Team.  His car, owned and driven by Spence Darby from West Bend, Wisconsin, is a 1929 Ford Model A Station Wagon with woody body.  Spence purchased the Ford in July 2001 and began restoring the vehicle.  Because the vehicle had lain on its side in a swamp for around 25 years, Spence needed to rebuild the woody body completely.

To the teamís disappointment, they didnít win the race, though the 2003 Great Race proved to be a memorable experience for Ian and the Splinterbox team.

WITPG members are grateful to Ian Smith for giving us an excellent nightís entertainment, and a very interesting and well-considered presentation

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