The Borders Vintage Automobile Club celebrates its 5th anniversary

Vintage car enthusiasts in the Borders and the North East of England will celebrate half a century of the Borders Vintage Automobile Club (BVAC).

The club was founded in 1972 after a group of 15 Borders classic car owners joined a drivers tour of the North East Club for Pre-war Austins (NECPWA) – now the North East Restoration Club.

The English club drove from Newcastle Civic Center to Kelso on 20 May 1972 and were joined by the Borderers before being greeted by Kelso’s provost.

On May 21, the vintage car group came together for an exhibition at Mellerstain House.

The 1972 event inspired Scottish pilots to form their own group and the BVAC was born.

BVAC President Robin Wild, who attended the second show in 1973, said: “This is a momentous year for all involved with the Club and we are delighted to have such a strong membership base after all this time.”

Fifty years later, and with over 200 members, the BVAC has held a number of events at Mellerstain, some with over 600 cars in attendance. In 2005 it was decided to move the events to Thirlestane Castle as gatherings began to attract over 1,000 vehicles.

This year, the BVAC will bring 1,200 automobiles to the castle grounds from June 18-19 for the Sir Jackie Stewart Classic.

The Classic is the largest car rally of its kind and gives visitors the chance to admire old, vintage and classic cars, as well as motorcycles, American vehicles and agricultural and military vehicles.

Mr Wild said: “Our biggest showcase will be the Sir Jackie Stewart Classic – presented by Rolex at Thirlestane, a great opportunity for car enthusiasts and members of the public to see over 1,200 vehicles on display, each with its own story to tell.

“It will be a fantastic show, all for the benefit of an important cause.”

The Sir Jackie Stewart Classic will raise funds for Race Against Dementia, a charity set up by Sir Jackie Stewart OBE to raise awareness of the disease which affected his wife, Helen.

Two weeks before the Classic, however, BVAC members will recreate the original 1972 trip from Northumberland to the Borders. They hope locals will come to see the large collection of classic vehicles rally across the region from the northeast.

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