INVERTHIS, INVERTHAT, THE BEN & TOWN HALL BRAE
INVERTHIS, INVERTHAT, THE BEN & TOWN HALL BRAE
If we ever do it again Brenda wants to stay here, nice upgrade on the car!
After Wednesday’s arrival, a few pints of laughing bitter, an excellent merlot for Brenda and some fine
food at the bar a good nights sleep was very much in order as we had been traveling since Monday
midnight. The plan is to take in Fort William, Inverlochy Castle and the new Inverlochy Castle Hotel and
restaurant followed by a little light shopping and then return to the Church we had passed yesterday so
that Brenda can do a photo shoot. Some time later run down to the start area in Kinlochleven and
check out the BSA thing.
First up breakfast. Excellent coffee and as hoped for, yes, they have my favourite Mallaig kippers on the
menu. Brenda shoots for the full Scottish and under advisement rejects the Black Pudding. We enjoy
breakfast as the rain beats against the windows and the wind is turning the loch quite choppy. Another
“Tick in the box” for the Kippers and of course score a few more “Ticks” on the Boddie’s from last night.
I did steal Brenda’s sausage so I guess I can take a “Tick” on the British Banger to boot!
Inverlochy Castle in the rain with the Merc
Yes, its still raining
Through Fort William and find the ruins of Inverlochy Castle and spend some time there in the rain
exploring and shooting pics. On to the expensive and majestic Inverlochy Castle and despite the foul
weather we enjoy a very pleasant walk through their grounds and walled gardens.
Planting one of these Heather & Conifer beds at CC soon
A Gardener’s delight, the walled gardens
Back to the Fort and Brenda wants a look at the Distillery but its a 45 minute wait until the next guided
tour so that gets canned in favour of sampling the real thing in a Scottish pub down the old High Street
…..the scene of much debauchery and drinking many years ago! Where is this Ben? she asks…….
“Remember lassie, if ye can see the Ben then its gunner rain, and if ye canny see the Ben then its
raining!….. and ee’ll nee see the Ben this week or next!”
A Distillery and the only Ben you will see today!
It’s gunner RAIN !
It’s Raining !
Into another “Pay & Display” and then stumble over the old section of Town Hall Brae. I remember the
road and curb leading up to the start of the section but have no memories of a couple of huge
boulders which seem to have grown out of nowhere! THB was always considered a bit of a joke in
the 70’s but must have been quite something back in the Trials early days. When the High Street was
still used for traffic a nice policeman would direct you Left and up the short hill to the start of the
section. More a crowd pleaser back then and I think one year we rode it 4 times during the week. Park
the bike by the shops and stumble up the cart track to check where the stars had been placed. Over the
curb and up and out with all the local kids sitting on the walls shouting, waving and screaming. Well its
still used today so I’m assuming the big rocks got imported to add to the challenge.
Town Hall Brae with some extra rocks
Time for some silly hats, a few souvenirs, a pint of McEwans for me while Brenda enjoys her first taste
of Jura a very pleasant single malt. Oh dear, she is getting a taste for it! Time we were leaving and
back down the road to the Church for her photo shoot. Some time later take the other side of the loch
road and make our way into Kinlochleven to see if the BSA has arrived. Along the road pass some of
the sections to be used including Pollock Hill, Coalasnacoan, Cameron Hill and Cnoc a Linnhe and
others that are new to me.
Yes, still raining
Much activity in the parking lot next to the start but mainly talking rather than servicing and now the rain
is just a light drizzle and the wind has abated. Find the Spanish contingent and also old friends Dick
and Lyn Clears. Carlos turns up with the BSA so after putting on the boots time for a test ride………
Dick & Lyn
First impressions are that it may be mechanically sound but not really that well prepared! The fork
action is nice with no bottoming or topping and certainly nothing that BSA built back in 1963. The rear
shocks are very soft and the mudguard is close to the wheel which could do with a new tire. The
machine is running on “R” which always smells nice and seems to respond well despite my dislike
of the Amal ! Handlebars are short and low and not to my liking and it has an Amal throttle which has
the short barrel and my little finger has nowhere to go as the span of my hand is too big. My worst
nightmare is the high SM footrests which seem to be more in an Enduro position rather than trials and
that combined with the handlebars and rear set top yoke makes me feel like T-Rex standing forward
and upright with little short arms that can’t turn the bars.
Time to sign in while gazing at some amazing machinery that others have spent a fortune on
adapting from the originals into machines that manufacturers could only of dreamt of. Lightweight
alloys, hubs and rims from who knows what and virtually the entire fleet of Norton Roadholder forks
with unknown internals. One of the prettiest bikes was the John Bull Dot which I understand he is now
making and selling and a true credit to his engineering skills and definitely a bike that I would consider,
on looks alone, if I were in the UK and doing the Pre 65 scene big time.
All the paperwork is in order and time to set off back to the Onich and get suitably hydrated for
tomorrows run. Brenda has yet another church to shoot on the way back and then it will be some
“Test Driving” on the Boddies!
Brenda goes Black n’ White
A certain cross
The other Church
Another really nice bar meal and it has actually stopped raining although the wind is picking up and
its pretty cold coming off the loch. Dick and Lyn join us and then Jack Knoops and George Webb also
arrive to relive tales of daring do. Beer, stories, pointers and tips flow freely and all to soon its time
Here comes another one!
Luv it !!!!!!