Keeping on trucking…
For nearly the last forty years, the roads of Ayrshire have hosted a colourful cavalcade of classic and vintage commercial vehicles every July.
Initiated in 1986 by Bill Reid, the Ayrshire Vintage Commercial Road Run initially started from outside the gates of the then Volvo factory in Irvine. Participants in the run would then go on a tour of roads around Ayrshire before making their way to Eglinton Park and joining the Ayrshire Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club’s annual rally.
This remained the format for several years until it was decided to extend the length and duration of the run. The start point of the run was moved to the Low Green in Ayr, from which the trucks would head to Portpatrick in Dumfries & Galloway, where they would park overnight. Participants would join together for an evening meal and enjoy some musical entertainment in Portpatrick before heading back to the Low Green the following day, stopping for lunch at Bladnoch Park in Wigton.
This format, which was popular with both participants (attracting vehicles from all over the UK as well as both Ireland and the Netherlands) and spectators, lasted until the pandemic forced changes to be made. The run went ahead in 2020 but took place over a single day with no overnight gathering or meal. It reverted to a two-day format the following year but government-imposed restrictions meant that it started from a private yard, there was no stop for lunch, and social distancing was maintained at all times.
In 2022, the run was, with the assistance of East Ayrshire Council, once more able to start from a public place: the car park of the Barony School Campus in Cumnock. It proved to be such a big hit that the run departed from the school campus again this year and is scheduled to return there next year.
Over the years an average of 110 vehicles have taken part in the run, making for a colourful and dramatic sight as they negotiate the highways and byways of both Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway. The number of participants understandably dropped in 2020 and 2021 but this year’s run saw a very healthy turnout of 105 vehicles, once more including some from the Netherlands.
The run now comes within the aegis of the Heritage Centre Cumnock and details about it are posted to the Centre’s website, as noted below. Meantime, you might just want to note in your diary that next year’s run is scheduled to take place over the weekend of 13th and 14th July.