Auto NewsDriving Scotland clubs assemble to salute Veterans

Driving Scotland clubs assemble to salute Veterans

Matthew Macconnell covers Driving Scotland Club’s car event, organised for Erskine Veterans Charity and its members.

Driving Scotland Club hosted a day out for Veterans, their family members and the staff of Erskine Veterans Charity on 15 April. Erskine Veterans Charity offers extensive support to Veterans, ensuring they thrive throughout the rest of their lives. Mark Ryan, founder of Driving Scotland Club, who organised the event, commented: “It was a truly wonderful day, great to see so many people smiling”.

From sports cars to Le Mans icons, a mix of around 40 cars attended the event, organised by Driving Scotland Club for the Erskine Veterans Charity. Enthusiasts from Autobahn Scotland, Porsche Owners Clubs (Regions One and Two) and Driving Scotland gathered at the Forth Road Bridge Visitor Centre with cars such as a replica Ford GT40, a 1921 Rolls-Royce 20 hp and a Ferrari 296 GTB that was provided by GrayPaul Ferrari. The Veterans later arrived via a minibus and had the chance to get up close and personal with some dream cars, chat with the owners and pick a car to be passengered up the M90 towards the next stop – Knockhill Race Circuit.

A Bentley Bentayga Azure — courtesy of Bentley Edinburgh — transported some of the Veterans in pure luxury while three police officers from the Police Scotland Fife division escorted all the cars in convoy over the Forth Road Bridge. Upon arrival at the race circuit, the cars were welcomed by a small crowd and the Veterans were then treated to a complimentary lunch arranged by Bentley Edinburgh before heading out onto the track in a car of their choice from the convoy for a photographed parade and two laps of the track, organised by Knockhill Racing Circuit. From Knockhill, the convoy headed 45 minutes up the scenic A823 towards Crieff Hydro, Perth, passing through Powmill, Glendevon and Gleneagles. Upon arrival at Crieff Hydro, camera phones were at the ready as a large public group greeted the cars and Veterans while eight selected cars were lined up outside the hotel for display.

Crieff Hydro provided final refreshments for all those involved, putting an excellent end to what was described by many as an “unforgettable day”. Veteran, Benny, 71, who served in Germany, the Persian Gulf and Israel, said: “This has been one of the best days of my life; an opportunity that will probably never come again. I can’t thank everyone enough who has organised this for us – it’s been very emotional but great”. Benny suffered from a life-changing infection caused by sepsis around six years ago and he became a quadriplegic: “This is my life and having days like that just makes it all worthwhile – many happy memories”. Having been a passenger in two cars, a Ford Mustang GT and Porsche 911 Turbo, it was hard to pick a favourite, but he said the Ford Mustang was number one and that the Porsche was right up there.

Cathy, 90, whose husband served in the Navy and sadly passed away from cancer, was a passenger in both the Rolls-Royce 28 hp and a Ferrari F12 – she preferred the latter. It was the first event she attended of its kind, and she thoroughly enjoyed her day.

Erskine started in 1916 with a hospital created from a stately home that was originally donated for the duration of World War I but was later gifted in perpetuity after it became clear that those who were treated with surgery and had prosthetic limbs fitted were fortunate to be around for much longer. Erskine moved out of the hospital in 2000 and opened two nursing care homes in Bishopton, which has 44 family cottages in the Veteran’s Village and five assisted living apartments. The charity opened another care home in Edinburgh, also run by highly professional and compassionate staff. Erskine also provides support to young veterans, lasting between six and 24 months, by introducing them to employers and helping them get back on their feet. Ian Cumming, Erskine CEO, said: “Erskine was very much Scotland’s compassionate response to seeing our sons return physically and mentally shattered by industrial scale warfare. We’re best known for our compassionate and stimulating care for elderly field Veterans, spouses and Veterans living with dementia and other complex conditions”.

Find more info:

Join the Club:
Driving Scotland

Porsche Club GB
Autobahn Scotland

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