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Stirling Castle Branch

Section History

OUR SECTION CAN TRACE ITS ROOTS BACK TO AROUND 1979 WHEN DON RILEY PUT AN ADVERT IN THE STIRLING OBSERVER. DON, WHO LIVES IN BOTHWELL SOUTH OF GLASGOW, REALISED THAT EXISTING MOTOR CYCLE CLUBS CATERED WELL FOR THE WEST COAST AND EAST COAST OF CENTRAL SCOTLAND BUT THAT THERE APPEARED TO BE A HOLE IN THE MIDDLE. DON’S ADVERT HAD ASKED FOR LIKE MINDED OLD BIKE(THAT’S THE BIKE THAT’S OLD) ENTHUSIASTS TO MEET UP IN STIRLING, AT ONE OF THE PUBS AT THE “TOP OF THE TOWN”. SEVERAL PEOPLE TURNED UP THAT NIGHT, PETER PALGRAVE AND MARTIN SHELLEY AMONGST THEM.
THE PUB DID NOT REALLY SUIT THEIR PURPOSE, AND SECURE PARKING FOR THE BIKES WAS AN ISSUE, BUT THEY HAD DECIDED ON A NAME. DON CHOSE STIRLING CASTLE AS IT IS A WELL KNOWN FEATURE IN THE CENTRAL BELT. THE SECTION MOVED DOWN THE HILL TO A SMALL COMMUNITY CENTRE FOR A SHORT SPELL BEFORE MOVING OUT TO TILLICOULTRY WHERE IT WAS BASED FOR MANY YEARS IN THE WOOLPACK INN. WE USED TO MEET IN THE UPSTAIRS FUNCTION ROOM, BUT WERE VICTIMS OF OUR OWN SUCCESS. NUMBERS GREW TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT ON A GOOD CLUB NIGHT IT RESEMBLED THE ‘BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA’ WITH THE ADDED INGREDIENT OF SMOKE FROM PIPES, CIGARS AND CIGARETTES. THERE WAS MORE SMOKE INSIDE THAN OUTSIDE FROM 2 STROKES.
A MOVE WAS IMPERATIVE, BUT CAME SOONER THAN WE HAD PLANNED AFTER A MEMBER STEPPED INTO A PUDDLE OF OIL LEFT BY HIS VELOCETTE AND THEN WALKED INTO THE FUNCTION ROOM ACROSS THE PALE CARPET. WE MOVED DOWN TO THE HIGH STREET IN TILLICOULTRY TO A PUB BUT IT CHANGED ITS USE, AND THE NEXT CHOICE ACROSS THE ROAD WAS SO ROUGH THAT WE BEGAN TO LOSE MEMBERS. FACED WITH SOMETHING OF A CRISIS JIM LEDDY AND MALCOLM WILSON INVESTIGATED POSSIBILITIES IN THEIR LOCAL AREA AND HIT UPON THE RED LION IN DOUNE, WHERE THE SECTION HAD SUCCESSFUL CLUB NIGHTS FOR MANY YEARS AND ITS HAPPIEST TIMES SINCE THE WOOLPACK.
A RESURGENCE IN ACTIVE CLUB MEMBERS HAS MEANT YET ANOTHER SEARCH FOR LARGER PREMISES BUT THIS TIME THE MOVE WILL BE MEASURED IN YARDS RATHER THAN MILES, TO THE WOODSIDE HOTEL, DOUNE. A POINT WORTHY OF NOTE, IS THAT SOME OF THE FOUNDER MEMBERS FROM THE DIM AND DISTANT PAST STILL RIDE BIKES TO OUR SECTION CLUB NIGHTS, MIND YOU THE BIKES WEAR THEIR PATINA OF AGE BETTER THAN THEIR RIDE