Written by guest contributor, Gordon McAllan
On Sunday the 2nd of October 2016, Scottish Riley Enthusiasts, Scotland’s national club for owners and
admirers of all models of Riley motor cars, which attracts members not only in its home country but all over
the world, celebrated its 25th Anniversary. The Guest of Honour was none other than Victor Riley himself,
joining the celebrations in Perth after a walking holiday in the remote mountains of Scotland’s North West.
Apart from the normal business of a club Annual General Meeting, the SRE takes the opportunity each year
to make a number of awards to members whose service to the club and whose enthusiasm for Rileys and
exploits in these magnificent cars merit special mention. Among the trophies available for annual presentation
is The Elizabeth Skelly Cup – effectively, the highest honour Scottish Riley Enthusiasts can bestow, as decided
by the SRE Committee. This handsome award is one of several given to the SRE many years ago by the Royal
Scottish Automobile Club, who had held it originally on behalf of the then Riley Motor Club Scottish Lowland
Centre. Its original purpose was that it be awarded to The Member of The Year – and that is still its dedication,
in the hands of the SRE.
This year, the Scottish Riley Enthusiasts Committee was unanimous: one achievement stood out. It had to be
the remarkable adventure by the Blue Diamond Riley Services Team – all members of the Scottish Riley
Enthusiasts – who entered in January the Monte Carlo Rallye Classique and enabled the tough little 1931 Riley
WD Tourer, thoroughly prepared by Blue Diamond Services, to complete without faltering the gruelling 4-day
journey from John O’ Groats, one of the most northerly points on the mainland of Scotland, to Monaco, on
the sunlit Mediterranean coast.
This was a true team effort, led by John Lomas, BDRS Managing Director, who combined the vision and
determination to succeed. I was privileged to be asked to share the Riley cockpit – the experience of a
motoring lifetime. Ian Macfarlane, the company’s Riley engine expert, and Duncan Whyte, a very experienced
long distance driver, shared the controls of the BDRS support truck and its trailer (not needed, en route!)
and Linda Whyte, Duncan’s wife (surely the voice of reason at unearthly hours, in the middle of nowehere!)
completed the group.
At Sunday’s presentation, I was honoured to accept gratefully The Skelly Cup on behalf of our intrepid team,
since John and his colleagues were very busy indeed at the opening of the new BDRS Service Centre at
Bicester. I was happy to record my appreciation of the comradeship and commitment within our BDRS
“Monte” team. Our success was indeed remarkable and the thrill was real.
Very soon, The Skelly Cup will have a prominent position in the Blue Diamond Trophy cabinet. And John,
if you don’t have such a cabinet yet, better get a move on and build one! Maybe a job for young Dan, who
helped us get our marathon Riley journey under way and whose woodworking skills are evident in the BDRS
“Woodie” Riley …..