Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

30th April 2022

Date of publication

1st June 2022


When you read this edition we will be coming up to the day of the Hill Race, The sole survivor of "Gala Week" in Abernethy so I thought this would be an appropriate time to give you a little bit of the history of the race which was first run in 1979. I remember it well!

I had a list of all the winners and their times but I gave this over a number of years ago when the Williamson Hall Committee was doing a history of Gala Week but sadly the list disappeared so all I have now is a note of the overall winners, thanks to our editor Jimmy Swan

Since the race was for everyone in Abernethy we had to have different categories: primary school children, boys and girls, senior school children boys and girls and adults men and women so somewhere there is a record of 1st 2nd and 3rd in each group. Recalling some of the names of the primary competitors, they now have children of their own who would be competitors and some of that section are now grandparents! The passage of time!

The Hill Race came about at a time when we were needing some new events to keep Gala Week alive and the inspiration came from the Lomond Race. I had a friend who competed in this so I asked him along to assess the situation on Castlelaw He thought the track would be OK and so along with John Brown then of Glentarkie Farm and other members of the Community Council plans were made. This by the way was Abernethy's first Community Council following regionalisation.

Everything was very basic at the time. First of all the track had to be marked out which was done by tying strips of cloth obtained from The Factory to whatever they could be tied to, from  the bottom of the Main Street to the top of Castlelaw. This was done by Jimmy Swan, Robin MacDonald and I can't remember who else

Numbers for the competitors were written out by hand  using different colours of card for each category and a large box of safety pins acquired to pin the numbers on the competitors' vests or tops. Registration took place in John Brown's caravan which was parked in the Square I can't remember what the entry fee was - not very much as the prize money was not very much either. The family of Borland  who owned the Butcher's Shop at that time awarded a shield for the overall winner.

The race started in the Square and finished in the Square where cold drinks were served up during the afternoon by Irene McLaren and myself.

So that was the start of the Hill Race. As far as I know there have been no casualties but lots of fun and excitement and now thirty-nine years on we keep the fingers crossed for good weather on the day and lots of entries.

Below is a list of past overall winners.  

From 1979 up to 1996

1979    Bryan Mair          18 minutes

     80   Bryan Mair           17.45     

     81   Gerald Gahan       17.45

     82   Douglas Folan      18.29

     83   Andrew Brown      18.11

     84   Douglas Folan      17.54

     85   Douglas Folan      16.54

     86   Stewart Watson    19.32

     87   Alistair Blyth          18.19

     88   Michael Walker      17.39

     89   Michael Walker      16.56

     90   Michael Walker      16.53

     91   Tom Ross               16.27

     92   Michael Walker       17.20

     93   Craig Ferguson      18.49

     94   Phil Munro              Time Unknown

I have no further record but maybe someone has who could add to the list.

                                         Hilda Clow