It came as a surprise last week when the man we all know as ‘Big Stewart’ informed us that he intended to step down as President at the AGM. Despite suggestions that he should continue, Stewart was determined, and offered his resignation in the Kings Arms the next day.
In his own words, Stewart explained that it is not because he is ill, or because he doesn’t want to be President of Solway Car Club – but because he wishes others to experience the great honour which being President of Solway Car Club has meant to him.
Stewart’s long history with the Club is vast. He took on President in 2018, having served as Tom Laird’s Vice since 2002. Before that, he had enjoyed a stint as Chairman in 1995/1996, and Vice Chair the 2 years previous, as well as a spell as Competition Secretary too.
As our past Chief Marshal, he led us as Stage Commander on many, many days out Marshalling on events organised by our neighbouring clubs, such as the Merrick, the Scottish, the Pirelli, the Roger Albert Clark, the Carlisle Stages, and even trips across the water to the Ulster Rally.
Stewart was also the Solway Car Club representative as a Deputy Clerk of the Course on our Galloway Hills Rally; starting in 1986 and retiring in 2019.
As if that’s not enough, Stewart has had a flourishing career behind the wheel on our events:
- Firstly, he is a three-time ‘Overall Club Champion’, taking the Ron Smith trophy home to New Abbey in 1972, 1973 and 1979.
- He is a 7-time Expert Driver Champion on our 12 Car Rallies between 1974-1994, where he was navigated by Murray Grierson. This is the most wins for anyone as a Driver, jointly tied with the late Ronnie Kirkpatrick.
- His name was added to the ‘Solway Coast Rally Trophy’ in 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1976, when it was awarded at a Navigational event, long before the introduction of our Solway Coast Rally.
- He was the winner of the ‘Sanny Alexander’ Marshals Trophy in 2018, and the ‘Grierson Trophy’ for Best performance outside Club Events in 1984.
- And finally, he took the President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Club twice; in 1990 and 2009.
While Stewart leaves us in safe hands and passes the baton onto our new President Norman Gowans, we are immensely grateful to him for the decades of service, guidance and friendship he has offered to all of us at Solway Car Club, both young and old.
We were delighted to present Stewart with a collage of memories from his years with Solway Car Club, and some of his favourite Malt Whiskey at our Dinner Dance on Saturday 21st January.
Thank you, Stewart.