Safari of a different kind

The Cannon and the Tweedie famalies who are getting set for their 4x4 safari
The Cannon and the Tweedie famalies who are getting set for their 4x4 safari

IF you’ve got a 4x4 and are stuck for something to do after all the hype surrounding a certain Royal wedding has died down, the Reivers 4x4 club might have just the thing.

Although the club has only been going for around nine months it already has 87 members and chairman Colin Cannon hopes there’ll be even more than that getting behind the wheel next Sunday.

Now the word safari usually conjures up images of lions, tigers, and funny hats, but the Reivers Club are putting their own slant on the word. They are doing a charity drive across Berwickshire, through many well known landmarks including Bluestane Ford, all to raise money for Maggies Cancer Caring Centres.

It’s a cause that the club hold close to their heart and Colin said he hoped they’d be able to raise plenty of money for it on the day.

“This is our first proper event, we’ve had a few tombolas and parties in the past but this is the big one for us so we’re just hoping it all goes well.

“We decided to form the club as aside from the Border Bogies in Denholm, there isn’t really anything for 4x4 fans around here.

“A lot of driving clubs are strictly for the drivers themselves but we wanted to make ours very much a family club so there’s kids of all ages involved- obviously they don’t drive though!

“When we first put the word out about the safari we were expecting maybe 10 or 20 people to show an interest but as things stand I’d say we’ve got a minimum of 60 wanting to take part which is amazing, but there’s always room for more. We want to raise as much money as we can.”

Organising a four wheel trek, which will cover a total of 82 miles, is no easy feat but Colin said that thankfully, despite a few worries about clashing with another annual motor event and being able to drive through certain places, it had all come together quite nicely.

“I used to be a bin man so I know a lot of the tracks quite well!” Colin continued.

“Thankfully most of the landowners have been really helpful; the bulk of local farmers have no problem with us driving through their land and neither does Major Trotter.

“We’re anticipating that the safari will last around two and a half to three hours. When we were deciding on timings we tried to avoid any clashes with the Berwick Vintage Car Rally.”

Colin and his wife Mandy and daughters Kirsten and Nicola, and Stephen Tweedie and his family, wife Fiona and children Natasha and David are all surprised by just how much the safari has snowballed and are already thinking ahead to making it an annual event.

“We’re not aware of there being anything like this anywhere else in the region,” Colin added.

“We’d love to make it an annual Borders wide event as surprisingly it has all been quite easy to arrange.

“We’ve gfot quite a busy calendar but if we could make the safari an annual thing that would be great. With it being our first one, this one is suitable for any standard 4x4s and we’ll split everyone into groups so they can be guided along the way.

“There won’t be any tracks that their tyres won’t be able to handle, it would be good to do something a bit more extreme in the future though!”

The cost for anyone wanting to take part in the safari is £15 a vehicle, which will also include a free event sticker. To register visit www.reivers-4x4.co.uk.

The safari will start at 9am at the old Berwickshire High School and it might not be long before the club visit the home of the safari, as they have recently been approached to take part in an event in Africa, “We had to say no, we’re too busy!” Colin joked.