Safari so good for Reivers

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A VERITABLE cavalcade of 4x4s made its way across Berwickshire at the end of last month, all taking part in a rather unique safari.

The event was the brainchild of the recently established Reivers 4x4 club and it was the first time the group had organised something on such a large scale, making the £1,015 raised for Edinburgh-based Maggies Cancer Care Centre even more of an achievement.

A total of 36 4x4s met at the old Berwickshire High School bright and early on Sunday, April 30, ready for their adventure and Reivers chair, Colin Canning, said there were around 100 participants, some who were slightly hesitant, having never done anything like the safari before.

“There was a a real balance of people who took part,” he told The Berwickshire News.

“We had men, women, and kids of all ages as well as different 4x4s - standard ones, old ones and some custom built - there was a great atmosphere. Some people were a bit nervous before we got going; some because they had no clue what to expect, others because they weren’t entirely convinced their cars would make it all the way round!

“But by the time we got to Bluestane Ford they were all driving through the water with smiles on their faces; everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

The Ford, near Chirnside, was one of many recognisable Berwickshire sights included in the 4x4 safari route which took in 82 miles on all sorts of terrain and Colin said, unlike the many people who organised street parties for the Royal wedding, he was praying for some rain.

“A lot of the tracks were far too dusty,” he continued.

“There’s nothing like driving through the mud when you’re in your 4x4 so a bit of rain wouldn’t have gone amiss. When we were planning the event we never thought that the weather would be so nice in April; if we’d known we would have organised a barbecue and a party for afterwards to say thanks to everyone who came along.

“To have around 100 people taking part was absolutely fantastic and way beyond what we were expecting, considering a few weeks ago the club only had 87 members.

“We had a family come down from Haddington for the safari and some guys came over from Kelso so I’m confident that the word is getting out about Reivers 4X4 and if we weren’t on the map before hand I’d like to think we are now.”

The club’s packed calendar suggests that Reivers 4x4 are on a lot of peoples’ radars as they have events in the diary all the way up to December, starting with an appearance at the annual Border Bogie event in Denholm on May 21.

The coming months will also see them travel to York, Hexham and Lamancha for a series of different events. But for the meantime they’re breathing a huge sigh of relief that everything went smoothly with their first big event. “Thankfully there were no bumps or bruises to people or cars which is always the danger when it comes to things like this,” Colin added.

“It was great to raise so much money for a great cause and we definitely want to make it an annual event, hopefully with a different route and some rain next year!”

Reivers 4x4 would like to thank everyone who took part in the safari and all the landowners for the use of their land and tracks. If you want to find out more about the club visit www.reivers-4x4.co.uk.