When we first saw "25 Years of the Ayrshire Road Run" by Bill Reid we were impressed by the extremely attractive cover, but slightly puzzled by the title. All is explained by the note on the rear cover: "The Ayrshire Road Run was instigated in 1993 as an adjunct to the established annual vintage rally organised by the Ayrshire Vintage Tractor & Machinery Club (AVT&MC). The idea was to promote the rally by running entered commercial vehicles around the major towns in Ayrshire, Over the following years the Road Run attracted more and more vintage vehicles, from small vans and double-decker buses to full-sized articulated lorries. The event has continued to grow, attracting more than a hundred vehicles each year. Here organiser Bill Reid celebrates twenty-five years of the run with a superb collection of photographs documenting the various participants from over the years."
The book, which is as attractive throughout as the front cover would lead you to hope, does pretty much exactly what it says in the blurb. There is a page and a half of introduction about the Road Run, which now extends beyond Ayrshire into Galloway: and that takes us straight into the real heart of the book, which are the colour photographs of vehicles displayed two or three to a page, each with a couple of sentences of caption to help set it in context. The captions and photographs complement one-another very nicely, to the benefit of both. I'd not consider myself a vintage vehicle fan, but am old enough to have seen at least some vehicles illustrated on the roads at the time they were new; and as a result found this a real pleasure to delve into.
If there's one thing that shines through above everything else, it is that vehicles are best photographed from a front three-quarters angle, and most in this book are. Most of the photographs are of lorries, which presumably reflects the makeup of the Road Run, but there are also photographs of fire engines, vans, coaches, buses and old Land Rovers (including, perhaps inevitably, one with its bonnet up and another being carried on the back of a lorry). Two particularly striking photographs show the Road Run parked up for an overnight stop in Portpatrick. These help give a sense of the sheer scale of the Road Run. They also gave rise to the thought - in me at least - that this event is not necessarily one you would want to end up following. This is a lovely book that captures its subject matter superbly.