40th Anniversary . . . 1974 - 2013 . . . a look back at the last 40 years.
1974: Rally won by Keith McCleary & Ivor Clark, who will compete in the 40th Anniversary event as Car 1. Team Award won by Machars. 1975: One of the first drivers to come across from Northern Ireland was Joe Pat O’Kane, his Co-Driver in this year, John McLernon, has served as MSA Steward on the event many times since - 2013 is his 38th GHR! 1976: At Scrutineering the top hose of Jim McDowall’s car burst and sprayed in the face of Scrutineer Rab McDonald. They are still friends! And both are still Scrutineers. 1976: 1975 winner Drew Gallacher donated his prize money to buy the Gallacher Trophy for 1st Overall. 1977: 120 starters! A seeding nightmare. 1978: Entry fee £30. 1979: Never heard of before, or since, the rally was over-subscribed, and even had a reserve. 1980: The present Clerk of the Course ran at Car 87 – but failed to finish after knocking a front wheel off. 1981: 1st winners from Northern Ireland – Stanley Orr & John Armstrong. 1983: The distinctive Galloway Hills Logo appears, designed by local artist Ron White. 1984: Mouswald man Ian Paterson competes in his first Galloway Hills in a 1300 Ford Escort Mk 2. And he’s been back, every year since, except 2005 when he sat out with an ankle operation. 1985: World Champions Colin McRae & Derek Ringer start at 76 and 84 – both as drivers. Who would know what they would achieve just 10 years later? 1986: Rescue services from the Scottish Motorsport Marshal’s Club began, and have supported the rally ever since. 1986: Regular competitor John McCulloch had to miss the rally. Why? His son Mark, a future winner, was born. 1989: Popular locals Stewart Robertson & Lawrance Clark, sadly no longer with us, were rally winners. 1989: Who started at Car 135 in a Nova? 1990: Sisters Barbara and Janet Armstrong start at 41. 1991: A raffle was held amongst competitors – 1st Prize? A FREE ENTRY. 1992: Galloway Hills legend Murray Grierson wins as a driver. 1993: Dom Buckley Jnr goes one better than his Dad did in the very 1st Galloway Hills, and wins the rally. Co-Driver? Murray Grierson. 1994: Preferring the driver’s seat, Murray wins again. 1995 – 1997: Not to be outdone, Stephen Harron does a 3 in-a row too. 1998: Having stayed in her accommodation for many years for the rally, Stuart Edmond takes his “landlady” Mary Robertson as his Co-Driver. 1999: Au revoir Gatehouse, the home of the Galloway Hills for 13 years, and Hello Castle Douglas. 2000: The Armstrong family become valuable sponsors of the event. 2000: The prize of a FREE ENTRY to the rally is offered to every Class Winner, an offer not matched anywhere in Britain. 2001: First ever rally win for Kris Meeke & Glen Patterson. 2002: Shape of things to come? Kris does it again. 2003: From the Regs “we proudly announce the 30th running of the event – proud because a rally which began its life in the heyday of the Mark 1 Escort still attracts the supercars of today.” 2004: 5 time Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie competes in his 1st Galloway Hills and 2nd ever rally, winning the Best Improvement in Seeding award and 2nd in Class. 2005: After 17 years as Clerk of the Course, but involvement since the 1st event, Ian Gemmell steps down, though is still very active in the organisation and running of the rally. A brand new stage - Billson’s Link - is introduced. This stage is aptly named after the forester who helped build and maintain the road. 2006: The year of the Gale. The initiative of one organiser saved the day on discovering the overnight gales had caused devastation on a major scale. How many other Deputy CoC’s carry a chainsaw? 2006: After trying for many years - and having many offs along the way - Jock Armstrong wins! 2007: Scottish Champion David Bogie adds to the list of champions engraved on the Gallacher Trophy. 2008: Bad ice overnight caused the last minute cancellation SS1, with the organisers running two runs of Dalbeattie instead. This pleased the sponsor, being his favourite stage, but not many others. He went on to win. 2009: The decline of entries resulted in the long record of no double usage on special stages being lost. 2010: The Big Snow - a challenge for everyone concerned. Three in a row for Jock Armstrong. 2011: Rally moves from its traditional first weekend in December date to the end of October, hoping for better weather and better entries. After dominating the rally for 3 years, Jock was shown the door in SS1 Glengap with the eventual winner, Mark McCulloch, setting fastest time. They’re still friends, just. 2012: A disappointing entry resulting in the organisers making some last minute changes to ensure the event ran, especially for the loyal supporters of the event. Jock and Kirsty make it 5. 2013: 40 years on . . .