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SCS366M The journey home - Part 4 - The Tow
Dymock Recovery's Foden tow truck and O'Malleys 74TN505 on Sunday at 02h00 at Stranraer Harbour.


I phoned Craig Dymock, who was going to tow SCS to Lathalmond, when I arrived, and he told me that he was in Ayr. Therefore I had an hour or so to spend in Stranraer .. at 00h30 in the morning. It was though, much more entertaining than I expected. As so many crossings had been cancelled, the regular contingent of Ulsterbus Celtic supporters club buses (14) were still stuck in Scotland. The passengers had passed the time by drinking in the local pubs and had also visited the ferry terminal for the fare of Scotch pies and coffee. Consequently they were ready for the boat, and the local staff were ready for them to leave. It didnít matter that 20 lorries had been bumped off.   Inside the terminal, one man and his hoover was trying to rectify the damage while I warmed myself with a cup of soup. A fan was lying senseless over a seat, and for all I know he may still be there.   The same sorry scene as was at Belfast was repeated in Stranraer, as hapless travellers camped down for the night in the waiting room. They were disturbed at 01h30 when the locals, fresh from a night on the town, arrived demanding fried egg rolls and hamburgers.


Not a minute too soon, I spotted the recovery truck, which was so massive that even through bleary eyes, I couldnít miss it. Craig Dymock was incredibly chirpy and spent the next hour sorting out the intricacies of the tow. He even had a flask of hot black sweetened tea and sandwiches to set us on our way. We whiled away the Z-bends up to Ballantrae, reminiscing about Agnew & Lithgow lorries.   By Turnberry, the traffic from the next boat was in hot pursuit, so we slowed down to let them pass.   Through Maybole (carefully) round Ayr and Kilmarnock and then across the Fenwick Moor.   Because the Kingston Bridge was shut, Craig elected to turn off and make for East Kilbride.   The land of the roundabout almost made me completely comatose - and I felt really tired as well.   Out of EK came the M73 and then the best bit - the M8. We agreed during the trip that we were both too whacked to finish the job that night. So the bus was stored at Craig Dymockís depot overnight in Bathgate and he completed the tow to Lathalmond on Sunday morning. Meantime I struggled into the Travel Inn at Livingstone services and got to bed at 07h15.

To sleep, perchance to dream

I had eaten breakfast in England, lunch in the Republic of Ireland, dinner in Northern Ireland, supper in Scotland and had been awake for 27 hours. And all I had to show for it was a long term car park ticket from Belfast City Airport, a squashed packet of Tato crisps and a bus.


O'Malley 74TN505 at Lathalmond on the Sunday afternoon.
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