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Merry Tiller Racing

Bannock Making at the Turn of the Millenium

Merry Tiller Racing

Saga of the Kirnathon

Roy Orbister

Big Bannock 2001

Big Bannock IV Poster Word logo


Cultivation Competitions -
Merry Tiller Racing

From 46 BT. (Before Toorie) till present day.

Today's cultivating extreme sport of Merry Tiller Racing has evolved from very humble beginnings. These were the first recorded Shetland Spade Delling World Championships, held at Dale in 46 BT.

This in itself stemmed from the previous years delling frenzy, brought about by the discovery of an Irish Golden Guinea by Martha of Dale. Martha being the Great Granddaughter of Seamus O'Dell, who lost his life savings whilst emptying the chamber pot (rather inadvisably) during a freak whirlwind.

The vortex of this bizarre meteorological phenomenon plucked poor Seamus from where he stood and he was last seen disappearing over Lunna Holm at a height of 20,000ft (a European record which stood until bettered by the Montgolfier brothers 10 years later.)

Sadly the practice of competitive Shetland Spade Delling was discontinued 7 years later when a Mississippi cotton trader arrived at Olna and Captain Huckleberry Manson introduced the locals to the evil that is Whist Drives and the overwhelming addictive thrill of Strip 500 (A tradition that is kept up secretly to this day by gentlemen in roadside huts.)

The sport made a brief comeback when the Suez crisis made modern cultivating methods uneconomic. It was finally consigned to the history books however, when the North Sea Oil bonanza once again provided copious quantities of fossil fuels and local petrolheads started dreaming again of land speed records, twin camshafts, turbo-chargers, super-chargers, fuel injection and nitrous oxide!

In 1998 the sport was reinvented in its modern form at the Heights Show of that year. A collection of both conventional and controversial equipment assembled for a Merry Tiller frenzy. The list of competitors and machines was as follows:

  • Ewan o da Heights drove a traditional Briggs & Stratton powered Merry Tiller MAJOR. This machine was fitted with a stunt carburetor and finished a gallant fourth.

  • Budding Eco warrior Squirrel Nutkins, AKA Derek Robertson, controlled his environmentally sound Suffolk Punch Mk 7 fitted with a Maxi starter motor and 12 volt 87 Amp hr battery with flare and gusto to a respectable third. Thereby showing the great potential of electric driven lawn care equipment.

  • Stuart o da Heights piloted the much more powerful, gas-guzzling Titan machine, the preferred Sharn-Shapper of the enthusiast and the professional alike, to a close fought second place.

  • In first place was Stuart “Crazy Iron Horse” Anderson who romped home with a controversial Honda powered, pipe-driven racer of his own manufacture.

starting line-up

The race was started by the original Bannock Guru, Boab Madras Popadom who fired the humane killer at a seemingly jaunty angle. The angle was however meticulously calculated to represent the exact angle of apex of the world renowned Voe Oatcake. That being the only consumable comparable to Bannocks!high performance

The 1999 event was held at a new venue more suited to the larger crowds attracted by the presence and celebrity status of the world class drivers. A new more challenging course combining both tarmac and off-road elements was devised. This combined with the now mandatory Stout-Stop made for more intense competition, and greatly increased excitement for the spectators who could now freely mingle with their sporting heroes.

close racingAfter a close fought battle “Crazy Iron Horse” Anderson retained the World Championship and won the newly introduced Heights Garage Trophy. “Crazy Iron Horse” and the rest of the competitors then celebrated in true motorsport fashion by spraying their presentation tins of Sweetheart Stout over eachother. There was also a demonstration of stunt Merry Tiller driving by “Crazy Iron Horse” which involved “Burn-ups” and the Merry Tiller equivalent of “Doughnuts.”


Mavis Grind congratulates Pedro on his historic victory

As you read this the World Championship will be well underway. Squirrel Nutkins this year has lost his green credentials and has amassed a collection of internal combustion powered rotovating units. “Crazy Iron Horse” is modifying his device to specification which is said to be “Oot o Hand”. Competitors are believed to be attending from as far as ABU DABI, Delhi and Skeld.


To assist with the provision of commentary the team at SKEA SPORTS have devised a combined entry form and questionnaire which will be completed by all drivers on race day. To help you answer the more demanding questions we have provided a sneak preview. Word logo