October 24th 1998

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It quite often rains in Wales but in the lead up to the 1998 Bulldog Rally it was particularly intense and prolonged.

This year the rally was based on Shrewsbury show ground, which is surrounded by the River Severn. Scrutineering and documentation proceeded uninterrupted and a stage route was laid out to be run as the last of the rally.

As a build up to this thrilling climax for the spectators and crews a rally show had been organised and cars booked to give demonstration runs before the rally arrived back from Wales. During the rally advice came through from the Environmental Agency as it monitored the water levels in the Severn that the show ground was predicted to be under six or more feet of water by late afternoon. A bulletin was immediately issued to all involved in the rally, explaining the likely flooding and advising everybody to clear the site of their equipment and vehicles. The organising team packed up and were ready to leave but before they did so it was decided to cancel the show ground stage but still hold the planned finish ceremony on the ramp in the show ring.

When the cars returned from Wales in the afternoon the Severn had risen to cover a large part of the site. The results were calculated and the champagne sprayed in double quick time and everyone escaped the site as the ramp was dismantled. Unfortunately when the organisers returned the following morning, when viewing the flooded site they could see the roof of at least one swamped car. Not everyone heeded the warnings.

Despite all the tribulations it was Alistair McRae, as a last minute entry, who stormed through to win every stage and the rally. The other two winners on the event were family affairs. The historics were won by brother and sister Richard and Katy Tuthill and the clubman winners were brothers David and James Young.

It was decided that an alternative venue should be found for the 1999 rally base.