Armagh Run – Sunday 15th May 2022

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On a glorious Sunday morning in mid May 2022, The Irish Austin Seven Club convened its late spring run at our assembly base Armagh City Hotel. 

Armagh is the county town of County Armagh and a city in Northern Ireland, as well as a civil parish. It is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland – the seat of the Archbishops of Armagh, the Primates of All Ireland for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. In ancient times, nearby Navan Fort was a pagan ceremonial site and one of the great royal capitals of Gaelic Ireland. Today, Armagh is home to two cathedrals (both named after Saint Patrick) and the Armagh Observatory, and is known for its Georgian architecture.  Although classed as a medium-sized town, Armagh was given city status in 1994 and Lord Mayoralty status in 2012, both by Queen Elizabeth II. It had a population of 14,777 people in the 2011 Census.

Straight away our members were soon in active mode bidding a hearty welcome to the many car owners and passengers who took up our invitation to join in with us on a scenic spin in an area that was unknown to many of us.  Whilst this was our run, it could not easily have been arranged without the knowledge and help of the Livingstone family.  For a couple of weekends beforehand, Geoffrey, Wendy, Sons and pouch went out and about to check routes, stops and lunch arrangements.  Declan Grogan called order for the drivers’ briefing, Chris O’Mahony arranged for circulation of the sign on sheet and David McCullough oversaw the distribution of the specially prepared route instructions. 

Repeating his welcome to our guests, motors soon cranked up and our cavalcade of 30 shining pre war cars were soon on our way, firstly a tour of the historical quarters of Armagh, passing close by St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Church of Ireland – and in apple blossom country.  There were groves of apple trees in pink bloom one could say were everywhere. After about 30 minutes of pleasure driving on roads most suitable for Sevens and obeying the rally instructions as best we could, our brisk journey paused for a rest at a roadside parking area with ample room for our fleet.  Photographs were taken and chatting resumed in earnest.  The mid-day sunshine really made the difference. 

We recommenced our journey in the direction of County Monaghan for our lunch time stop.  Here we see the village sign welcome to Glaslough.  The name Glaslough is derived from the Irish translation ‘calm or green lake’, the picturesque, magical village is located on the outskirts of Castle Leslie Estate in north Co Monaghan.  Surrounded by ancient woodlands and glittering lakes, it is a village filled with impressive historical and architectural features, beautifully stone cut period buildings and a unique, vibrant and welcoming community.  We soon parked up in the village. 

The local inn keeper had an array of sandwiches and hot teas at the ready for peckish travellers.  Others abided in a modicum of other refreshments on offer.  At the appropriate time, Declan Grogan marshalled the members and guests together to say thank you to the members of the Ulster Pre-War Austin Club for arranging the week end of celebration of a century of Seven travel. 

With special thanks, he presented token gifts of appreciation from our club to special people.  Josh Livingstone at 17 is our youngest driver, commended for his skill in handling his beautiful turned out 1936 Ulster;  Chris O’Mahony  for bringing along the oldest seven of the day, a 1924 Chummy Tourer; Wesley Lamont for his encouragement and tenacity in bringing about the centenary event for all our enjoyment; Geoffrey Livingstone for doing the heavy lifting for us, making it perhaps the easiest rally we ever ran, and finally with respect to Chairman David McCullough for receiving us, making us feel so welcome and among friends.  In an air of expectation, it is hoped that a return visit to Northern Ireland will be high on our agenda of places to visit. 

The group soon took off for another rest spot, an old and somewhat disused railway station, kept preserved for posterity.  Your scribe unfortunately missed this piece of the journey because of a tardiness reading of the route instructions where he was on the alternate route to nowhere, in fact back again at Glaslough.  All was not lost as it was an opportunity to avail of a delicious ice cream stop as the photos will vouch. 

In conclusion, for our Club members present, it was a wonderful week end.  Everything was right; weather, cars and people; what more could one ask. Hopefully, we have sown the seeds of friendship that will germinate into a long lasting personal friendships in old car pre-war motoring. 

Go raibh maith agat. Thank you all again.

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A one marque organisation, catering for the Austin Seven, is what makes The Irish Austin Seven Club unique. Prospective owners are always welcome to make contact with our membership who will be pleased to present and demonstrate the Seven’s special characteristics and driving experience.

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