Meander and Picnic Run May 2021
The first official event of the Irish Austin Seven Club took place over the last Sunday in May, the 31st: a day in optimum weather conditions where with blue skies, the temperatures reached 18 Celsius: and not a puff of wind to retract from perfection.
CAHIR CASTLE MEETING POINT
We foregathered at the Cahir Castle car park at 10:30 am for a chat amongst ourselves and an opportunity for the many members of the public to inspect and photograph the cars parked up. Some retired to the Riverhouse restaurant across the street for10:30 morning refreshments.
FIRST STOP AT BALLYPOREEN
Hosting our assembly, Chris O’Mahony at his drivers’ briefing, welcomed all members and guests, provided them with Tulip Diagrams and a map showing how the morning run of 30 miles and the afternoon run of similar mileage was created, promising spectacular scenery and traffic free secondary roads. The route would bring us via Ballylooby to our first stop at Ballyporeen, County Tipperary, the ancestral home of the Reagan family. President Reagan’s ancestry has been traced back to his great grandfather Michael Regan who was born in 1829 in the parish of Templetenny, and emigrated first to London and then to the USA. Templetenny was renamed as Ballyporeen around 1900. On the 3 June, 1984 President Reagan arrived in his ancestral hometown as part of a visit to Ireland.
PICNIC LUNCH STOP
After 10 minutes or so with plenty of photographs taken for our website, we were off again to Kilworth, a village in north County Cork, located about 2 kilometres north of Fermoy near the river Funcheon. Nearby, Kilworth has an army camp, located on the R639 regional road between Mitchelstown and Fermoy The M8 Cork Dublin motorway passes close by and it was at Jct.14 where we settled down to enjoy our picnic lunch in glorious sunshine.
We were very pleased to have been joined by friends, family and supporters for this occasion. The busy motorway stop was thronged with passers-by many of whom strolled over to us to inspect and admire our cars and take copious photographs for themselves. No harm at all, after all by our presence we are promoting the Austin Seven brand of a one marque historical vehicles.
After lunch we gathered together to hear from our President Ian Clayton who welcomed members and guests and thanked them for their attendance. He noted that it was Colin Pressey was the one who agitated that we should get out and about in our Sevens and made it known that he would be on the road last summer. There followed a few more drives led by Patrick Dwyer with friends, where we quickly learned the scale and format of successful assemblies. President Clayton presented Colin with a hand turned timber bowl from our Club as an expression of our appreciation.
At recent Facebook sessions amongst members a consensus emerged to the effect that we would at least try and arrange a get together coupled with a picnic lunch thrown in. Weather in Ireland is legendary: almost impossible to predict with accuracy. Agreed that in advance of a promising Sunday, our Secretary would notify all members on the previous Tuesday with a follow up reminder on Friday. And so it was, Chris O’Mahony duly volunteered his services to plan a route that would be suitable for our 90+ year old cars, not too hilly, in picturesque surroundings and low or nil density of traffic. On this occasion it was noted that the score card for Chris reads 10/10.
As a thank you from Club members and in appreciation of the extensive background research and planning for the occasion, President Clayton presented Chris with a hand turned native Cork spalted beech bowl. Finally he indicated that the next assembly was likely to be held on the last Sunday in June where our base would most likely be in the Callan region of County Kilkenny. All members will be duly notified on the Tuesday and Friday beforehand.
We set off again on our merry way via Kilworth and Araglin to Clogheen. Were times different and the populous not having to deal with the dreadful Covid-19, we would surely stop in the pretty village of Araglin where the Araglin River forms part of the boundary of counties Waterford and Tipperary and its upland catchment is a segment of the southern slopes of the Knockmealdown Mountains. There to explore are the Sraglen Falls – the Three Dunes.
To note close by and on our way to Clogheen where last year we did venture forth to Lismore and over the spectacular Vee This is just a reminder that Cahir is an excellent centre point for anyone who cares to plan a day out with friends, be it cycling or motoring in old cars.
Happily, we arrived back at base and loaded up. Thanks to careful planning, well laid out instructions and clear drivers briefing, the event went off without a hitch, thanks to the participants who at all times were courteous to fellow road users. We will meet again.