The Glen of Aherlow August 2020

Patrick Dwyer made it known to friends of the Austin Seven that he was going for a Sunday spin on the 31st August and if anyone would so wish to come along and join in with him, all the better and they would be most welcome.

August is statistically the second wettest month in the calendar year. 2020 lived up to this reputation especially as it was augmented by the twin storms of Ella and Francis. The day that was in it was completely different to what we all had been experiencing and was normal for summer time : Blue skies, calm, dry and plenty of sunshine.

A group of friends foregathered in the Castle car park in Cahir. Cahir Castle, one of the largest castles in Ireland, is sited on an island in the river Suir. It was built from 1142 by Conor O’Brien, Prince of Thomond. Now situated in Cahir town centre, County Tipperary, the castle is well preserved and has guided tour and audiovisual shows in multiple languages.

The selection of cars comprised of four sevens and three Ts. There were apologises from a like number of enthusiasts. Chatting and introductions took place over mugs of hot tea and biscuits and the tourists and visitors to the castle grounds really did appreciate the very nice array of cars parked up. The vehicles ranged from 1914 to 1934 and represented the best of American and British engineering that brought the motor car to the average family.

At noon, Pat heralded the start of his run which was to be a delightful run around the Glen of Aherlow in County Tipperary in a figure of eight, travelling anti clockwise through the Glen, bisecting Tipperary town and arriving in Galbally town square for a bring your own picnic lunch.

The Glen of Aherlow, Tipperary’s most attractive and scenic holiday destination, is a lush valley where the River Aherlow runs between the Galtee Mountains and the wooded ridge of Slievenamuck. Bounded by the rural villages of Bansha and Galbally, the Glen was historically an important pass between Limerick and Tipperary.

After a delightful scenic drive assenting the soaps of the Glen we arrived at a viewing area, the focal point of the passage through the Glen, the Christ the King monument, erected in 1950, which commands the finest view to be had of the area. Placed on the side of the Slievenamuck Hill, and facing the Galtees, the statue’s raised hand is said to bless all those who pass by it and live beneath it.

And so it was time for lunch in Galbally. Each of the friends of the Seven brought their own picnic baskets filled to the brim with Colourful summer ware, napkins and a delightful array of fine foods. Intermingling at a safe distance was the order of the day, ever so mindful of the ever present dangers of the dreadful Covid-19. The presence of these delightful cars of a by gone era was appreciated and noticed by the many passers by who came to look and admire. The village square was alive with people, young and old, enjoying the last day of summer.

One of our colleagues resorted to pruning one of the many trees that adorned the village square in quest for some timber material sufficient to make up a discarded frost plug on the cylinder head of a Seven touring car. His mechanical expertise came to surface in quick time as he pared a plug to size and fitted it firmly. Whilst the temporary repair was successful, the old saying is that there is nothing as permanent as a temporary arrangement and our man would not want to address the matter back home.

The return leg of the journey, another 30 miles back to Cahir was delightful in the ever presence of old cars and rustic rural scenery. Happy to report that the group all arrived safe and well at their final destination.

It really was a lovely and enjoyable occasion, so much so as we all were pleased that Pat would plan another Sunday spin at the end of September next, same fore gathering time of 10:30 am and meeting point at Cahir Castle. Do mark Sunday 27th September in your diary ! The individuals who participated in the run are most appreciative of Pat’s initiative and asked that he be commended for his leadership and endeavour.

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