24th Annual Rally West Cork July 2013
The 24th Annual Rally of the Club took place over the weekend of 6-7th July 2013. Our base was the Celtic Ross Hotel in the heart of beautiful West Cork.
This year our hosts were Robert Clarke from Bandon and John O’Neill from Ballinadee who put together a varied and most interesting schedule. Most of our members arrived on Friday evening as we had a 10.00am start on Saturday morning to facilitate out busy itinerary.
Day One – Saturday
After the Drivers’ briefing and presented with our WCR Souvenir programme, we set off in high spirits. Most of our drivers and passengers took to their 1920’s wardrobes and attired themselves appropriate to the era of the early 20th Century.
First Stop – Ballinacarthy
Our convoy made up of 30 pristine Model T Fords causing many a head to turn. Our first stop, the stainless steel Model T Ford replica in Ballinascarthy.
The glittering brass of the old Fords, the glistening steel of the Replica and the happy smiles of our members for the group photograph in glorious sunshine made for a special keepsake as Denis Minihane staff photographer with The Examiner turned up and took photos which were published in The Evening Echo and Irish Examiner in the days that followed.
Denis uploaded a clip of our event on YouTube for the world to see and admire!
Stop 2 – The Ford Homestead
We then headed east to the Ford Homestead Farm and were greeted by Mrs Hazel Ford Buttimer and family members. It was a great privilege to be able to view this historic building the homestead of the Ford family.
We spent some time walking around the remains of the old house. We extend our grateful thanks and appreciation to the Ford cousins for their preservation work in keeping the house intact as far as is feasible.
Stop 3 – Clonakilty Town
We resumed our journey and arrived in Clonakilty in brilliant sunshine where we parked up on Emmet Square.
We enjoyed the Old Time Fair Day which was taking place in the town in conjunction with the South of Ireland Band Championships. Clonakilty is one of the jewels in the crown of West Cork and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and lunch in lovely and welcoming surroundings.
Stop 4 – Michael Collins Centre
We left Clonakilty for our next stop, the Michael Collins Centre where historian Tim Crowley gave a interesting lecture on the Big Fella and other famous sons of the area.
Afterwards we were treated to afternoon tea which included traditional brown cake baked in the bastible while the presentation was in progress. This centre is well worth a visit if in the area.
We returned via Clonakilty where we paraded down the Main Street, much to the delight of the many visitors and locals who had turned out in force to enjoy the Old Time Fair Day. Sunshine all the way, we returned to Rosscarbery for our Gala Dinner in the Celtic Ross Hotel.
Our President Michael Rigney presented Mary & John O’Neill with the Silver Salver presented in 1997 by members of the Model T Ford Register of Great Britain.
The Rosslare Hotel Cup was presented to the Fleming Family. A delicious meal followed by Jerry Deasy’s music, not forgetting a few star turns by our members, was a fitting end to a wonderful day!
Day Two – Sunday
Stop 5 – Birthplace of Michael Collins
Sunday morning dawned warm with a clear blue sky and we set off in a relaxed mode to visit the birthplace of Michael Collins. We stopped for a while, took photographs and chatted. This is a historic site of significant Irish interest and is a must when you visit West Cork.
Stop 6 – Sam’s Cross
We then drove to Sam’s Cross past the Four Alls pub, where Michael Collins met with family and friends on the day he was killed. Another opportunity presented itself for a group photograph of our members, friends and families.
Stop 7 – Rathbarry
Our journey took us on to Rathbarry where we stopped for afternoon tea and refreshments. This delightful village has been the winner of the Tidy Towns competition many times and deservedly so.
Members relaxed in the afternoon sunshine… On then through Long Strand and Owenahincha and on the way to Glandore.
Stop 8 – Drombeg Stone Circle
We halted a while a visit to the extraordinary Drombeg Stone Circle. The grounds are beautifully kept by the Office of Public Works.
Yes the group photograph… again; and others basking in the sunshine, and not forgetting the Clarkes.
Stop 9 – Glandore Village
Our arrival in Glandore caused gridlock in the village – somewhat of a traffic jam – but all was sorted with good humour. Some of our members did have lunch while others just sat, relaxed and enjoyed the ambience of this delightful part of the world.
Stop 10 – Baltimore Village
After our break we drove on to the village of Leap. Those who were homeward bound turned right for Rosscarbery and the others turned left in the direction of Skibbereen and straight on to the fishing village of Baltimore.
On arrival we parked up on the harbour quayside and spent a very pleasant hour or so in this popular boating and fishing resort.
We finished off the day with dinner at the well known local Casey’s Hotel. Many of the group had decided the stay on until Monday and so we made our way back to Rosscarbery at a leisurely pace.
Congratulations to Robert, John and their families for organizing a T run that was nothing short of spectacular. We are all aware of the huge amount of effort and time involved in the planning of such an event and to have included such fantastic weather as well was no small feat.
A special word of thanks to our “Tailend Charlie” Bill Chambers, who thankfully was not called into service as it was an incident free run. Not forgetting but of course our faithful stewards Liam Coughlan, John Nyhan and Ed. O’Neill who made our passage safe at critical junctions. It was very reassuring to know they were all there minding us!
A wonderful and memorable 2013 Run. Thank you to everyone involved.
I hope that you enjoyed looking at the write up of our annual rally. Any questions please e-mail our Secretary.
PS – This is a work in progress. I am waiting for photographs from members to complete the diary of events particularly the stop at Sam’s Cross and the traffic gridlock at Glandore.
PPS – I take it that members approve of photographs published on our website. If any text or image is a cause for concern kindly contact our Secretary and the matter will be rectified. Webmaster, 20th July 2013.