Ballycastle June 2016

The 27th Annual Run this year took place for the first time with our friends in Northern Ireland over the weekend 25/26 June 2016. This much anticipated event was organised by Raymond and Olene Megaw and our base was the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle, Co Antrim.

Saturday 25th June 2016

We had 33 cars, from the four corners of Ireland ,all in pristine condition when we assembled on Saturday morning for our early start at 8.45.  A fun feature of our Annual Run is dressing up in the fashion of the day and our members make the most of the occasion and a great variety of outfits were in evidence. We had elegant ladies to suave and dapper gents complete with moustaches. We even had a recently returned group who had been on safari, with a David Attenborough lookalike and a little passenger who looked remarkably like our youngest member, Colt Kelly.

After a driver briefing, we set off from our hotel for the short run to Bushmills , home of the world’s oldest licensed Distillery, making Irish whiskey since 1608. Our group went on the tour of the facility followed by a tasting of the finished product!!!! All agreed it was a very good start to the day.

After a short few miles, we stopped at the Dark Hedges which has become world famous because of “Game of Thrones” It is an extraordinary sight with the avenue of beech trees in a most unusual formation. A large part of the filming of Game of Thrones” took place at various locations in Northern Ireland, and of course this has contributed in no small way to the local tourist industry.

Back on the road again to our next stop Scullion Hurls,where we were treated to a demonstration of hurley making by Michael Scullion before our welcome lunch stop at Loughgiel Millennium Centre.

Suitably refreshed, we set off again and this time our stop was at Paddy McKeown’s collection of pony traps and gigs of all sizes, shapes and makes!!! It was easy to spot the evolution of the Model T from some of the later carriages. The back of the T is almost identical to the back of the carriage!

We climbed aboard our own trusty carriages and set off once again though the countryside for a “comfort stop” to partake of afternoon tea in the Broughshane Community Centre.

Back in the road again towards Carnlough in brilliant sunshine for yet another break, this time delicious ice cream at McKillops shop. There was no risk of being hungry on this run!

We were now on the homeward stretch to Ballycastle and the clouds had come back. However,the threat of rain didn’t stop us admiring the beautiful Antrim coastline as we drove along the final few miles of our trip in this magnificent part of Ireland.
Our traditional Saturday evening dinner was scheduled for 8.30 and over 90 happy T enthusiasts enjoyed a lovely meal together. We had the usual speeches and presentation of trophies.

Our Secretary announced that there are present at dinner four sets of brothers, Cuddy, Duffy, Fulton and Crowley. He heard it said that George Fulton is now an ex-member of the Austin Club. He noted that Ray of Flanders fame swaped his Range Rover for a 1914 Model T. Elizabeth and guests really appreciated your generous offer Ray. Paul Murphy promised Sandra he would get a set of tyres for his car. Such forget-fullness will not happen again.  

He welcomed new members to their first eveny – Pat & Anna Morgan, George & Leslie Fulton, John & Mary Hayes and Graham Ferguson & Kyle and Lucy.  He paid a compliment to John Vahey for his engine repair completed in 21 days. He thanked John Hayes, our tail end charlie for his services which we all appreciate.

He thanked our stewards for their courtesy and our flag-man John O’Neill for keeping up standards. He mentioned the trophies and the donors, The Model T Ford Register of Great Britain and The Rosslare Hotel Resort.  Finally he wished Austen Bromley best wishes and hopes that his recovery from a bout of ill health is well behind him now.

This year the infamous and elusive Silver Salver was awarded to John and Jill Vahey and the Rosslare Trophy awarded to a delighted Graham Ferguson who was accompanied by his children Kyle and Lucy.

Our President, Michael Loughran made a short speech thanking everyone for coming and he also said how happy he was to be involved in such an active club in which the members enjoyed their cars to the full,taking part in such great numbers at the many events which take place throughout the country.

He announced to the gathering that Hugh & Maura Clarke were celebrating their Golden wedding anniversary – 50 glorious years of togetherness – and our members greeted the news with acclaim.

Raymond Megaw, chief organiser of the event spoke thus:

I want to thank you all for coming to our 27th Rally, based for the first time in North Antrim and I hope you enjoy your stay here.

There are a few people I want to give a special word of thanks. Without their help both practically and financially things would have been much more difficult:

Firstly our thanks to the Marine Hotel for the lovely meal tonight, for their hospitality and especially to Jade and her team for their patience with us.

Thanks to Brendan and Stella and to Denis and Marilyn for their sponsorship and for making the preparations for our stop at Broughshane. And Denis for his help in sorting out our route and coming with me to and from the North Coast numerous times over these past few months. My car can nearly come here itself now.

To Malcolm and Anne McCully from Secret Garden Restaurant and Nursery, Dundonald.
Cairns and Anne Fulton for giving us ideas and contacts. Their local knowledge was invaluable. And Cairns for his help with parking etc.

Godfrey Crawford for his computer genius in preparing the Route Book. Thanks to all members who offered assistance.

To William Cuddy, our secretary for all his help,emails,advice and all his correspondence between members.To John Hayes, Our ever-dependable Tail End Charlie. Mind you it is still a mystery how he managed to get the Honeymoon Suite in the hotel.

For a long time, I was the only Club member from Northern Ireland. Not so now, first Cairns bought a Model T. I think he got the “bug” last year when he and Anne came with us to the Rally. Then George, his brother, who is known locally as MR. AUSTIN bought not just ONE but TWO. And then Pat from Omeath, not to be outdone by the George boy, bought a little dandy of a T from Australia. Anna doesn’t usually like the open cars but she has been won over by this little red machine – it was the two seats that swayed it.

Seriously I really want to welcome all our new members from all parts of Ireland and, for those taking part in their first annual rally, I hope you have enjoyed yourselves well enough to do the same next year.

William Cuddy, Secretary of the Club, then presented Raymond and Olene with a beautiful hand crafted beech bowl which was specially made by him for the occasion. It is a nine inch bowl modelled on a recently discovered 1,000 year old Viking bowl in Dublin.

No Annual Dinner would be complete without John O’Neill’s rendition of “The Ballad of Henry Ford” and once again he did not disappoint, with a word perfect performance.

Well done John.

Sunday 26th June 2016

Sunday morning dawned and we were on the road bright and early for our run to the famous Giant’s Causeway.

Unfortunately the weather was not in our favour and we were not able to enjoy the views of the spectacular coastline. However when we reached our destination we got to see the famous attraction of the 40.000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. However, legend has it that the Irish giant Finn McCool built the causeway so he could walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner.

We then had the most delicious lunch in the nearby Causeway Hotel. All agreed it was the best Carvery meal ever. After lunch, a merry sing song got under way in the comfortable bar and a certain match was being played in Euro 2016, not everyone took in the last few miles to visit Portrush and Portstewart. Some of us did take to the road however, and enjoyed the run along the coast before heading back to base in Ballycastle.

It was an outstanding weekend. Raymond and Olene, you did a magnificent job and gave us all a weekend to remember for a very long time.

We must also thank your willing helpers and back up team, including Cairns and Anne Fulton. A special word of thanks to Denis Robinson for his help and support in planning the route and all others who helped in any way to make this event such an unqualified success. Thank you, one and all.

The final word we will leave to the great man himself. Henry Ford, the man who put the world on wheels.

I will build a motor car for the great multitude… constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise… so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.

Henry Ford

Thank you Henry, from T owners everywhere.

Our souvenir poster was presented to Olene and Raymond as a keepsake. Finally, if you click on this link you will see our souvenir programme of the event.

Thanks for looking in!

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