Greystones Picnic Run August 2022

June and Clive and family extended an invitation to all members to foregather at “Denali”, the Evans’ homestead in mid-August (14th) for a summer run comprising of a shortish drive to a place of interest and back to home for a Sunday picnic.  Given that there were many competing events on the day, there was an excellent turnout of 18 cars with plenty of passengers including youngsters and well-behaved dogs on board, making the gathering all the more enjoyable.

There to greet us all was Chairman Gerry Walsh, of Greystones Municipal District includes the villages of Delgany, Kilcoole, Newcastle and a small part of Newtownmountkennedy.  Mr Walsh was pleased to make an address to the gathering and extended a chead mile failte to one and all.  

He hoped that we would enjoy our short stay in his constituency and was sure that the people who would have the privilege of seeing our fine selection of veteran cars passing along, would be delighted.  He complimented owners for the care and work involved in keeping historic vehicles in good trim, such an important part of our heritage.

Our hosts provided us all with hot morning refreshments and freshly baked scones topped with various jams, so colourful, topped up with optional whipped cream, a challenge to anyone to resist.  We had our cars parked up in a crescent formation, with the Ford flag hoisted up at full mast and took the opportunity to capture a group photograph of all present. 

Conversation took hold in quick time as well as a stroll around the delightful gardens, particularly the willow woven fence surrounding the tranquil eating area, all inspired and honed by June herself over a goodly number of years in the making.  In all a superb creation and a very fine setting for such an appreciative group such as ourselves.

At the appointed hour of 11 o clock Clive welcomed his guests and delivered his drivers’ briefing, accompanied by double sided tulip maps and colourful biros to be used on tick boxes as we progressed.   We left our base in convoy until such time as we came across the second or so of the many roundabouts we faced. 

Some of us not accustomed to heavy density living ended up in multiple choice directions when it came to following those with local knowledge and others with a good grasp of maps.  Nonetheless, the day was exceptionally fine and in any event with the position of the sun in mind it was an easy task to point westwards where we would all end up, thanks to brown road signs aplenty, in the direction of Powerscourt House and Gardens.

Powerscourt is one of the world’s great gardens and is located 20km south of Dublin City Centre. Set against the backdrop of the great Sugarloaf Mountain, Powerscourt is stunning in every season. From the ornate Italian Gardens, to the formal walks of the Rose and Kitchen Gardens, there are many hidden treasures to explore. With over 200 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers this 47 acres has something for everyone.  The Gardens were laid out over a period of 150 years and were designed to create a garden that was part of the wider landscape, creating one of the most majestic vistas in Ireland. Fine statuary and ironworks collected from across Europe adorn these magnificent Gardens.

The Palladian Mansion was destroyed by fire in 1974 and re-opened in 1996, but not to its original glory. It is now home to a range of craft and interior shops featuring Irish Design. The Terrace cafe offers Irish artisan home cooked cuisine.

Powerscourt is one of Ireland’s Ancient East top attractions

Our hosts had an arrangement for a discounted ticket entry to the magnificent gardens so that those green-fingered folks could take in at leisure the beauty that was there to be savoured.  That said, there were little or no takers.  Not we hasten to add, anything whatsoever to do with our stopover location, but the sheer social attraction of members of a one marque club to engage in conversation with one another, catching up with old acquaintances and meeting with new and nearly new members.  Social interaction is clearly paramount for us.  A walk through the designer shops together with a stroll around the big house savouring ice cream cones was more than one could ask for especially in the glorious sunshine coupled with blue skies.

After a respectable hour or so, it was time to set off.  Noel Kavanagh took on the role of flag man and once lowered, the signal went out to one an all to follow the Woodie station wagon on a circuitous route that took us through the leafy suburbs and the shore line of Greystones, County Wicklow,  From a small fishing village, Greystones has grown to be one of the greatest places to live, work and play in Ireland.  Located on the Irish Seas, it is a fantastic destination for boutique shopping, great dining, wellness and healthy living.  Greystones enjoys hourly trains to Bray and Dublin and is a great day trip destination.

By 3:30 pm we were back a “Denali”.  Our hosts had laid out tables, chairs and umbrellas and we quickly took our places and opened up our picnic offerings.  As with most communal picnics, variety was key with some more than others going to great lengths to make the occasion as memorable as possible.  Sufficient to say we thoroughly enjoyed the company, the setting and the glorious weather.  As has been the case for some time now within the confines of our club, speech making is set as a minimum. 

Our secretary, on behalf of the guests, thanked the Evans Family for organising the event and providing the at home setting for the wonderful picnic which we so enjoyed.  Ann Duffy president emeritus presented Clive and June with an eleven-inch platter that was hand turned out of a piece of Elm, that came from the Evans’ own garden.  In response, Clive was pleased with the gift accepted as a token of friendship from his many friends in the Model T Ford Club and especially the provenance of the wood material of the gift.

Some of us stayed a while chattering; others walked about the gardens; many of the men folk were drawn to Clive’s workshop and garage to learn and exchange knowledge with other like-minded enthusiasts.  And so, there it is.  We enjoyed our picnic run, the company of each other with the summer weather as a bonus.  Thank you, Clive, June, Christopher and Laney, for the good times which we shall cherish.  As it has been said elsewhere, things change but sweet memories last forever.

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