Portlaoise October 2015
We gathered for our final run of the 2015 season at the Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise. A welcome cup of coffee and a chat was the order of the occasion.
Sean McEvoy our host gave the drivers’ briefing and circulated pre-prepared instructions and such like paraphernalia which members appreciated.
We climbed aboard our trusty T’s and set off. It was a misty and damp start, so rain gear and jackets had been donned before departure as we followed our route in the direction of Timahoe.
Our instructions had forewarned us of a “long incline” after Timahoe so we were prepared for the 3km uphill drive. Most inclines are regarded as hills for a T. Some T’s are unbothered by most terrain but a few of the old ladies would be happier on flat routes! Anyway we all arrived in Abbeyleix without much bother and parked up in the Manor Hotel in time for lunch.
After an enjoyable meal we set off for Heritage House which is a community heritage centre and museum situated in the town. Abbeyleix is steeped in history with close association to the de Vesci family dating back to the 18th century when the old town was levelled and a new town built.
The new town was planned with a wide straight Main Street featuring a formal planting of lime trees. Abbeyleix prospered in the new location and over the next century as industries developed including a brewery, flour mills and a factory making carpets which were sold all over the world. Indeed the factory made some of the carpets fitted to the ill fated liner Titanic.
The streetscape of Abbeyleix has remained relatively unchanged to this day and so the the town is recognised as an important heritage town. The museum is housed in the former North School, built in 1885 and it captures the history of Laois from the earliest times as well as telling of the history of the town itself.
After this most informative and enjoyable visit it was time to rejoin our cars for the trip back to the Maldron Hotel. Another successful Autumn T run with thanks to Sean McEvoy who always provides us with a different view of his part of the country.
Indeed all our hosts of the events during the year must be complimented on the amount of work they put into the runs. Huge thanks to you all. We have had a wonderful year of safe and enjoyable driving. We look forward to 2016 in anticipation of more great events with our members and cars.