Three Counties Two Countries Model T Run October 2022

Vincent Macklin and sons Adam and Matthew invited us to their home town, Monaghan, for an autumn run they collectively describe as Three Counties, Two Countries Model T Run 23rd October 2022.  Our meeting point was the Four Seasons Hotel where to the rear, we had use of the very large car park allowing sufficient room for trailers and a line up of Ts. 

The weather forecast was typical autumnal, being showery am and sunshine pm.  The Macklins had arranged morning teas and coffees for us all as we foregathered in or around 10:30 am for meet up and chat.  A generous helping of rain curtailed the drivers’ briefing as shelter from the sudden downpour was soon to hand thanks to the awning on the recovery vehicle provided by Jack and Irene Minish.  

We departed for Caledon, a small village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is in the Clogher Valley on the banks of the River Blackwater, 10 km from Armagh. It lies in the southeast of Tyrone and near the borders of County Armagh and County Monaghan. The distance is 17 kms, the journey was most pleasant, and the early autumn colouring on the extensive tree lined way was spectacular.  On arrival in glorious sunshine we parked up on Church Hill Road.  Soon locals and passerby folk were present to look and gaze at the fine array of our cars and commercials.  We enjoyed the company of villagers; after half an hour, we bid them farewell. 

We somewhat retraced our steps whilst taking a planed detour,  along Coolkill road and Cortynan road, being single lane country lanes southbound, again amid the falling leaves that were in the process of changing colour from dark green to light amber.  Two motorcycle out riders manned junctions to enable us to cross intersections without interruption and with considerable safety. Thank you Leron and Mark for your valuable service. 

Soon enough and 9 kms later, we were in another village but this time in county Monaghan. The name Glaslough is derived from the Irish translation ‘calm or green lake’, a picturesque, magical village, located on the outskirts of Castle Leslie Estate.   Surrounded by ancient woodlands and glittering lakes, it is a village filled with impressive historical and architectural features, beautifully stone cut period buildings and a unique, vibrant and welcoming community. 

We parked up our Ts alongside Wright’s Pub where the owners generously went out of their way to have their facilities available to those of us in need.  We hoisted our Ford flag and Vincent and sons kindly handed around complimentary Glaslough Chocolate.  This exclusive confectionery is manufactured in the heart of the village and is only available in their their tiny retail outlet.  The product is excellent in all respects and would make an ideal gift for a special occasion. 

Tourism is important for the village and happily we can report there were many tourists as well as locals out an about enjoying our presence, and we with them.  Some of us took the opportunity to seek picnic ingredients by visiting the local grocery store cum café cum ice cream parlour. Pocono Gelato Café is the name the delightful grocery shop goes by.  A visit is highly recommended. Friendly staff and delicious product, freshly made, is the order of the day. We were more than satisfied.

At around one o’clock it was time to swing our Ts into action and soon enough we were on the road heading southerly again in the direction of Rossmore Forest Park, a national forest park located in County Monaghan in Ireland run by the Irish States forestry organisation, Coillte. It is situated approximately 5km outside Monaghan town and has its main entrance on the R189 Threemilehouse/Newbliss Road.  We duly arrived.  We managed to create a little traffic congestion at the entrance gate simply because the barrier bar was set for max height of 1.9 meters. The two commercials had to stay outside.

On arrival we parked up our cars in a cluster. In jig time picnics were to the ready and the relaxed autumn travellers soon enjoying the warm autumn Sunshine.  Lots of Sunday afternoon strollers were about taking a keen interest in the fleet of historic transport for the most part each one in excess of one hundred years.  The mingling of people, young and old is a pleasure to witness especially with an abundance of smiles all round.  

Our secretary welcomed new members Teddy and Maureen Gillanders to our club.  While we were enjoying morning refreshments at the hotel prior to starting off, a bevy of Gillanders children swarmed around and we managed to photograph the proud grandparents with their cherished grandchildren. Wonderful occasion, given it was the family’s first outing in a Model T after a respite of 35 years. The blue 1913 runabout was really splendid and much admired by all.

Our President Paul Murphy was on hand to extend his thanks to our members for their continuous loyal support of club activities. He was most grateful to the Macklins for hosting the day and providing us with complementary morning refreshments and mid day chocolate treats. The picnic venue was par excellence.  As a memento of the occasion, Paul presented Vincent Macklin and sons Adam and Matthew with a spalted beech bowl that was hand turned only last week especially for them in grateful thanks from us all. To the wider audience Paul reminded that if they would like a bowl, then just volunteer for a run.

All in all it was a good day.  The weather forecast was accurate enough and the sunny dry spells more than made up for the infrequent short burst rain falls. It was our first trip to County Monaghan and hopefully not our last. The scenery is really good; the places to see great; and lovely roads most suitable for centuarian transport; the motorcycle wardens made for safety.

Thank you Vincent – we truly enjoyed our time with you.

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