West Cork June 2015

One of the most popular T runs every year is the event held by Bob Clarke and family in beautiful West Cork.

It is quite amazing, no matter how contrary our weather is, before and after the run, the sun will always shine for Bob on the day! We don’t know how you do it, Bob and Catherine, but don’t change the recipe!

Nine shiny Model Ts and assorted numbers of passengers gathered for the pre run chat for tea, coffee, scones etc. at Bandon Motors. After our drivers’ briefing, we set off in the sunshine in the direction of Clonakilty.

We shortly left the busy main road and found ourselves motoring through the quieter routes of leafy lanes and side roads in the general direction of the famed town land of Ballinascarthy ancestral home of the Ford family. It was a truly delightful journey along hitherto uncharted territory for most of us.

We reached our destination and parked up beside the stainless steel replica of the car that “put the world on wheels” and took our annual group photograph for posterity before climbing aboard our cars and setting off again to enjoy our trip in the now warm sunshine. We passed the old schoolhouse where the Ford family were educated.

We travelled once again on lovely side roads to our next stop which was Timoleague. En route we happily waltzed around some of the areas much publicised potholes, but happily reached the ruins of the Abbey in the village unscathed.

We stopped nearby and did some exploring inside the ancient ruin which is home to a huge number of graves dating back hundreds of years up to quite recently. The history of families buried in this quiet part of Co Cork is carved out on the headstones with names and ages of the deceased for all to see. Graveyards are indeed sombre but at the same time peaceful and interesting places to visit.

The lunch stop was now within striking distance and we drove along the seashore to the Courtmacsherry Hotel in high anticipation. Driving in the fresh air always whips up a healthy appetite.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania. This tragic event had wide reaching consequences as it took place in wartime, but of course the tragic loss of life is the biggest consequence of all. Over 1,500 innocent souls were drowned of the coast of County Cork on that dreadful day and it was from Courtmacsherry the lifeboat was launched in an attempt to reach survivors.

We had a most informative talk given by local historian Michael O’Brien before lunch was served and we extend our thanks to him for relating hitherto unknown facts and figures on that fatal event.

After a long and leisurely lunch, followed by prolonged goodbyes, we all piled into our cars and headed for home. Further hospitality was available back at Bandon Motors if anyone felt the need to refuel either body or car!

A huge thank you as always to our hosts, Catherine, Bob and the Clarke family who always put a huge effort into this run, as indeed all members who host runs around the country. Any club is only as good as the members and we have one of the best!

Keep making the sunshine Bob and Co. We look forward to next year already.

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