When I mentioned in the March 2015 newsletter that our members from Dungannon would no doubt arrange an event which would hold something for everyone then that turned out to be gross understatement.
A good turn out of twenty five cars set off from Sprucefield Shopping Centre, Lisburn on the 12th April 2015. Having agreed that we would set off in two groups, one led by Peter Kerr and the other by Noel Corry then although Peter’s group set off first, I selected to travel in convoy with Noel, when I got out on to the M1 there was no sign of Noel’s group.
Anyhow everyone appeared to be happy to drive at 55mph behind Peter whilst Noel went down the motorway at ???mph followed by Mervyn Mackay who was not about to let a Land Rover be first to arrive at the first stop which also was the meeting point for our friends from Dungannon. With the usual ‘comfort stop’ happenings complete we then headed off following a very professional route map produced at no doubt great time and inconvenience by Trevor Haydock and his wife Ada. This map was so good we did not even manage to lose any cars which is quite a feat in itself.
Anyhow what a welcome we received at Glasslough. Refreshments had been arranged in the local Church Hall. The tables were set out with sandwiches, scones and pastries, followed by apple tart and cream, what a feed! It was fortunate that it was an early start otherwise those heading Viscounts for the evening. Meal would not have done it justice.
Following the refreshments club chairman Bob Sharpe presented the ladies who had prepared the refreshments with a donation to church funds as a thank you for all their hard work.
The group then made their way by foot down to the Castle and St Salvadors church where Sir John Leslie had come along to give those present a personal talk of the history of the church and castle. Diane gave a brief talk and then opened the session to include Sir John who was happy to reminisce and also answer some questions which were directed to him.
Sir John educated at Downside School and Magdalene College, Cambridge, he never married. During World War II, he spent five years in POW camps. After the war he moved to New York and later travelled around Europe, settling in Rome. At the age of 78 he returned to his family’s homestead, Castle Leslie and travelled to Ibiza for his 85th birthday in 2001.
He inadvertently revealed the wedding location of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills by admitting to reporters it was to take place in Castle Leslie, but that it was “a secret”. Sir John now aged 96 years is still an active member of the local disco scene. The group then had a leisurely walk around the grounds of the castle and also an opportunity to see the rooms inside.
Around 4.30pm the group left for the short drive to Dungannon and the evening meal in Viscounts Restaurant which once again lived up to its reputation for excellent food. All in all a really great day which everyone enjoyed and once again the members from Dungannon managed to include a good spell of afternoon sunshine which all were thankful for.
Thanks to Richard, Rosemary, Ada, Trevor and Ian and of course Diane and her helpers and not to forget Sir John for what was a really wonderful experience for all.