We met at the Sprucefield Shopping Centre Lisburn; 27 cars heading off in two groups towards the A1 for the first stop at Castlebellingham service area approximately 50 miles from Lisburn. This year we even managed to find the correct one and everyone did what they needed to do and we then set off for the village of Trim. Arriving here we then travelled on to the Hill of Down where we had lunch arranged for everyone in P. Morans pub alongside the Royal Canal.
This gave a suitable time for a rest and regroup before we then made the 100 mile trip to our hotel in Galway. We presented James, the son of the owner of the pub, with a commemorative plaque which he swiftly had mounted on the pub wall before we left. We had no MG incidents on route but one of our guests and potentially new member driving a pink, sorry, lilac Morris 1000 ran out of fuel. I cannot be sure that it was petrol but who knows?
Arriving at the hotel we were directed to a cordoned off area but of course we parked in various other positions around the underground car park as someone spotted a flood where we were had been directed to park. Once everyone had checked in, the group enjoyed complimentary tea/coffee and scones before taking a quiet lie down before the evening meal which was in the Tribes Restaurant.
After the meal there was entertainment in the bar and as usual lots of folks decided to strut their stuff on the floor. We even had a well known Irish ballad destroyed by three, no two of a trio of members. No names, no pack drill. Friday morning dawned dry if not sunny but as it was a coach trip there was no real concern shown.
The coach arrived on time and we set off for the Cliffs of Mohir and the Burren. The guide, Chris, was excellent and certainly knew his history of the local area and Pablo the driver although Polish definitely knew the roads which altogether made for a very satisfactory day out.
A few less movers in the bar after the meal in fact some went to bed. Saturday was damp and whilst some took their cars for an airing into Salthill others went for an open top bus ride. We did all eventually meet up in or around Galway. An evening meal was once again enjoyed before retiring to the bar where the dancers were back in action. Not sure where the singers had gone!
Sunday morning was a fairly early start but everyone was there well almost everyone. We had a drive off slightly earlier than planned to Moylough to attend the North Galway Vintage and Heritage Festival. No incidents on route and when we arrived we parked up as directed and everyone received a food voucher and finishers award voucher. The food voucher entitled you to a beef burger or chicken or bacon burger, plate of chips and a drink, not bad for free!
There were plenty of stalls at the show and some folks managed to grab a few bargains. Musical entertainment was provided by a local group of six guys calling them selves The Kings Of Connaught. I think quite a lot of folks enjoyed their singing. Heading back to the hotel around 4.00pm, some had a relaxing swim in the pool before heading down to the Ballybrit suite for presentation of the finishers awards and ballot draw.
The club chairman Bob Sharpe made a presentation to a member of the hotel management of a suitably framed rally plaque. Needless to say the ‘Gaws’ won the weekend away prize. Ian Coulter gave a an excellent reading of a personally penned Poem of the run to Antrim. The skills of this man has no bounds!
Following the meal most retired to the bar area where demonstration of the ‘slush’ was called for even though the expert had gone to bed. Early to bed for most. The final day had arrived and after breakfast and the obligatory photo shoot at the front of the hotel we all headed of in the direction of home. Many stopped off again at Morans pub, some stopped again at the Castlebellingham service area and then headed home.
Well I hope everyone enjoyed the five days. Should we aim to do it again next year?
Report on the Weekend Event in Galway 22nd – 26th May 2014