Trip to the Isle of Man 21st June – 24th June 2015.
Sunday 21st June at approximately 09.30 saw 13 bleary eyed, but excited MG owners and their passengers meet at Fortwilliam roundabout, awaiting the drive off to the Stena terminal, a short drive down the motorway, (approx 2 miles).
Sam and Desie joined us to wish us bon voyage and we were unexpectantly joined by 3 French Harley Davison owners who were also travelling to Isle of Man but unsure as to the directions to the boat. What an absolute mistake!! All went well until we entered the docks and came across….a roundabout. Most drivers turned right, including the bikers, but true to form, a number of MG’s decided it would be good to go left!!
After a gather up, Derek went to check us all in and… the computers crashed – a sign of things to come? After a period of time all was well and all managed the short trip up the ramp and safely parked on the boat. We then headed to the comfort of the lounges; well some never made it past the queue for the breakfast fry at the restaurant!
Time flew by and after a short sea journey we disembarked in Douglas, where we headed up the main promenade and along the coast to our “watering hole”, The Ramsay Park Hotel. An uneventful trip
surely, but no, we managed to lose at least one car!
After check-in, we met with our friends from the Isle of Man car club and embarked on a lap of the TT
course. A mis-understanding meant that one car was left behind but more of that later. A leisurely drive
around the 37.7 mile course was enjoyed by all, but many reckoned a certain MG owner could break the
current 17 minute 3.567 sec record (we all know who I mean). However, the car that was left behind passed us on route, going in the other direction. He is now claiming the record for an anti-clockwise lap.
Dinner was served later in the evening, and as with most MG meals, there wasn’t much left on the plates at the end of the evening. A few drinks later, the early start and fresh air had caught up with most people, and with a final check of the MG’s, we all headed off to bed.
After breakfast, we assembled in the car park, Derek gave us our itinerary, and the engines cranked over before a trip to Laxey and Peel ensued. However the curse of the MG outings struck again, and another roundabout got one over us, with only three cars following Derek, the rest following Peter. Despite this, we all managed to meet up at the Laxey Wheel, and most embarked on an expedition to the top of the wheel.
Despite his recent operation, Charlie Annan, or “Charlie Edmund Hillary Annan” to his friends went beyond all expectations and also made it to the summit and back down again! A short stroll later in the bright sunshine, we were off again, an original kipper smoke house in Peel being our destination.
The weather was sunshine all the way, the roads quiet and the scenery absolutely stunning, but the curse struck again and the convoy got separated again, this despite the fact we had walkie-talkie radios!! We managed to meet up and after a short tour, did what we all do best…headed off for lunch. The remainder of the day was left to the individual, some stayed in Peel, some went for a drive and some headed to a motor museum in Jurby.
Again, after a superb evening meal, a little liquid refreshment was taken and all stayed at the hotel and chatted into the late evening. Tuesday was deemed a DIY day, but I have to report that poor Charlie had to stay at “base camp” as the previous day’s expedition had emptied his tank!
However, the staff at the hotel and in particular Zoe looked after him, serving pots of tea throughout the day. The majority of the group decided to venture into Douglas via the electric railway and then the horse drawn trams. With the weather being so good, it made the whole adventure worthwhile, again with some stunning scenery, and great craic throughout.
We all met up again for our final meal in the hotel, and again we weren’t disappointed. However, Albert decided he didn’t like the decor, pulling the curtains from the wall. If the bill comes in Desie, you’ll know who was responsible. After the meal, we had the customary ballot and finishers awards, and were then entertained by the “Bard of Dungannon”, Mr Ian Coulter who finished off the evening with a number of humorous recollections! A few drinks later, and most had retired to pack for the early return back to Belfast.
The hotel put on an early breakfast, much enjoyed by all, and with yet another stunning morning looming, the MG clan set off in convoy to Douglas, then onto the boat back to Belfast without further incident.
I would take this opportunity to say pass on our thanks to Derek & Deborah for organizing the trip (how they can organize the weather I’ll never know), to all the staff in the Ramsay Park Hotel, and to all those who went on the trip and made it such a success. Finally, I would like to point out that I only ate Joyce’s ice cream in addition to my own in case the hotel staff took it personally!