Established 1976


 

Kinsale 2016


This year our trip over to kinsale was the best supported one we have had, with more cars travelling over for this weekend than the Irish have previously seen from Wales, for this our 26th club visit.
Alas, this year we had more cars suffering ills than ever. In fact poor old Brian and Jane Selby didnít even make it to the meeting point in Pont Abraham, and Patrick Burns lovely Riley had to be left tucked up in his garage and didnít even make the start. As Sally and I were approaching the end of the M4, we could see a yellow Healey parked on the hard shoulder. Luckily for Brian, one of his service vans had seen him and stopped to render assistance, Brian thought that he only stopped to make sure that he and Jane actually went on holiday! Removing the radiator cap produced a geyser 20ft into the air, making sure everyone had an antifreeze shower, including Jane who was still sitting in the car. Having agreed Brian was able to sort things out, we went on to the services to meet the others and head off for a brunch at the Old Mill in Llanddowror and for the second installment of automotive woe.
Patrick and Janette in their immaculate Zephyr had a misbehaving voltage regulator, which Patrick adjusted in the carpark before leaving the Old Mill. All was well until just the other side of Haverfordwest. Following a stop for fuel the Zephyr wouldnít start, battery flat! One push start later and a bit more regulator adjustment and we were on our way again towards Fishguard.
A good number of us went over on the Wednesday after Singleton, staying in Ballinaboola for the night. It is only a short drive from the ferry terminal and gives us a chance to unwind after the rigors of the bank holiday show. The hotel laid on a long table to accommodate the seventeen of us together. Nothing appeared to be too much for them. More than you can say in this country. It was a great evening with friends and the food was also good, although the large size of their portions caught a number of us out.
In the morning we were joined for breakfast by the second wave from Wales following their overnight crossing with, you guessed it, another badly behaved vehicle. The Morgan of John Booth refusing to start until
sometime later when Chris Thomas found the fuel pump feed wire adrift after having towed it from the terminal onto the main road with his Crossley.
We left the hotel for a gentle run down to Kinsale, after all we had all day, Patrick was to lead so that we could keep an eye on him. We never saw him again until the lunch halt in Youghal; his gentle pace was a bit faster than the rest of us managed with the traffic. Obviously the Zephyr was feeling better.
We arrived in Kinsale for late afternoon and headed straight for the hotel. With all the cars unloaded and the luggage, complete with the kitchen sink in more than one case, safely in the rooms it was time to unwind before the evening meet with our hosts from the KVCMC and a fish and chip supper at a waterside restaurant that serves the biggest portions of fish you have seen. They also seem to be happy to fit us all in together without any hassle, definitely an Irish norm.
Friday was a free day, or if you preferred, there was an organised free tour of the ruins at Charles Fort, courtesy of the Kinsale club which most of our members took advantage of. Sally and I had been there before but you learn all the little extra gems of information from a good guide. He informed us that although many joined the Army for the pay and regular meals, the soldiers had to pay for their food and accommodation. In their small rooms there could be as many as 14 or more men sleeping in one room, with a blanket hung from the ceiling in the corner to give any married couple privacy!

Pay attention you horrible lot!

 The accommodation block.

The rest of the day was free to explore as you wanted. A good start to our stay, and a chance for new travelers to find their way around Kinsale. The main rally on the Saturday started off with the cars all parked in Pearse Street as usual and time for a coffee and a chat. The only drawback was the weather which had decided that we had had too much sun so far, and felt that we should have some rain although it didnít dampen the spirits of Adrian and his family dance troupe as they bopped to the street music in the rain and entertained the locals.
 

The AJ dancers swinging in the rain.

 A Wolseley 25hp not seen before.

The rally route took us through some lovely scenery and small hamlets to the lunch halt at Bantry Bay where a choice of hot meals was available to those who wanted lunch. The route back to Kinsale took in some stunning scenery and good driving roads as we skirted the coast on the Wild Atlantic Way, with the roof down at last.

What a stunning part of the world.

 Smile! Donít let on itís so windy.

 


With such views and houses overlooking the inlets, stopping for photographs was a must. During one photo opportunity, we met up with Ed and Neil who had the same idea only for Cathal and Cara to catch us up as they swept the route for stragglers. Cathal pointed out how good a stretch of road this was for spirited driving and it would be rude to ignore such advice. Ed took off before us screaming down the hill and off into the distance. Apparently Neil was very quiet at this point and declined to navigate for Ed the following day. I wonder why? Sally and I enjoyed a bit of special stage driving with a mad Irishman in a BMW chasing us. The route book informed us that there was a monument to the loss of the Air India flight in 1985 on this road. The monument was erected as mark of respect for all the bodies that had washed up in the cove near Ahakista village. From there it was back to Kinsale around the estuary road, which is normally clear, but this time the tide was right in and it coincided with a high tide which meant the road was flooded in one section, a bit deep at the time we went through, but not as deep as it was for Chris Thomas and the two three-wheelers following him. Morganís can swim!
Saturday night saw us in a new venue for the evening do, the Yacht Club being used for the first time. We all enjoyed a carvery meal which was followed by a few prizes being awarded. Bernard and Connie had fallen foul of a hitchhiker with a high-vis jacket on the way back to kinsale. Bernard thought he was pointing to a turning for us to take and duly turned right, along with a few others of our convoy who were not concentrating, into a disused carpark! This was rewarded by a pair of glasses for each of them to see where they are going next time.
 

The Air India monument.

Should have gone to Specsavers!!

The new format of the evening was a successful change from previous years, allowing more people to mix and chat with each other easier than a formal dinner. Tomorrow will be a later start; we can all have a lie in and a leisurely breakfast. Those that want can stroll around the town, the forecast suggesting drier weather for the day.
One pair of our group decided to take the car into town on the Sunday morning and have a wander about before going to the start at the Yacht Club. Gil and Patrick B parked up in the main carpark and Patrick got out to get a parking ticket from the machine. On his way he spotted a man attempting to push his car and being a gentleman, gave a hand pushing hard on the boot of the car which didnít budge. Concerned that Gil would be waiting for the ticket to lock the car, Patrick bought a ticket from the machine, only to notice as it was printing, that a ticket was not required on a Sunday! After passing the ticket to Gil, Patrick noticed the man was still heaving away at the rear of his car and returned to lend a hand once more. More pushing and puffing on the back of the non-co-operative car without success prompted our good Samaritan to comment ĎI think the handbrake is on.í At this juncture the car owner turned to Patrick and said Ďyes it is, I have been for a long run and Iím doing my cooling down stretches!í At this point Patrick retired muttering as to why the idiot hadnít told him so in the first time. When Patrick recounted the tale in great detail over our evening meal later in the day, we were all in stiches imagining the scene unfolding. Perhaps the chap was too frightened to say anything to Patrick who appeared to be stretching on the back of his car unasked, in case he was the local nutter. Brian and Jane Selby were going to have their 40th wedding anniversary fall on the weekend, so Janette organised a nice cake to be made for them and we decorated the dining room at the Friars Lodge so that they would have a surprise when they came down to breakfast on Sunday, which caught them out a treat but they did enjoy the moment despite the shock.
Before the Sunday run took place, we lost Chris Thomas and his group as they headed in convoy back to Rosslare with an ailing Crossley, so that they could take things easy and not stress the car on the way home. Edward and Patrick Pattison headed for one of the Irish memberís garage to sort out an MX5 with a broken exhaust and duff radiator cap and a Zephyr with no clutch hydraulics.
The run started from the Yacht Club where we treated to hot soup and sandwiches before we left. During our lunch, someone pointed out that it was raining quite hard. Those of us that had parked on the Harbour with the tops down, hurriedly left to erect hoods and dry interiors. Needless to say, once we had done that the rain stopped! Weather -1, Motorists -0. The rest of the day was not too bad and we did have some top-down motoring after all. That evening the final buffet of the weekend and prize giving took place in the Hamlets bar and we said goodbye to those Kinsale members we wouldnít see in the morning and headed back to the hotel to have a quiet drink and a natter before retiring for the night. Plus we got to eat a bit of the anniversary cake after the ceremonial cutting had taken place.

Itís a nice day, leave the tops down!

 Brian and Janeís anniversary surprise.


All too soon we were packing luggage back into cars and making our goodbyes to Cathal and the gang at the Blue Haven. A leisurely drive back to the Horse and Hound at Ballinaboola beckoned and we left Kinsale for another year. Fueling up on the way out of town, we set off towards Cork. ĎLook thereís a Morry Thou on the side of the road!í It was Graham and Bill; Grahamís Minor Traveler which had failed to proceed, as they say in polite circles. After finally noticing a lack of insulation at the bottom of the points, a new washer was fashioned out of a piece of emery paper and the journey continued. Would this be the last of a number of breakdowns and car problems? Fingers crossed! What a bizarre trip. We had not had so many vehicles make the trip as this year, nor had we encountered so many cars with problems. The pleasures of classic motoring at its best. Were any dollies thrown out their prams by those affected by the mishaps? No! Just the way it should be.