Established 1976


The Irish economy has been depending on tourism for some time and
based on the popularity of Kinsale as a destination, they must be doing
very well. I don’t know the reason, but the town of Kinsale has seen a huge
upsurge of visitors lately. Unfortunately for us, they all seem to want to go
there at the same time as we do. Inconsiderate so and so’s!
As nice as this is for the locals, it makes finding accommodation for large
numbers a bit of a nightmare and it gets more difficult every year. Our task
is made harder by the fact that as a short break, it is becoming more and
more popular with our members. This year 59 of us made the trip in
thirty-two cars! I can’t remember such a crowd going before. I think we
surprised our hosts as well when we told them how many of us they would
have to put up with. Luckily for them we had a couple of entrants who had
to withdraw, otherwise we would have overwhelmed them. As it was they
were a bit taken aback.
Our normal routine is to travel over on the Wednesday following Singleton
and break the journey at the Horse & Hound in Ballinaboola, (we stay
there because we like the sound of the village!) and continue to Kinsale on
the next day, although not everyone does this. Some will travel over-night
and some on the Friday.
The Wednesday gang meet at Pont Abraham services and all travel down
together, stopping off for an all-day breakfast en-route. This year there
were so many joining the early crossing that we had to split in to two
groups and stop at separate Cafés. We had eighteen vehicles to organise
and keep in sight. The Café owners obviously didn’t mind the extra
business though. Gil’s Cresta decided to mis-behave at this point.
Following our split convoy, we re-grouped at the ferry terminal for the
obligatory group photograph. Trying to organise our group for a nice
picture is like trying to herd cats! They say never work with children or
animals, but they haven’t tried SHVR members. We then joined the queue
to board, but as is becoming the norm these days, a number of us were
subjected to a quick check and question by the port Police before
proceeding to the ferry. Don’t they know that SHVR only has the best
possible people as members?!

The first attempt failed miserably.

Not much better but almost there. I give up!

Our crossing was nice and smooth on this sunny spring day, which is just
as well as I am not the best sailor. If there’s a swell, Michael is unwell!
The ferry made good time on the crossing, and after putting the Garda
Officer right on our Welsh origins as we left the port, we set off for the
Hotel and evening meal. Arriving in the carpark we discovered that
Edward had lost his oil filler cap from the Mazda. The luck of the Irish was
with him; over the road was a garage that had a suitable replacement.
Following on from a good breakfast, it was time to mop off the heavy dew
from the cars, repack the boots and set off for Kinsale, which we did at a
leisurely pace, enjoying the countryside along the way, topless of course.
We stopped off at Youghal for what has become a traditional halt for a
coffee and scone in The Walter Raleigh Hotel. The cars made an
impromptu classic car show along the promenade as Captain Burns found
when he enjoyed the short sunny lunch-break.

Suitably fed and watered, it was
time to head back on route to finish
our journey to the Friars Lodge and
unburden the poor cars, most of
which had been packed within an
inch of suspension failure, (oops! I
forgot the EU. I meant within 2.5 cm
of suspension failure).Our host at the
Friars Lodge had a new guest this
year in the shape of a young

Peacock, an escapee from a nearby farm who liked classic cars and
patrolled the carpark daily. Would that make him a guard-pea or a peaguard?

Will it be a Mini Cooper?  No! I shall have a golden Shadow today.

Another hazard was a lamp post in the corner of the carpark, a new
favourite roost for some local seagulls as Keith found out when he parked
the Aristocat under it. Messy!
Thursday evening, we meet up with the Kinsale members for a fish & chip
supper and a drink or three. This year we really did fill the plaice. Plaice,
get it?!

Waiting for their whale & chips.

It’s wine o/clock already!

Georgina had been travelling with a bad toothache, which was getting a lot
worse to the point that an appointment was made with a local dentist for
Friday morning. When they got to the surgery, the dentist sent them both
straight to the A&E department in Cork. Sadly for poor Georgina she was
to remain in hospital as they were so concerned for her condition. This also
meant that Adrian had to travel to Cork every day, so they both lost out on
their holiday and the rally weekend. It must be said that despite all of this,
and to his credit, Adrian managed to keep smiling throughout, for which he
was presented with the ‘Spirit of the Rally’ award, and well deserved too.
Saturday is the main rally day, with all the entrants parked in and blocking
the main road. The big difference to over there is that none of the shoppers
or local traffic moaned about it, they follow the diversions and got on with
life and smiled! Once the registration formalities were dealt with, it was
time for a wander around the assembled cars. Some from as far afield as
Switzerland, with two couples in their respective Morgan’s having made
the journey. There was also a delectable original Jaguar D-type with an
XK-150S Roadster in front of it. What a pair to have in your garage, if

Not a replica! Sadly overheated on the road.

Had one in the sixties, oh for a crystal ball!

Following a picturesque drive though the west Cork countryside, we
returned to Kinsale to have a quick rest and a clean-up before the Yacht
Club dinner evening and prize giving, where SHVR members did very well
in the prize and raffle stakes. One prize, a bottle of Crème de Menthe, was
despatched in minutes by the younger members! Neil won a trophy which
was instantly polished and filled with Guinness and used as a goblet, albeit
a very large one, during the evening. Reminds me of my own college days.

Neil is presented with his ‘goblet’. Keith & Celia accept their trophy.

Sunday is a more relaxed day, mainly for the KVCMC and SHVR
members to enjoy the day together. Sunday was also the day that Chris
Thomas and his party left Kinsale for the ferry home. Giving them all day
to make the journey northwards. Our group was now instantly six cars
smaller, however the assembled cars on the pier head still filled the
available area, heading over the road to the Yacht Club for a hot soup and
sandwiches lunch courtesy of the Kinsale club, we left the cars surrounding
a refrigerated truck on the quayside. A local trawler had returned to port
with a hydraulic failure, which meant unloading the entire catch by hand
into the back of the truck tray by tray. Unfortunately for the driver, quick
as the fishermen were at loading such a large catch, he was completely
surrounded by classics with few owners to hand, securely confined to the

No room at the inn, as they say.

SHVR sunning themselves on the terrace.

The Rainbow candidate touting for votes

. Where are we going this time?

A hurried change to the start time was made to clear the pier for him to get
on his way. We were soon off on another run, this time around the southern
coves to a stop at a small coastal area for refreshments, where a travelling
tea/coffee stall had been set up in the carpark. The local beach shop nearly
sold out of ice-cream as hot and thirsty occupants left their vehicles in the
carpark to sit on the sea wall and enjoy a nice cold ice and watch the
waves. Tourists!!
Suitably cooled and rested, we re-joined the route back to Kinsale for a
quick rest before meeting up at Hamlets for a final buffet and prize giving
evening to bring the weekend’s events to a close for another year.
Sunday evening also consists of a small end of trip session at the Friars
Lodge for a wee drink and joke telling party. Unfortunately during the
proceedings, Dennis’s wife Caroline was taken poorly and needed a trip to
the doctor.

SHVR’s naughty boy’s corner. Romeo,  Romeo wherefore art thou?
Who do we give this award to?  Pat Burns gets it, but with smiles all-round
Billy no-mates enjoys his buffet.  Jeff thanks our hosts for another good time.

All too soon another visit to Kinsale is over until next year. We called in to
the Blue Haven, headquarters for the Kinsale club, to take our leave of
Cathal and the team before heading off at a leisurely pace on the road back
to the Horse & Hound for the evening, calling in once more to the Walter
Raleigh for a scone and coffee en-route.
Arriving at the hotel, we met in the bar for another coffee where we
witnessed Adrian’s MR2 and Keith’s Aristocat exercising their throttle
pedals on their way to Rosslare for the evening ferry. Not sure what the
rush was as the ferry wasn’t going for some time, but they sounded good.
It was during the meal that we learned that a Garda ambush had caught our
rapid duo out. The officer pulled them over and handed out their invitation
to contribute to the Garda coffers, an offer they simply couldn’t refuse!
We also learned that Ken and Linda’s Beetle had decided to stop on the
side of the road and was going to be relayed back to the UK by recovery
truck. A sad ending to their first trip to Kinsale. This year’s trip was
turning out to be an eventful one, one way or another.
We all had a last Irish breakfast before making our way to the ferry
terminal, watching out for the Garda all the way. Our crossing, yet again,
was smooth and enjoyable. That is where it all changed; as the deck crew
started to unload the car deck row by row Michael’s Rolls Royce did not
want to proceed and steadfastly refused to do so despite all attempts. With
the threat of remaining on board and returning to Ireland, the RAC were
called to recover the vehicle quickly. A last twist in this year’s annual trip
to Kinsale. Let us hope next year’s visit will be boringly uneventful!
Happily all of our ‘casualties’ are now back to full health again.