Kinsale Trip 2014
Thanks to all our members who travelled with us to Swansea. We had a brilliant weekend with fabulous weather and some amazing cars. Hope to see a few new faces next year. A not-to-be missed weekend. Thanks especially to all in SHVR for their hospitality and friendship. Sad to have to leave them behind but looking forward to seeing you all in May. Back to the planning board!!! Have a happy and safe summer. Kinsale Club
Johnny and Binks make a welcome return trip to Kinsale and make the Irish Times with their Bentley at the same time
I have been told off for not including an article on the Kinsale trip inMay. Events conspired to keep it out of the magazine until now. This year saw a larger number of members making the annual post-Singleton trip to the Kinsale Rally, including a welcome return by Johnny and Binks in their Bentley convertible and Ted and his cousin Des being accompanied by their respective wives. Some of us travelled over on the Wednesday afternoon ferry to add an
extra day on to the holiday. We stayed overnight just outside New Ross and had a gentle drive to Kinsale on the following morning, which was just as well, as we came across our first Irish speed camera van. They park at 90 degrees to the road unlike ours, are dark blue and are not well marked. A bit of a buttock clenching moment for all, even though we were not driving fast. It still has that effect on you when you are not concentrating fully in holiday mode. The following day, which would normally be a free day, was not to be this year. The Kinsale members had organised a bus trip into Cork to show us the English Market in the centre, which had been shown on television during the Queen’s visit. The quality, quantity and low price of the produce available made us all very jealous of their shopping experience.
Cork City has been remodelled recently, making more of pedestrian areas like a lot of city centres. Unlike Swansea, their design works!
Friday evening is the Mayor’s reception as usual, although due to local government changes, the position of Mayor of Kinsale will cease to be and this was to be the last reception held. A shame really, in view of the Kinsale rally celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Despite dire weather forecasts, Saturday was dry and bright, if a bit windy, which caused our Welsh flag to remove itself from our small flag pole and go walkabout. Either that or Ted and Lynette pinched it for their MGA! The theme this year was that everyone should dress in the attire that matched the era of the classic. This led to some way-out outfits being paraded around the town. Not in SHVR’s case I might add.
The rally route took us on some new roads and inevitably, some roads used previously. A problem which arises for all who regularly organise events, and one our club faces with limited roads to choose from.
A GREENHORN TO KINSALE
We have been members of SHVR for about 5 years, with a ‘selective’
involvement in activities – Club nights usually clash with something else.
Our main participation seems to be in the Sunday lunch/Wed evening
meal runs, Singleton a few times, and intermittent involvement in the
visits to Swansea of the Irish contingent.
Each year, we have been told ‘you must come to Kinsale – the welcome
we get, and the friendliness of the Irish has to be experienced to be
Looking at the costs involved, we felt it was expensive for 4 days, given
the overhead of the (not insignificant) ferry cost.
Anyway, earlier this year we again came under pressure (subtle), and did
a bit more research. We decided that, to justify the cost, we would have
to spend more money (sound familiar?), and stay in Ireland for a longer
Registered our interest with Mike Jones, and started getting lots of useful
information from Mike & Sally, who had done a similar trip some years
Supplied details on vehicle, proposed dates of travel etc. Grew to realise
that this was not an organised, regimented affair, but an organic, flexible,
changing scheme where participants decided what they wanted to do (in
their case, probably based on may years of experience). Took further
Received Ferry booking information, which allowed us to have the
benefit of the very advantageous rates negotiated, whilst giving us the
flexibility of setting our own timetable.
Received outline timetable of events from the Kinsale Club, and rally
booking form from Mike, which resulted in a query from me (and I
suspect from others), which prompted a response from ‘Concerned of
Newton’ which said, in essence ‘RTFM’. Sorry Mike, next time will read
the instructions before sending you an email!
Bearing in mind we plan another ‘foreign’ trip this year, searched around
for medical insurance. This used to be easy - no medical history to
declare, just get the price. Now, all on line – just how much detail do
they want? Claims subject to rejection if not all revealed, so try and
remember what has happened over the past, I think it was, 2 years.
Memory of what had happened, and certainly of timescales, is not good!
Just having had antibiotics for a chest infection gets classed as
pneumonia, and costs me a further £12!
Then vehicle breakdown cover. Preference was personal, rather than
vehicle, cover, as I want to use a different vehicle for each trip, and also
gives the flexibility of changing vehicle at the last minute. Vehicle age is
a problem – 15 years seems to be a common limit. Thought we had found
it with the RAC, having accepted their five call out limit in the UK – but
when the documents arrived, found there was an overseas call out limit
of three. Shouldn’t be a problem, but what if there was an intermittent
problem? Scrapped this, and resorted to individual vehicle cover.
Day of departure nears – what to pack & wear? Purchase Club regalia
(fleece & T shirts, to you and me), so must wear these, to fly the Club
flag. Turns out we were the only ones wearing them – two bright red
blobs on the landscape! What is required for the ‘fancy dress’ part of the
event? – reflect the age of your vehicle is the advice, but being 1995,
that’s what I wear every day! Decision – wear some Welsh Rugby gear,
and enhance the red blob image (on the day, the weather was too cold to
wear the shorts, so some sensibilities were not offended!).
Departure day arrives with meeting point agreed to join the convoy west.
There is a clear plan from the seasoned members, so slight diversion for
brunch & onto the Ferry. Good, calm crossing.
Who is first off the Ferry? Me, of course, not knowing where we are
going. Pull in and wait, and again join the convoy.
Fuel stop – not too much room on the forecourt, so some confusion – one
or two don’t stop. Who gets a problem, and holds things up? –guess.
Pump fails to ‘auto cut off’, fills the fuel filler well with petrol – which
does not drain away. Into the toilets, armfuls of paper towel to mop it out
– but what to do with wads of petrol soaked paper? Putting it into the bin
doesn’t feel like a good idea, so pile it on the grass verge, and tell the
attendant, who seems unperturbed – ‘not really what we want in a petrol
station, but don’t worry, I shall deal with it in a moment’. Credit card
works, so another worry out of the way. Re-join the remains of the
convoy, and collect everyone over the next few miles.
Overnight stop and evening meal – very civilised.
Down to breakfast, and find that group travelling on the next ferry had
called some members at about 6.30am. for the planned ‘let’s meet for
breakfast’. Not sure what words were used, but later group carry on their
journey. Seems that the idea ’join us for breakfast’ was based on the
timing from last year’s trip, but forgetting that the ferry had been delayed
by a couple of hours!
Continue to Kinsale, book into the accommodation, followed by a short
conducted tour of Kinsale, pointing out the more salient locations of
relevance – almost all pubs!
The weekend seemed to be a sequence of meetings in different pubs,
invariably with some food provided, interspersed with road runs to
picturesque (and often windy) coastal locations, following rather vague
and very scant route directions. Result was a number of ‘u’ turns, ‘follow
them, they know where they are going ‘(often wrong, it turned out), but
rescued by the locals and getting there in the end.
One event was billed as ‘Mayor’s Reception’ – what would that be like?
– Very informal, with a few words of welcome from the deputy Mayor
and, I understand, wine provided by the Mayor’s department. This event
will not occur in future, as Ireland is consolidating and reducing layers of
government, so the local council is being abolished.
Various car problems were resolved – broken valve spring, tyres, auto
transmission fluid, weeping petrol tank – the local (and indigenous)
support & networks were impressive.
The range of cars taking part was also impressive, particularly as in
Ireland their road fund licence on ‘middle aged’ cars is very expensive –
some discs showed Euro 1500 or so being paid! My personal favourites
were a Citroen DS, recently acquired by one of the Irish, who had joined
the Kinsale Club on the day! From Swansea, the Morris 6 fitted with a 7
litre V8 – sounded good, but a problem to park on an uphill gravel car
park – just touch the throttle, and it broke traction!
Acknowledging the 20 plus year history between the Clubs, the strength
& depth of the friendships which have developed was evident – much
stronger than many families!
All too soon, it was Monday, and the end of the weekend – but not yet!
There was a farewell contingent, so more coffee, nibbles & chat – but
then time to go.
We had the pleasure of a further 7 days of holiday to look forward to.
Advice that you risked losing a good part of your day if you
struck up a conversation was correct! Almost impossible to avoid
a conversation in most situations.
Time is a variable concept.
Scenery was spectacular – similar, but somehow different from
Road condition variable, but often poor.
Road signage is variable – we thought poor. Minor roads labelled
with road numbers, but no destination, and unless you had a very
detailed OS map, no road numbers on the map. Also, I can now
appreciate the confusion that dual language road signs can cause!
Great experience! Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Thanks to everyone for their welcome & companionship.
Appreciate the pressure on the Club with this event following so quickly
after the Singleton show.
Particular thanks to Mike & Sally for their part in organising the trip, and
for their help and advice to us about the weekend and holiday.
David & Gay Evans
I am going to start off with a little reminder for you all to put in your diaries. Our visit to our twin club’s Kinsale Rally takes place on the second weekend in May 2014. There is always a scramble for accommodation so we have booked out the very impressive Friars Lodge, just off the town centre, and an easy walk to all our functions, even for my bulk. I am planning to put provisional entry forms in the February issue, and to arrange preferential ferry fees.
For those who go not know we drive to either Pembroke or Fishguard for a 4 hour trip on the ferry to Rosslaire. Then there is a 3 hour drive to Kinsale on very good roads now. This year because of inclement weather most of us travelled on the Wednesday evening ferry, and gained an extra day in Kinsale for nothing instead of a Thursday morning crossing. Return travel will be on the following Monday 8pm crossing arriving about midnight.
contact Mike Jones 01792362281 firstname.lastname@example.org