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Ulster Pre-War Austin Club

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Report on the 2011 Donegal Weekend

 

We are definitely now  a varied club. We had an English man, a Scottish man, Irish people and of course our Northern Ireland folk all taking part in our weekend away event. This all added up to an entry of 19 cars and 39 people. It all started with those who were able meeting up at the Mellon Inn outside Omagh on Friday for a snack lunch and then travelling together to Downings, but this year Godfrey had planned a bonus by including as part of our run to the hotel a scenic route around High Glen mountain. When we all could see our hotel he again turned off and did an anti-clockwise loop over Atlantic Drive (2 bonuses for the price of 1) We used the Beach Hotel in Downings as our base for the weekend. This is our second year to stay here and once again they excelled themselves. No words of praise are good enough to describe how well we were looked after.

 

Saturday was our official run. We left our base shortly after 10.00am and it wasnít long until we were travelling on those beautiful little side roads. After a stop for sweets (kindly supplied by Chris) we meandered our way, inter-crossing the main Letterkenny to Cresslough road until we arrived at our mid run halt, Ards Friary, situated on the west bank at the mouth of Sheep Haven Bay. After refreshments we all set out to walk along the beautiful path to the secluded beach called Lucky Shell. This had to be one of the highlights of the weekend. The views right out over the Atlantic Ocean were breathtaking. We spent a very enjoyable 2Ĺ hours at the Friary, made all the more pleasant by the perfect weather we were blessed with. It was then back on the road again and more narrow roads with outstanding scenery as we skirted around Muckish mountain, eventually arriving at Doe Castle where we stopped to stretch our legs and have another sweet break.  It was election week, however unlike our politicians all our members got well over quota; some more so than others (no names will be mentioned !!) We were now on the homeward leg as we travelled through Glen village and along the top road into Carrickart and back to Downings. Despite a total distance of 47 miles, amazingly the furtherest we were away from the hotel as the crow flies was only 10 miles.

 

All spruced up and looking our best we met at 7.30pm for our official dinner. Again the hotel excelled themselves with the quality of food served and all in a very efficient manner. We must say a big thank you to our English guest Les Moorehouse for his generosity in supplying wine for all the tables. This was very much appreciated by all. A few speeches of thanks were made (which included a good deal of harmless banter) The rest of the night was enjoyed in many different ways. Isnít it great not to have to rush to get all those old cars home before dark, one of the many advantages of a weekend away event.

 

Nothing was organised for Sunday. We said our goodbyes and made our way home, exhausted but hopefully with some great memories. A great weekend, enjoyed by all.

 

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