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Ulster Pre-War Austin Club


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Report on the OMAGH ADVENTURE 3rd July 2010


At last the day of the Omagh Adventure had arrived, how appropriately named this event was, and rumour had it that Des had been cleaning and power hosing just about everything for over a week before the event. When I arrived at around 10.20 quite a lot were already in the shed and were eagerly tucking into tea and sandwiches and by 11.20 all the remainder had parked up and were eagerly awaiting the signal to move off. All were summoned to the front of the premises by our Secretary, Ella for final briefing and we were stunned to learn that Godfrey and Chris would not be joining us as Chris was unwell. What a disappointment that was as we all knew how much effort they had put into planning the route, which was evident when we received our Route Instructions. Then our chairman announced that one of our loyal members, Robert McCullough from Newry ,had passed away recently and called for a minutes silence.

The run then got underway with all 32 cars entered filing out of the field, across the yard and onto the Crannoge Road. In a short distance the Godfrey influence took hold as we drove along beautiful by roads through forested land with the grass growing up the middle, totally devoid of any traffic and just as if we were on private forestry roads but no they were dare I say, public highways. From here we wound our way to the Pigeon Top where spectacular views across the countryside could be seen and Des very kindly pulled in occasionally to enable all to absorb the beauty and magnitude of the countryside and of the distances to be viewed. At one stage it was possible to see water in the distance and folk were heard to say it was possibly the sea, others suggested Lough Erne but Ken Irwin, the famous Rally Driver, was able to enlighten us as to it’s correct location of Lough Derg in Donegal. Having mentioned Ken’s name it was great to see him out and looking so well after his illness. From this stunning location we made our way down to the lovely village of Drumquin where we were guests of the ladies of the Presbyterian Church who supplied the usual tea/coffee, scones and biscuits.

By this stage we were approximately half way and after socialising the convoy moved off for the last lap of the run and the only shower of rain we encountered . This part of the route was less mountainous but nevertheless the scenery was just as beautiful in a different way and at around 3.30/4.00 p.m. we arrived back at Des Ballantine’s wonderful premises. Again Ella, Anna and friends set up a beautiful meal which would rival any 5 star hotel and Vincent Howe dispensed Ice Cream free of charge to all. What a lovely gesture Vincent and many thanks for the support you give this very special event that is primarily run for our chosen charity

Before the event finished we were treated to an impromptu serenade of song and jokes by a visitor and entrant by the name of William Loughran. This was a very fitting end to a brilliant day. Just before I finish could I also thank those from the Donegal Club who came along to support this event and indeed who paid us a visit at the Donegal weekend. This is a nice gesture and I would encourage any of our members to make reciprocal visits as I am assured you will be made extremely welcome. Finally could I thank the deputy photographer, Marshall Fenton, for the great job he did in Godfrey’s absence and indeed to anyone I have omitted as well as to those who supported this event in any way.

The ballot held after the run raised the grand sum of £970.00. Well done to everyone.


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