• Newsletter 4

    It’s looking like there will be some serious competition for honours in this year’s Shamrock. A perusal of the recent Flying Scotsman results reveals quite a few competitors who will be taking part in this year’s fray. Significantly, there is a high proportion of the “Top Ten” coming our way. Crews, Andrew & Philippa Bailey were sixth and Stuart & Emily Anderson were eighth. Drivers Paul Dyas and Peter Neumark were fourth and seventh – no pressure on Martyn Taylor and Nick Fry then! Also worthy of mention are David Thomson and Trina Harley who made impressions behind the wheel and on the maps, respectively and separately. Incidentally, it was good to see that inaugural Shamrock Vintage Challenge winner, John Abel is back in action again – he hasn’t lost his touch either.

    Peugeot Partner

    Anyway, on to matters more mundane – some barely relevant piffling minutiae which is supposed to whet your appetite but, I suspect, might be more effective as a soporific. I recently had the good fortune to accompany Mickey Gabbett on the final full run-through of the route in his trusty and, particularly well-suited for the task, Peugeot Partner. There were encouragingly few amendments to be made.

    One of our tasks was to mark the time points so as to facilitate their location by the marshals. Shy, retiring Mickey chose for this exercise a discreet fluorescent pink aerosol spray. While this has the advantage of being clearly visible to the officials, it can be misinterpreted. Indeed, one of “our” landowners brought the one outside his gate to the attention of the “Gardaí” fearing that his house had been marked as being worthy of the nefarious consideration of local “ne’er-do-wells”.

    Peat Bog

    A journey with Mickey can be very enlightening – in all sorts of ways! For instance, we were tootling along in the vicinity of Johnswell, Kilkenny when he pointed out a bare field which he had previously populated with sitka spruce in 1989. He had sold on the forest and he was delighted to see that another cycle of tree planting was about to start. Incidentally, the proceeds from this sale were used to purchase a “few acres” in Roscommon. Inadvertently included with the land that he had bought were the turbary rights to half an acre of bog quite a distance away. The error was rectified but I thought you would like to have “turbary” explained. Bogs come with turbary rights which were granted to the original owners of bogs in Ireland many years ago. Irrespective of the ownership of the land subsequently, these turbary rights remain with the original grantees. They permit the holders to cut the turf in the bog on the land, albeit for their own private use only. A quaint Irish anachronism.

    Spring oilseed rape

    We dropped in to Rob Coleman whose land we will be traversing during the event. Mickey had an interesting discussion with him about a field we had passed before we bumped into him. Mickey had noticed that spring oilseed rape had been planted and wondered why Rob had done so as Mickey thought that winter rape would be a better proposition. As it turned out, such has been the lack of rainfall over the last few months that conditions weren’t appropriate for the sowing of the winter variety so Rob was crossing his fingers and hoping for the best with his spring venture. We visited Tom Shine in Ballylegan, one of the test venues, and Mickey waxed lyrical about Tom’s innovate approach to making “farming” more viable. He has an extensive “mill and mix” operation which generates animal feed. He also has drying floors which remove the moisture from sawdust, bark and woodchip which renders them a much more saleable proposition.

    Another of Mickey’s interests is old buildings. The more castellar the better, though he eulogises about what looked to me like pretty run-down and derelict dwellings from the past almost as much as he does the more spectacular edifices. One of our hosts, John Cott, lives very close to the magnificent (Mickey’s opinion) Lohort Castle. It is one of those hidden gems which remain largely inaccessible to the general public. It is situated on the Castlelohort Demesne near Cecilstown in County Cork. and is an impressive five storey fortified tower with rounded corners, standing over 80 feet tall. The massive walls are 10 feet thick at the base, narrowing to six feet. Around the top storey there is a machicolated parapet that runs unbroken apart from a short section on the eastern side. There used to be a deep moat around the castle with a drawbridge. The castle grounds cover more than 100 acres. It was built around 1496 by Donogh Óg McDonagh McCarthy. The castle was taken by the Irish forces during the Civil War. One of the bloodiest battles of the English Civil War took place on the grounds of Lohort Castle in in 1647 when over 4,500 men were killed in battle. Lohort was bombarded by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1650 and captured, but the castle withstood the cannon fire due to the immense strength of its 10 foot thick walls. The castle as it now stands was rebuilt around 1750 by Sir John Percival, the Earl of Egmont, and the Percivals lived there until the 20th century when it was burned down by the IRA in 1922. Some of the fireplaces from nearby Kanturk Castle appear to have been relocated to Lohort Castle – this was probably done when Lohort Castle was restored in the 18th century.

    Doneraile Castle

    Along similar lines below is a picture of an archway into Doneraile Castle. It had been hoped that we might be able to drive through this arch and along some of the estate roads. However, such is the stagnancy generated by the multiple committees which run establishments like this, that we were unable so to do. In essence, the “authorities” worried that the arch might fall down as one of the cars was passing through it.

    As you approach the final test of the event you will be directed around the back of the imposing Churchtown House where you will stumble upon the skeleton of an unfinished 120-bed hotel. What a fantastic location – surely the developers amongst you will be eager to snap up a bargain!!!

    The extracts below from a piece in the Irish Examiner in December 2014 will provide you with some background.

    Churchtown House

    The package, with abandoned hotel hopes, and various permissions for a holiday development and golf academy is on 149 acres, with a further c 82 acres of farm-land, on the side of the MacGillycuddy Reeks. As an entire of 235 acres, it’s guided at €2m, on behalf of a receiver. It last changed hands about a decade ago, to local development company Galvins, who drafted ambitious multi-million euro plans for it, to include a golf academy, 70 golf lodges, 20 suites and 12-bed hotel with leisure facilities.Being marketed this week is the parkland Beaufort Golf Course, along with good land, in four divisions guided at €750,000, or €9,000 an acre, seven miles from Killarney: it has been billed as the hidden gem or secret golf course of the south-west, with captivating Reeks views. The original golf course opened in 1995 to a design by Dr Arthur Spring, since adapted by another designer Tom McKenzie, and it’s a 7,000 yard 18-hole par 71 course, which is GUI affiliated. It circles Churchtown House, which is not included in the sale, and which is still lived in by the Magill family who sold the privately-owned golf course to the Galvin company in the mid 2000s. Planning for the 120-bed hotel and 20 suites has now lapsed, and is part-built with four storey shell and roof in place. Also planned were 20 detached two storey golf lodges, and two courtyard developments, each of 25 units, plus nine-hole golf academy course, but no construction was undertaken on the latter elements. Lot 1 is 82.45 acres guiding excess of €750,000.

    We are fortunate to have “our man in Waterville” in the person of Simon Harrison who has been responsible for “oiling the wheels” of our visit to the town. Below is an abridged version of one of his recent missives.

    Shamrock 2022 – Update Report 2nd April 2022 DAY 3 – Iveragh – Ballaghisheen Pass, Waterville, Ballinaskelligs, Kells, Glencar. Mobile Coffee just below Ballaghisheen Pass.Wholly Dough – Julie Lee King – confirmed and price agreed. Deposit requested and SH meeting on 23rd April to recce location. Old Post Office/ChurchOwners John O’Brien (Father); Darren O’Brien (Son) visited on 5th March. Happy for route to pass through section of their yard. Need a reminder phone call beforehand. Met owner of White Cottage – wild bachelor farmer with long flyaway hair and pretty deaf and unintelligible. Had communication rather than chat but he is quite happy for cars to pass him. The track now has had some attention and a good surface. Since last report, the Waterville Meander route checked by the Michaels is viable. Bayview Test – now confirmed – entry via tunnel and exit beside Sea Lodge. May need to keep some space for the parking of the last 15 or so cars. Permission has been given to park cars on the grass in front of the Bayview. Note on Parking – the grass area opposite Sealodge is not suitable, however as per above permission now to hand to park on the grass immediately in front of the Bayview which should be good for about 15 cars. Sealodge will keep their front area free for parking which should take 24 cars max with double parking to both sides. Balance of parking therefore suggested for section closest to Sealodge behind Bayview. Parking in front of Sealodge circa 24 cars if managed. Co-Op Test (on road to Ballinaskelligs) needs to coincide with their lunch hour 1-2pm – all confirmed, requesting copy of insurance, which can be emailed to me. Afternoon Coffee Stop and Test TC 3/3 at Golden’s Kells is “ready to roll”. Refeshments will be Barrista Coffee (full menu) and Homebake – test on Glenbeigh side of carpark. Pub Stop at Climbers Inn for a pint has been agreed – expect they will call me to reconfirm. DAY 3 – Dingle. Lunch Stop in Dingle Skellig Hotel and test and parking adjacent overflow carpark across road confirmed. Soup and deluxe sandwiches.

    Just a brief word about units. As you will be aware, courtesy of the Regs, the distances in the route instructions are given in miles. Not mentioned are the units of time which you would assume (correctly) are hrs.mins.secs. However, I had occasion to make a phone call to Newry recently and encountered a unit of time peculiar to the “North”: the “wee minute” – as in “Would you hold on for a wee minute please?”. Given that there are quite a few competitors from that jurisdiction, I felt it worth mentioning this potential pitfall so as to avoid any possible confusion. Neither, of course, will the less common “wee second” be used.

    You will be relieved that my mathematical meanderings have almost come to an end. I will finish in this edition with a couple of vaguely connected whimpers. Is a µm a micron or one of these? (left)

    There are only 10 types of people in the world – those who understand binary and those who don’t.
    A T-shirt “design” I encountered recently
    √-4 = 2
    It’s all fun and games
    until someone loses an i

    – Norbury

    P.S. A task, additional to an official’s timekeeping/observing primary function, is quite often chatting to the locals. The big advantage of the cars being “pre-war and the sensible regularity speeds (on the public road at least!) results in these being congenial affairs. However, occasionally, there can be some disquiet when drivers become a little bit over-enthusiastic when departing from time points so as to recover the time lost at the point. Please proceed in a fashion sufficiently demure to avoid umbrage. The TP locations have been chosen carefully so as to preclude the necessity to indulge in unseemly behaviour.

    You will be very impressed when you pass through the Ballaghbeama Gap

  • Newsletter 3

    “i”s are being dotted and “t”s crossed at this stage and everything is coming together nicely. What follows is my continuing crusade to whet your appetite. This, as you will discover, but not surprise, I’m sure, given my previous missives is a rather haphazard exercise. I hope that this won’t detract from your enjoyment, if any. Some of the apparently random snippets below relate to places you will encounter en route.

    MG TA

    Martin and Lesley Neal will be bringing a different car to last time. Not too different, mind you. It is their white MG TA, pictured left at the California Cup event in 2021.

    Other competitor news is that Mark and Susie Davenport will be joining us in their 1935 Aston Martin MK II 1.5 litre Short Chassis 2/4.For those interested in detailed information about the car, I extricated what follows from the bowels of the internet. At the risk of offending most of you, I prefer to think of it as “piffling minutiae”. Introduced in January 1934, the Aston Martin MKII was a more sophisticated design than its predecessors. Constructed using tapering channel-section side members, the newcomer’s ladder frame chassis was further reinforced via an additional crossmember and enlarged aluminium bulkhead. Rotated through ninety-degrees its twin Hartford friction shock absorbers exerted greater control over the front axle, while the use of large-diameter cable-operated Alfin drums all round meant that braking remained a dynamic strongpoint. Boasting a stiffer, fully counterbalanced crankshaft, redesigned cylinder head, Silentbloc mounts and new chain tensioner, the familiar 1494cc SOHC four-cylinder engine was both smoother and more powerful than before. Developing some 73bhp @ 5,200rpm in standard tune, it was allied to four-speed manual transmission and endowed the model with a top speed of up to 85mph.


    Mark & Susie have a small garage on the North Norfolk coast at Blakeney, where in addition to modern garage work, fuel sales etc. they collect, buy, sell, and support classic and vintage cars, motorbikes and bicycles. Vintage Bentleys are a favourite as Tim Birkin is buried in the churchyard of the local church – St Nicholas’s. Hence many Bentley rallies and enthusiasts come through. They prefer to be described as eager competitors rather than hardened professionals. I trust that they will find the “Challenge” felicitous. The Aston is pictured right outside the above-mentioned church.

    Ballylegan House

    Lancelot Joseph Moore Studholme was the only son of Joseph, who owned Ballyegan Estate, King’s County (Offaly) and his wife, Mary.  (Ballyegan House is pictured left.) He was educated in England. He had a lifelong interest in gardening and won many prizes. After the death of his father in 1904, Lancelot took over his estate and became a Justice of the Peace for King’s County. He later filled the office of High Sheriff in 1909.  On the outbreak of the Great War, Lancelot joined the Leinster Regiment as a private and was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, finally to Captain.  He returned home for a brief period in January 1915 and visited the local school in Ballyegan where he gave the children sweets and gifts. This school had been endowed by the Studholme family to the parish. He was noted for his kindness and generosity. His final act of generosity was when he gave his life to assist his batman at the Battle of the Somme in September 1916. The batman, who was named Harte, and had previously worked on his estate in Ballylegan was wounded by a bullet. Lancelot stopped to assist him and was killed himself by machine gun fire.

    The Smugglers Inn in Waterville, mentioned in the last Newsletter, has been removed from the itinerary. It is not that the nefarious activities implied by the hostelry’s name have caught up with the proprietors but, more mundanely, that a test opportunity has arisen which is facilitated by our going to The Sea Lodge for sustenance instead.

    The Skelligs, a pair of islands off the Dingle peninsula, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig, have UNESCO World Heritage Site status courtesy of their ornithological and archaeological significance. Little Skellig is the home of some 27,000 pairs of gannets, the second largest colony of such sea birds in the world.The monastic site on Skellig Micheal is reached by climbing over five hundred steps up a 1000 year-old stone stairway. Stone beehive huts where monks lived and prayed centuries ago cling to cliff edges alongside oratories, a cemetery, stone crosses, holy wells and the Church of St Michael. These isolated archaeological remains show the dramatically spartan conditions in which this early Christian community lived. Enduring several Viking raids, the monks eventually left the island in the thirteenth century and it subsequently became a place of pilgrimage. It is probably better known, however, for its being used as a location for two “Star Wars” films –The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

    The Alexander family founded the Milford Flour Mills at Ballygowan, beside the River Barrow near Carlow town in 1790. By the 1830s the enterprise had reached a turnover of £195,000 a year. In 1856 disaster struck and the Mills were totally destroyed by fire. They had only recently been refurbished under the direction of William Fairbairn of Manchester. At the time of the fire they were capable of manufacturing from 45,000 to 50,000 sacks of flour per annum. It was thought that the fire occurred as a result of sparks, from the friction of grinding stones, igniting a quantity of corn. In 1891, the mill was modified to generate electricity and in so doing Carlow became the first inland town in Ireland or Britain to receive electric power. In the 1940s what remained of the malting building was converted into a tannery. Sheepskins from around Ireland were processed with the leather supplying shoe factories across the country. It also exported leather and chamois to the United Kingdom and the United States. Fire struck again in 1965 and the tannery closed down. In the 1990s the building was recommissioned and a concrete block turbine house added to generate electricity which feeds into the National Grid.

    The McGillycuddy Reeks is one of Ireland’s most impressive mountain ranges. Their highest peaks can be seen here on a sunny March afternoon with a light covering of snow viewed across Lough Nakirka in Oulagh. The Climbers Inn is a hostelry favoured by walkers in the Reeks. It is also a recommended stop for cyclists, both pedal and motor varieties, as it is for those with four wheels who have enjoyed a spin over the agreeable mountain roads. You may have an opportunity to drop in here for a “quick one”.

    – Norbury

    This is once more (the last time – Phew!) the same triangle that you encountered in Newsletters 1 & 2. This time, draw a line down from the top vertex to the centre of the baseline – this is called a median.Draw in the other two medians. Lo and behold, for a third time they pass through the same point. This one is called the centroid and is not the centre of any circle though there is more useless useful information to enthral you below. NOT BEFORE YOU HAVE A GO THOUGH

    The centroid can be thought of as the centre of gravity of the triangle. Because our triangle is merely a shape on a page it is weightless and so can’t have a centre of gravity. Hence the term centroid.

    There is a corollary to all of this which can be seen in the adjacent triangle. You will remember the red dot from Newsletter 1, the circumcentre and the green one from Newsletter 2, the orthocentre. When we include the centroid, we get, not just a random arrangement of the three dots, but a straight line. And not only that – the centroid divides the line in a ratio of 2:1. How serendipitous is that?

    It is called Euler’s Line in deference to its discoverer Leonhard Euler.

  • Newsletter 2

    The main change in plans occasioned by the Covid hiccough is the Start location move from Clonmel to Kilkenny. This was referred to in Newsletter 1. It has, of course, had an impact on the originally intended route for Days 1 & 2. What follows is a random selection of snippets regarding the revised (and original) itinerary. There is also some competitor car news.

    Castlecomer Mines Virgin Mary

    After lunch on Sunday, there will be a “lap” of Kilkenny including two regularities and four tests. You will pass over the Comer Plateau, which is notable for being the source of “the best quality anthracite in the British Isles, if not all of Europe”. While difficult to light, it burned for a long time, producing intense heat and very little smoke –  important at a time when many humble dwellings had no chimneys. (To misquote an old maxim, “there was fire without smoke”). Another luminary who was a fan was Winston Churchill. He was Admiral of the Fleet in WW1 and was appreciative of its facilitating his ships’ ability to “sneak up on” the enemy. Also worth mentioning is that your C-o-C’s great-grandfather and grandfather owned one of the more modest mines. Most of the over 600 men who worked in the mines in the 1950s and 1960s are now dead. Those that remain recall that health & safety safeguards amounted to little more than the statue of the Virgin Mary at the colliery gate.

    Cantwell’s Castle

    Keep an eye out for Cantwell’s Castle (right). It is located in the townland of Sandfordscourt in the barony of Gowran, County Kilkenny. A former owner, Thomas Sandford, was Mayor of Kilkenny in 1723. On Monday, there will be a “close-to-shortest” route westish to Killarney. Parachutes will not be necessary for our visit to Ballyboe unless your conveyance has aerodynamic idiosyncracies which it attempts to flaunt during the airstrip test. More than ten seconds off the ground will merit a “fail”. There will be a coffee stop at Grove Stud. This is situated on 75 acres of fine limestone land and has thirty five stables. North Cork is world famous for its equine history and the numerous studs here have reared many Grand National Winners as well as inventing the Steeplechase! En route to lunch you will be passing through the wonderfully named Twopothouse townland. This is not to be confused with its more elderly neighbour Oldtwopothouse. Watch out during this section for Irish rally legend Billy Coleman whose “land” we will be passing through – we hope he won’t be coming the other way!

    Lakeview House

    Sustenance will be provided in Springfort Hall. It was formerly known as Baltydaniel, an anglicised Irish name which translates as the ‘Town of the House of O’ Donnell’.
Just before we arrive in Dunloe Castle Hotel, we’ll be popping in to Lakeview House. Steeped in history and character, the House has long been linked to the family of Daniel O’Connell (a huge figure in Ireland’s 19th century history, known as “The Liberator”), and to the famed MacCarthy clan. This is now the home of Sir Maurice O’Connell and is the location for the production of one of the newer Irish whiskeys, “The Liberator ”. O’Connell’s “Liberator” appellation was courtesy of his being responsible for (Roman) Catholic Emancipation – not just in Ireland but throughout the British Empire. (He was a bit of a globetrotter.)

    Smugglers Inn

    Day 3 brings us around the “Ring of Kerry” on the Iveragh peninsula. We will pass through the Macgillicuddy Reeks and skirt the highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohill. We will also drive over classic Circuit of Ireland stages like “Caragh Lake” (and on the final day, “Conor Pass”). On the outskirts of Waterville, The Smugglers Inn sits on the edge of the Kerry coastline along 2 km of beautiful sandy beaches. Built in 1779, the restored farmhouse has seen five generations provide first-class hospitality. It is currently one of Ireland’s top seafood restaurants.Kells, on the north side of the peninsula is a traditional fishing village. Golden’s is the local hostelry for the discerning. The Iveragh-based bar was originally known as The O’Connell Arms, courtesy of its links with the aforementioned Daniel. O’Connell would have stopped off here when he travelled between Caherdaniel (further west) and the Dublin Parliament.

    Bold Jack Donohoe

    The grand finale will be on the Dingle Peninsula. We will pass through Castlemaine twice during the day. In pride of place in the town is the bronze statue of “The Wild Colonial Boy” thus named because of the eponymous ballad. Legend has it that Jack Duggan, also known as “Bold Jack Donohoe” was born in Castlemaine in 1806. In 1824, aged 18, he was convicted of “intent to commit a felony” (probably rebel sympathies or connections) and was sentenced to be transported for life to New South Wales.  He had a chequered career which resulted in his becoming one of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers. On1st September 1830, a group of soldiers and police caught Donohoe and his gang near Campbelltown. During the battle Donohoe was shot dead.


    Dingle is a small port town on the Peninsula, known for its rugged scenery, trails and sandy beaches. Its best known tourist attraction for many years was Fungie, the dolphin, who lived in the local waters and was almost tame. Last year, however, Fungie decided to seek a change of scenery and departed for pastures new thus depriving the town of one of its tourist magnets. Dingle is also celebrated for the “Other Voices Music Festival” which has a spin-off TV series called “Other Voices”. This is filmed in the intimate setting of the 200-year-old Church of St James. Performers, of whom I have heard, include Duke Special, Billy Bragg, Elbow, James Morrison, Lisa Hannigan, Mick Flannery, Imelda May & Snow Patrol.

    Churchtown House

    The SOUTH POLE INN, located in Annascaul, contains a collection of Tom Crean memorabilia. As well as paying tribute to Tom Crean the Antarctic Explorer, the South Pole Inn now commemorates the village’s other famous son: Jerome Connor, an eminent Irish-American sculptor. A purpose-built gallery exhibiting his work was opened in April 2014. We will be finishing up in the 18th Century Churchtown House situated in the foothills of the Macgillicuddy Reeks. The house was built in 1740 by Sir Roland Blennerhassett and has been in the Magill family since 1860. The house sits alongside Beaufort Golf Course, in the clubhouse of which we will be drowning our sorrows (or otherwise).

    – Norbury

    This is the same triangle that you encountered in Newsletter 1. This time, draw a line down from the top vertex so that it hits the base at right angles – this is called an orthogonal. Draw in the other two orthogonals. Lo and behold, they pass through the same point which is referred to as the orthocentre and, like last time, it is the centre of a circle – not as obvious as the circumcircle. Find out more further down. NOT BEFORE YOU HAVE A GO THOUGH

    1906 Bianchi 28/40

    There has been an interesting recent addition to the ranks, courtesy of Peter and Luke Roberts, who have entered what will be the oldest car in the field – a 1906 Bianchi 28/40 which boasts a formidable 7400 cc engine. The car has competed widely, including twice in the SF Edge Goodwood Member Meet race, VSCC races, hill climbs and trials plus a Paris to Vienna rally where it won its class. It is an original fast Edwardian capable of well over 80 mph. The car has a past connection with Ireland as it was acquired by Jim Boland from Lord Montagu (of Beaulieu) in 1968. Jim restored the car and competed in the 1970 VCC 1000 mile trial. Peter has owned the car for seven years. In other cars, with his co-driver son and other co-drivers, Peter has competed in the 2010 Paris-Peking rally, Paris Madrid rally and several Frazer Nash events. Whilst taking events seriously, it is the joy of driving with like-minded enthusiasts that attracts him to events such as this.

    If we drop perpendiculars from each of the vertices they are also concurrent – this is the ORTHOCENTRE.

    It is also the centre of a circle, albeit a slightly contrived one. Join the feet (pedes) of the perpendiculars to form the pedal triangle. Then, draw the bisectors of the angles in this triangle. Where they meet gives you the centre of its INCIRCLE.

  • Newsletter 1

    A drawback to generating a Newsletter for a well-received event is that competitors return for more, thus rendering there being fewer people/cars to write about. Nonetheless, the entry forms have provided me with quite an amount of information. Before regaling you with these “nuggets”, there is some “intel” (consult a young person as to the meaning of this “word”) concerning your accommodation and some landmarks.

    Kilkenny Castle

    Your first port of call will be the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny which will provide all of the physical prerequisites you might expect. Kilkenny is a wonderful city, dominated by its Castle. As many of you will know, there is lots to do here – an early arrival would give you an opportunity to experience some of its delights.

    Even more cognisant of your corporeal needs will be the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens on the outskirts of Killarney. It overlooks the famous Gap of Dunloe and is set on its own 64 acre estate leading to the ruins of the 12th century castle and River Laune. The “Gap” separates the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks to the west and the Purple Mountain group to the east and includes some spectacular lakes. A notable landmark is Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Kate was a well known beauty in Ireland in the years before the Great Famine (1845-1849). It was in this cottage (upgraded since then!) that Kate distilled her famous poitín, ‘Kate Kearney’s Mountain Dew’, which was “very fierce and wild, requiring not less than seven times its own quantity of water to tame and subdue it.” It was of course illicit! Yet another attraction here is the option to travel by jaunting car(not allowed for in the regs), the drivers of which are called jarveys.

    Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

    A conspicuous feature of previous Newsletters was the infiltration of some mathematically inspired snippets to pander to my delusion that mathematics might be interesting. I regret to have to apprise you that I am continuing this practice.

    Last year, Blaise Pascal was the featured genius. This year it is the turn of the 17th century Swiss mathematician (amongst other disciplines) Leonhard Euler. So clever was he that there is Euler’s Identity, Euler’s Number and Euler’s Line to remember him by. It is the last of these which I will address. We will begin with some drawing. If you would like to participate, you will need a ruler, a pencil and a pair of compasses (not two of the instruments which allow you to determine direction, rather the tool for drawing circles). You will also need a hard copy of this page of the Newsletter. This will provide you with a blank triangle to play with. This exercise is not obligatory.

    With the help of your ruler, find and mark the mid-point of each side. Using “draughtsman’s eye” or, if you are particularly enthusiastic a protractor or set-square, draw lines at right-angles/perpendicular to the sides. You will now have discovered something interesting – all of these lines intersect at the same point. This is not “any old point”. It is the centre of a circle which passes through the three “corners” of the triangle which you can confirm by deploying your pair of compasses circumspectly. The circle, not surprisingly, is termed the circumcircle and its centre, the CIRCUMCENTRE.

    Jayne Wignall & Kevin Savage

    1932 Sunbeam 20hp Sports

    The 2-seater body is built on a 23.8 chassis shortened by 12”. It was designed and built by Geoff Henderson from Co. Durham. The Wignalls have owned the car since 2003 and have covered over 30,000 miles including several rallies. Most recently (Feb. 2019) they shipped car to New Zealand for a 3,000 mile tour of the North & South islands. For this tour a special luggage box was bolted to the running board with a rather ingenious receptacle for an umbrella!

    Roger Tushingham & Dennis Greenslade

    1935 MG PB Midget

    MG 4582 Midget, built in 1935 and first registered in August 1936. On failing an MOT test in the early 60s the owner, James Winnard, took the car off the road for a comprehensive rebuild. His son, Keith, completed the job 50 years later! Roger acquired the car in 2015 and as he found it very slow he is fitting a gadget that is supposed to blow the fuel into the engine!

    James Tibbitts & Gavin Millington

    1933 Talbot AV105 Brooklands

    Fully restored by mark specialist Ian Polson. Is now used extensively across Europe including rallies in the Alps and Pyrenees. James has competed in the Flying Scotsman as well as the 2019 Shamrock Vintage Challenge.

    Kevin Lee & Annabel Jones

    1936 Frazer Nash BMW

    One of just three remaining FN-BMW 319 saloons, the car was imported to the UK in 1936 and first registered in Liverpool in 1937. Extensively rallied in the 50s by Bob Macpherson when it was modified with an Austin A40 back axle and a Wolseley gearbox. The current owners purchased it in 2018 and returned it to its original configuration.

    David Thomson & Alan Smith

    1936 Talbot 105 Alpine

    This car has done loads of rallies over the past 20 years, including every Flying Scotsman bar 2012. The car, despite having done nearly 80,000 miles in the last 11 years, has managed to finish in the Top 8 in all of those “Scotsman”s – impressive.

    Reto Mebes & Nick Bloxham

    1930 Bentley 3/4.5 Sport Racer

    Reto has Nick Bloxham with him this time and also has a different car – still a Bentley but a different model – a 1930 3./4.5 Sport Racer.

    Irvine Laidlaw & Tony Davies

    1935 BMW 319/1

    The car hasn’t required much attention since its last outing – just an oil change and spanner check. Second in 2018 (they woz, or should that be wuz?) robbed by a tractor, they won in 2019. No improvement expected in 2021.

    Francis & Marie Rhatigan

    1939 BMW 328FN

    They have survived two Shamrocks and hope to do similarly on this occasion.

    Martin & Lesley Neal

    1936 MG TA

    They hope to have as good a time as in 2019

    Steve Wilson & Trina Harley

    1948 Morris 8 Series E

    They were sixth on the first Shamrock Challenge and have been Class winners on the Rally of the Tests and the Winter Challenge.

    Stuart & Emily Anderson

    1936 Bentley Derby 4.25

    This car was first owned by Eddie Hall and lapped Brooklands in 1936 at 109 mph. He won’t be expecting to match this on the Ring of Kerry