Newsletter 5

Since my last missive, Ireland has had two notable meteorological episodes.  The first was a hurricane.  I’m not quite sure why female names are usually reserved for these.  Also, is the name itself of some significance?  Anyway, this one was called Ophelia who, in this context, died fittingly when the willow tree branch she was clutching broke and she fell into a brook and drowned.  She was also a little bit too late visiting Ireland to comply with some career advice that she was offered by Hamlet, to wit, “Get thee to a nunnery”.  With the fall-off in religious vocations, there are very few nunneries left.

Despite Ophelia’s (the hurricane) ferocity, precautionary measures were such that her impact was not as severe as it might have been.  She did veer eastwards from her predicted trajectory but passed over/through Shamrock territory without any lasting detriment.

A few days later the more benign Storm Brian visited and finished off some trees/structures which had been softened up by Ophelia.  The life of this Brian was not as eventful as the more dramatic Pythonesque Brian.

The route has been pretty much finalised.  As you meander through the byways of Sheets 61, 62, 67, 68, 74, 75, 76, 81 & 82 you will enjoy some challenging roads – wide enough to allow evasive action on encountering random tractors and other potential impediments and importantly, smooth.  You might also have to make compulsory visits to licensed premises.  The list of nine maps above reminds me that navigating used to be a more compact exercise in Ireland when we used half-inch maps.  These were much easier to manage physically though their rather tenuous representation of reality did make maintaining the specified route more of a challenge.  The detail on the 1:50000 maps that superseded them, I suppose about 20 years ago, makes life simpler.  The good news regarding the nine maps listed above is that you won’t actually need any of them!  The route instructions provided will furnish you with the wherewithal to find your way around successfully.  I suppose, though, that the more punctilious navigators will feel apprehensive without a set and will be unable to resist the temptation to visit the online OS shop.  Neither will you require the dreaded “speed tables”.  Again, you will be supplied with all that is necessary to keep you on schedule.  And again, I will be surprised if the regular navigators don’t bring theirs along – just in case.

To provide some relief from the foregoing disjointed drivel there follows some more details about a couple of cars entered thus far.

These details are courtesy of those who filled in the relevant box on the entry form.

Rob Jeurissen’s 1934 Bentley Derby is original with matching numbers.  The car was rehabilitated to its current state by Elliot Dale and has an ash frame with aluminium panels.  Rob has owned this car for four years and has taken part in the Flying Scotsman, 1000 Mile Trial and the Miles of Mystery.

Irvine Laidlaw’s BMW 319/1 Roadster was first purchased in 1935 and the car taxed for road use until 1938, by which time the registration document was stamped with swastikas!  Little is known of its history until the car was found complete – though in a poor state.

In the 1990s it was restored by dedicated enthusiasts but little used until bought by the Irvine from a German dealer whilst looking for a pre-war Alfa Romeo.  It is one of 178 examples of the 319/1 produced by BMW in 1935/36.

Top Trump Facts:  4,000 rpm, 80 hp, 80 mph flat out.  6 small cylinders, 3 tiny Solex carburettors.