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Events in the Irish Republic
Pat Ging's Report on Events in Eire
This report is long overdue. I do not send in reports of all our trips as usually ours is the only Standard present and you can only stand so many pictures of the same car..... however .... read on.
Sunday the 21st September 2008 was the Autumn Rally organised by the Blessington Motor Club. This is a very fine and friendly club and has a wide membership with a large variety of cars of all ages.
Thank God it was dry as I set out from my home in Clondalkin. Through the village (noted for its complete 7th century Round Tower), around Corkagh Park (more later), past Baldonnel Aerodrome, through Newcastle and Saggart on out to Blessington and the starting location of Russborough House (attached panoramic pic)
It is with nostalgia that I travel these roads as they are the same routes that between 1948 and 1955 my father’s family would travel to deliver groceries from their shop in a 1948 Standard Eight Woody.
I did meet a man at one of the rallys who mentioned that his parents also had a Standard Eight Woody which they called a "Beach Wagon". Noted memories he has is of his very young brother trying to help out in times of petrol rationing by filling the tank with water.... Ouch! The other special memory is that while being brought to school his mother had to travel up Christ Church hill in Dublin. Having been halted by the traffic cop (before traffic lights) at the junction at the top she had great difficulty in moving off on the hill (bendix brakes) and this caused a backlog of traffic behind her. Following this it appears that when the same traffic cop saw her coming up the hill he used to stop the cross traffic so as to give her a clear road.
Having arrived at the start I performed my usual task ... check to see if there are any Standards about. Last time I saw a Standard was back in 2006, a Vignale Vanguard (see attached pic) but I have lost the owners name. This time I was not disappointed..... lo and behold, a 1958 Standard 10, Green with two tone Green & Cream interior. Owned by Harry Cole (a club member) and very well maintained and Harry especially mentioned and thanked Ian Leggett for all his help. Harry also has a picture of his car on his business card and his advertisements for his Classic Car Storage business.
The 70 mile trot took us through Ballymore Eustace, Brannockstown, Dunlavin, Ballitore to a lunch stop in Athy. After lunch we travelled to Castlecomer and stopped at the Discovery Park (Coal mining) and then made our way back through the Curragh to finish up at Lumville House in the Curragh. Some of the Gordon Bennett lads will recognise these places.
With various stops I had tried to get to park along side Harry’s car .... and it was only as the rally was over that I found a spot beside him to take the pictures.
I had mentioned earlier travelling past Corkagh Park in Clondalkin. Prior to becoming a public park a Mr Dudley Colley and family had owned the estate. He was the author of the book "Wheel Patter – Memoirs of Irish Motor Sport". Noted for driving an Austin 7 over the Halfpenny Footbridge in Dublin City. He had owned and raced a 1934 Frazer Nash and apart from driving it locally, he drove the car to win the handicap race at the International Cork Grand Prix in 1938. His son Tony keeps the car in motion now and he and the car joined us at the end of the Rally on his way back from Cork (70 years after winning the Grand Prix). Note the suitcase strapped to the side of the car.
Looking forward to another exciting year and hopefully I will find more Standards in Ireland along the way.
Regards and thanks,
The Vignale mentioned in the article
The Gran Prix winning Fraser Nash
Another view of Harry Coles's 10
There will be a small party of Standards on the Gordon Bennett Rally in June this year so I hope that you will be able to view or meet up with them on their journey