Yes we now, at WSVMCC, start on the Thursday & stay at The Dunsilly Hotel ahead of the main event.
Friday morning was cooler with the threat of a shower, but still a pleasant day to go on tour as we set off from the Dunsilly Hotel. Numbers were down a wee bit from last year but it was still a quality field. Tony & Chris had organised the route (past a a notorious accident black spot!) Editor’s Note- this sarcastic entry was written by a certain Chairman who was “mounted” by another certain Chairman at this very spot. As a result, the former has always found it painful to go for number 2s!)
We then travelled northwards to the first stop at Cloughmills.
We got a sharp shower near Armoy and blustery conditions along the North coast with plenty of white horses showing out to sea.
It was much calmer in Magherabuoy House Hotel, recovering from the bustle of The Open- great lunch and nice to meet up with Linda.
The afternoon run was down the West side of Lough Neagh. Stopped at Portglenone Marina, where the lads were able to do a puncture repair for (who else but) Colin- not been a good year. There was quite a bit of traffic about as we neared our destination but we arrived on schedule at 5 pm.
The evening meal was a three course buffet, very tasty and that theme continued all weekend.
Saturday saw us head South West, led by Stephen and Emma through scenic countryside to Glaslough, an historic village beside Castle Leslie, now a classy hotel and event venue, where Paul McCartney and Heather Mills were married- and how did that work out???
Ray/Roy opened his pub, and some had refreshments and used the facilities.
Onwards then through more scenic rural countryside to Monaghan, Clones and past Barry McGuigans house to the boat club house for lunch; courtesy of Geraldine and the Mad Dog Club, It was great food with a lakeside view, but no boat coming alongside with more beer this time!!!
The revenue from the lunch is going to two cancer charities along with the proceeds from other events the Mad Dog Club has promoted.
Saturday night’s Dinner was excellent, but just too much food for many.
Johnny’s & George’s speeches were well appreciated by all and it was good to have President Jack and Roy back with us- also visitors David and soon to be married Kyle and Rhubekka, and Sam and Liz were congratulated on their forthcoming marriage.
After dinner we had some music in the bar and a little dancing demo by some. There was plenty of banter but we were able to retire at a reasonable hour.
On Sunday we were to head in the general direction of the ferry but also do a tour of East Tyrone and North Armagh; on the way we had a short visit to the Argory, a National Trust property. Then off to Moy and Blackwatertown followed by a comfort stop at Richill.
We then motored through Tandragee and Gilford to Brownlow House, Lurgan for lunch. This historic venue has been renovated following an arson attack (I blame the Irish Backstop and Brexit). It is now a well used tourist attraction and event venue. It was appropriate for Kyle and Rhubekka as well as Sam and Liz, that some wedding decorations were still in place from the previous day!
We made up a bit of time there and then scooted down the M1 in good time for the ferry
Altogether a great weekend, great company and good weather for the 45th exchange visit. Thanks to George and David for Photos