Month: April 2015

The Fork Lift and the Moon Car

RNLI Union Hall 1






Yesterday I declined a lift in a fork lift so I could be hoisted fifty or more feet in the air in order I could take an aerial photograph of some pretty fabulous cars, even if it was for the RNLI. Thankfully there was someone on hand who was much younger and braver and who could handle my camera.

Union Hall West Cork is a pretty special place, full of pretty special people. I always try to believe there is good in everyone.  Mostly everyone has good in them somewhere but some people make it very hard to find!

But yesterday was a spectacularly good day with people being at their best and doing their best for others.   It was one of those brilliantly sunny days when West Cork glows at its best. All eyes were on the fleet of pretty special cars which had arrived in the village to support Union Hall RNLI.   As I go by colours usually to identify any vehicle, please forgive me if I mention only three which were easily identifiable even to me.

(To be truthful I had the details given to me.)

Of most significance was The Moon Car which many vintage car enthusiasts were seeing for the first time. This vehicle has a pretty interesting history and I googled it to get the information which follows. It is a bright oh so shiny yellow and was gleaming at its best yesterday

Pat McSweeney of Ballineen owns the gleaming yellow immaculate 1919 Moon Car, a beautifully restored Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. The car is said to have disappeared on the evening of 21st March in 1922 when it was used in an attack on Crown forces disembarking in Queenstown, Co Cork from their base in Spike Island. The Moon Car was hidden and rediscovered in the 1980s and eventually acquired by Rolls Royce restorer James Black in Co Antrim.   You will read much more of the history of this vehicle on line.

RNLI Union Hall 3RNLI Union Hall 2







Main organisers of the event in support of Union Hall RNLI fundraising branch on Sunday, April 26, were Crosshaven Veteran, Vintage and Classic Motor Club with members of a number of other vintage car clubs coming along in support.

RNLI Union Hall 2







Winners of the Buckley’s Bar Best Car trophy were Phillip Tiby and Sal Tiby Perks of Youghal, with their 1936 Wolseley, at 25 horsepower, the biggest one made. The vintage group were travelling on to attend another car event in Bandon,

Also on show in magnificent condition was the1938 2530 red Rolls Royce, owned by Patrick Burns of Blackrock, Cork city.

In great West Cork fashion refreshments were served in Myross Rowing club house to all who attended the event. The cars were then lined up on the causeway against a backdrop of a memorial to all those lost at sea either in the adjacent waters or from the surrounding villages who had perished at sea in other parts of the world.

Another brilliant West Cork day to add to the many.

Weekday lunches

It’s wonderful weather in West Cork these days. Warm and sunny although it is supposed to change for the weekend.

What is it about weekday lunches that start around 1 pm and you scurry to get home in time for the six o’clock news, although the news today is distressing and painful. On driving home I hear of a settlement to a little boy of €3.5 million for his care for the next five years. The HSE finally admitted responsibility for his paralysis and apologised. His poor parents had to take on the system. Then there are the unknown numbers who have died in the Med on boats which were no more than the coffin ships of the past.

But we have whiled a few hours away in good company, enjoying sunshine in the garden, gathering round a coal fire in the cool of the airy house. The food was pretty incredible too, and each of us were given a doggy bag to take home so supper is supplied.

The UK is in the throes of election fever, Ireland bubbles on with news that Prince Charles and his wife are to visit both North and South next month, and the next scandal will probably be about the properties which were taken over and sold on too cheaply with the Irish taxpayer picking up the bill, but we were in another world.

Back to the lunch – it is so decadent to sit around enjoying good company, great food, pretty magnificent wines and general conversation, catching up with those who have seemed to hibernate this long winter. We are all just that little bit greyer, personally a bit plumper, memories fading, and some with hearing aids sheltering in shell-like crevices.

A charming long lazy lunch on a Tuesday? What kind of people have time to do that? How mad is that, but then how mad is West Cork living. As one companion declared today, ‘You must agree, you have to be slightly mad to live here or you wouldn’t survive!’

And I do agree with her. Here’s to the next time. Anyone for a haggis Sunday lunch? That’s next on my agenda.