Over the past few months, the Club Committee has been holding regular meetings online to discuss when it would be appropriate to start holding events again. Recently we had held a number of small events in the evenings which were well supported so we were all keen to organise an all-day event and ensure it complied with all the relevant Covid regulations.
We felt we could hold this years Regional Rally on 14th August and rather than have the usual format with a drive finishing in a hotel with a group meal we would have a static display at Brownlow House in Lurgan. We didn’t organise any group meals but all those taking part could have complimentary tea/coffee and scone there at the time of their choice. Many decided to have breakfasts and/or lunches in the ornate Tea Room there.
Our last Regional Rally was in 2019 and attracted 31 vehicles but for this event counting all those who entered on the day we had 80 vehicles and 151 people take part. We have 18 Minors present with 5 Minor owners there who were nonmembers so a great opportunity to increase our membership numbers.
On arrival, each driver was given a bottle of Hand Sanitizer and the Rally Programme along with their tickets for the Tea/Coffee/Scone and Tour of the House. Minors were given pride of place at the front of the house with the other vehicles parked on either side of the drive.
On the tour, we learned of the origins of Boxing Day & Mother’s Day and the famous greyhound Master McGrath which is buried in the garden of the house where we had parked. We learned of the statistics of this calendar house with a total of 365 rooms.
In the house were two separate Museums. In the basement was a Museum detailing how Brownlow House was used by the American Forces during WWII and visited by General Eisenhower where the D Day landings were planned. Upstairs there was a Museum where a number of rooms are dedicated to various aspects of life in NI over the years.
Vehicle owners had travelled from as far away as Dundalk, Magherafelt and our maiden city. These included some American vehicles, a DeLorean, Renault R18 American, Triumph Stag, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and the oldest vehicle there was a 1935 Morris 10/ 4 owned by the oldest entrant 80-year-old Club member Jim Russell.
Overall it was an extremely well supported event and our thanks go to all those who entered and David Martin the Manager of Brownlow House and his tour and catering staff.