The Fermanagh lakes lured some 60 motorhomes and their intrepid crews to Enniskillen for a momentous extended 4 night rally despite forecasted inclement weather. Leading by example our Chairman David, and Thelma his Wife, undertook the duties of Host, as is frequently the case Andy Clarke and Sam Arlow assisted greatly as did Hugh and Moira Harvey. Many thanks to all for their invaluable services ensuring a smooth trouble free rally.
Thursday evening was an opportune time for members to meet, re-acquaint and “chew the fat”, indeed many anomalies of jurisprudence were righted on that fateful and memorable night, all accomplished to soothing background music.
Friday amid the showers (sometimes it rained between the showers) many took the short walk to Enniskillen town centre for lunch, a few bevvies or window shopping, judging by the hand luggage when returning I guess it was not just a matter of peering through windows. Others visited some of the marinas dotted around and within the town, undoubtably marvelling at the excellent accommodation and facilities provided free to the boating fraternity who apparently can moor their crafts for extended periods, over-night within them if they wish and all without charge or fear of being moved along. Some will undoubtably have been somewhat envious and contrasted it with the dismal lack of provision made for motorhomes/campervans in that beautiful touristy county. Such a wasted opportunity. Late evening of Friday was very wet, incessant rain that threatened to spoil the annual charity vintage vehicle spectacle parading through the town. Erne Vintage Car Club and friends amassed some 300 vehicles, many of great vintage, all beautifully restored and presented, trying hard to ignore the rain I viewed the vehicles as they wound their way through town and spotting some of our very own motorhome group members taking part, there was Robbie Coalter with his impressive BLMC Maxi of circa 1978 being expertly driven by Daughter Lindsey then a short time later Raymond and Ida Elliott made their way past with the obligatory toot of the horn of their 1987 black Ford Capri 2.8i, beautiful car. There was a short delay before someone announced : “ here’s the Mayor coming”, it wasn’t the Mayor but I could understand the mistake – out of the twilight and rain emerged a handsome Rover 2000, white and as opulent today as it was when leaving the Rover factory in 1968. The vehicle was superb but when I noted the regal and chauffeured occupants my eyes literally stood out on stalks, you’ll never guess who they were so I’ll tell you : none other than our very own Roy and Barbara Smith, yes indeed we haven’t had the pleasure of their company for some time due to illness which is thankfully being overcome and we look forward to their early return to our group. Comprising cars, vans, lorries, tractors and farm machinery there simply was something there for everyone to drool over.
The obligatory game of bingo was held in the school late evening and conducted by Victor, many thanks to him and also for doing the raffle on Saturday night.
Saturday morning kicked off with a quite lively members meeting after which members drifted off in various directions with many opting to stay in the grounds and reinforce friendships. Ruth and I decided to go to Kesh and savour some of the delights of their festival week, there were many and varied activities including more vintage vehicles, fancy dress, arts and craft displays by locals and the opportunity to guess the winning duck in the duck race to be held later in aid of charity. Ruth paid her fee and made her choice, we are married nigh on 50 years and I never had occasion or reason to question her judgement on choice of Husband but I never realised she had similar expertise in judging ducks, heck we never even have had suchlike as a pet or seldom as a dish. Despite that and the fact that there were hundreds of entrants Ruth’s choice romped (or swam) home to first place. Naturally there was great euphoria at this result, great quack altogether. Returning to “the fold” on Saturday night we danced the night away to the music and song so ably provided by David Kane, what a fitting end to what was a wonderful relaxing day.
Sunday morning we assembled again in the school for refreshments, Chairmans address etc. during which we learned Irene and Robbie Hewitt had achieved 26 years of wedded bliss, congrat’s on your anniversary. We had some more new members to welcome : Victor and Florence Wilson collected their app. forms on Friday and joined us next day. William Lynas and Jacqueline McDowell also returned to “the fold” after a lengthy absence. Valerie and Martin Whitesmith also warmly welcomed as was Sheila Spiers whom, although a member of long standing, we rarely see as she now resides in Spain when not globetrotting, haste ye back Sheila. Birthdays : Selma McMullan had quietly celebrated another birthday on Saturday, it was pointless being so secretive Selma, there’s always someone who knows about those things. John McClune and Joyce McMillen were two others who’ve attained another year, one more – one less, nevertheless hope you all had a day to remember.
Prize giving saw Denise Waddell receive the Quiz prize whilst Christine McCullough and Pauline Grant got lucky with the entry number draw. In closing David (Chairman) extended best wishes to Cynthia Willis who became unwell at this rally and transferred to hospital, also to Betty Stewart with her impending hospitalisation and operation, we all wish you well ladies and hope for speedy recovery. Thus ended another memorable rally, our thanks to all who worked hard on our behalf, it was enjoyable and we look forward to the next at Omagh. : Dessie Ross