Irish Highland Fling – May 2019

IMG_1238Four cars represented our club on the organised trip by the Jaguar Enthusiast Club (Fife & Tayside region). Also joining the trip were our friends from the Irish Jaguar & Daimler Club and the Jaguar Drivers Club area 30 N.I. We departed on the P&O ferry from Larne to Cairnryan at 1.30pm on Thursday arriving in less than two hours. Our first stop was in Irvine for an overnight stay, the following morning we headed to Pitlochery in Perthshire, by-passing Glasgow city on route. After checking into the hotel we explored the very pretty town of Pitlochery. At 6.30pm we met for drinks for the official start of the event and dinner followed at 7pm. Following dinner Terry McDougal, our host, outlined our itinerary for the weekend.

The following morning we were waved off by a piper playing traditional Scottish airs. Our first stop was Milford Engineering where we were welcomed by the owners Ian and Sara who provided tea and coffee and Sara’s home baking. This firm has been in business for 14 years specialising in Classic Car Restoration – among the cars being worked on was an aluminium bodied C-Type Jaguar, a Bentley Darby and a wonderful shooting brake Rolls Royce.

Leaving Milford we drove through some of the most beautiful countryside Scotland has to offer arriving an hour later to Balmoral Castle. Terry had arranged for us to drive in and park over 30 plus Jaguars outside the castle, where even the most loyal republicans felt a little bit royal and memories of seeing the British Royal family attending Church services on the television news was recalled. We viewed some displays in out-buildings in the grounds and then had lunch in the Balmoral restaurant but unfortunately the rain came and we were not able to walk around the gardens. We did however visit the ballroom in the Castle which is used for state occasions. The drive back was in glorious sunshine and again we enjoyed a very pleasant drive back to Pitlochery.

Dinner on Saturday was the formal night and both ladies and gentlemen polished up very well for the occasion and we were treated to music from a Scottish Ceili Band. The winner of the Joey Wickham cup was Terry Osborne from JDC Area 30 for his magnificent XK120 DHC. You will recall that Larry Mohally was the winner last year.

Sunday morning we set off on a drive ending up at the House of Bruar which is a huge retail outlet where we enjoyed lunch and some shopping. We returned to Pitlochery and had some free time to visit some interesting sites around the town. Following dinner at 7pm Paddy Daly representing the IJDC, Jim McFerran representing the Jaguar Drivers Club Area 30 and myself on behalf of our own club thanked Terry McDougal and his team for arranging a great trip for us and for presenting the cup to a most deserving winner.

On Monday Larry & Bernie, Rodney & Frances and myself and Miriam left at 9.30am to drive to Troon where most people were having an overnight stop. We stopped in Dunblane on route which is a lovely village which suffered a tragic event in 1997 with the shooting of a number of children and their teacher in the local junior school. There is a memorial to the victims in the Cathedral which is a fine building. It’s a very pretty village and also has the oldest library in Scotland (the Leighton) and a fine local museum. After coffee we made our way to Troon meeting the rest of the group. Christy and Mary Byrne had arrived ahead of us.

The hotel was overlooking the sea and the magnificent Royal Troon Golf Course. On our way to the boat on Tuesday we stopped at the birth place of Robert Burns one of Scotland’s famous sons and visited the museum run by the Scottish National Trust in the village of Alloway. We arrived in plenty of time for the ferry and after the short journey we headed to Wexford, Dublin, Galway & Cork. Again thanks to everyone who attended and to Jim McFerran for inviting us to join with them and of course to Jim McDougal from the JEC Fife & Tayside for organising such an enjoyable weekend.

John F Sheehan