Driving society members enjoy day out at Cultra

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Members of the Northern Ireland Branch – British Driving Society enjoyed Saturday, May 21, at an invitation drive of traditional type vehicles at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra.

The weather was sunshine with an occasional shower, the scenery and well kept grounds of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum made it a very inviting venue. A number of visitors – especially young people – enjoyed watching the cavalcade of horse drawn carriages.

After morning coffee and scones Mr. Mark Kennedy (curator) and farm manager Mr. Robert Berry took some members on a tour of the museum’s collection of horse drawn vehicles, some dating back to the early 1900s.

In the collection a linen cart, a poultry cart to name but a few.

The parade of traditional type vehicles was headed up by Ballyward man Mervyn Ward with groom Lewis Orr driving a nine-year-old Welsh section ‘D’ ‘Rossagara Defron (Fred) to a varnished ‘Victoria’ built in Germany in the early 1900s. His passengers were Eugene Larkin - NIB-BDS Committee man- and Margaret Carlisle (Area Commissioner/hon.secty). Elizabeth Kelly-Ward (NIB-BDS chairman) accompanied by groom Ruth Smyth drove 10 year old ‘Fronarth Navigator’ – a Welsh section ‘D’ to an original varnished governess vehicle (trap) built by Clery’s of Ballylanders, near Limerick in the early 1900s.

The Weir family from Ballyclare drove ‘Milltown Boy’ – a Welsh Mountain Pony to a Norfolk Milk Float, originally built in the late 1800s. Refurbished in Wales and whenever brought to Northern Ireland was painted by Walter Curry, Loughgall, Co. Armagh. The milk churns came with the vehicle.

Ruairi Creighton (16 years old) from Saintfield accompanied by his grandfather Jimmy Creighton harnessed ‘Felix’ an Irish Cob to a 70 year old ‘London Trolley’ (which was restored by Gordon Cahoon, Sion Mills in 2005) Comber man Robert Smyth with Emma James as groom yoked 10 year old ‘Sparkie’ to a Dray.

Brian Bradley (Purdysburn) with groom William Kirkwood drove an eight year old Welsh section ‘A’ ‘Migrera Lollipop’ to a four wheeled vehicle.

Castlewellan man Wallace Shaw with groom Dennis O’Neill harnessed ‘Clarvalley Jewel’ to a Ralli Car.

Jenny Lyttle (Hillsborough) with her husband Adrian as Groom - drove ‘Shadow’ to a four wheeled Polish Vehicle.

John McDermott (Newtownabbey) harnessed ‘Alex’ a six year old Clydesdale to a wagonette. His groom was Scott Hanna.

Lindsay Hanna (Saintfield) harnessed a pair of Welsh Cobs ‘Josh’ and ‘Calum’ to a ‘Victoria Coach’ built in the early 1900s

Trevor Gass (Glenanne, Co. Armagh) drove a pair of Friesian horses ‘Burning Love’ and ‘Anno’ to a wagonette.

Samuel and Lynn Gass drove ‘Nancy’ a 10 year old cob to a two wheeled road vehicle.

Members of the Northern Ireland Branch – British Driving Society convey sincere thanks to Mr. Mark Kennedy, Mr. Robert Berry and staff for the kind invitation to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and for their hard work in organizing this wonderful drive and hospitality.

Chairman of the Northern Ireland Branch – British Driving Society is Elizabeth Kelly-Ward with Margaret Carlisle as Area Commissioner/Hon Secretary.