Members and friends of the Northern Ireland Branch British Driving Society met on Saturday 18th April 2015, by kind invitation, at the home of Mrs Vera Fawcett and family, Craigy Road, Saintfield, to hold the annual Private Drive.
The participants and spectators enjoyed the April sunshine and the beautiful surrounding countryside.
The Cavalcade of horse drawn vehicles left ‘Number 20’ at 1.30pm driving to the historical village of Saintfield and along the country roads enjoying the spring blossoms and the young lambs skipping about in the fields.
Heading up the drive was Alex Fawcett (Saintfield) with groom Philip Boyd (Ballygowan) driving Fawcett’s pair of Friesian horses ‘Cludo’ and ‘Yankee’ to a four-wheeled Polish Wagonette with the Fawcett family friends as passengers.
Fifteen year old Ruairi Creighton (Saintfield) with his grandfather James Ceighton as groom harnessed 15 year old ‘Felix’ – a coloured cob- to a ‘Bellcrown vehicle’.
Lurgan man Martin Tierney with his groom John Rogan drove ‘Grace’ a 5 year old coloured mare to a four wheeled wagonette.
Seventeen year old John Weir jnr, (Ballyclare) with his father John (snr) harnessed his 15 year old Coloured Cob to a two wheeled Exercise road Vehicle.
Castlewellan businessman Wallace Shaw and groom Nathan Foster drove ‘Clarvalley Sunbeam’ - a hackney pony - to an ‘Evans’ two wheeled road vehicle.
Northern Ireland Branch – British Driving Area Commissioner Liz Kelly – Ward with groom Lewis Orr and passenger John Powell drove ‘Fronarth Flashman’ a 10 year old Welsh Cob to a four wheeled Pleasure Vehicle.
Brian Bradley (Purdysburn) with groom Janet Lyttle (Lisburn) harnessed ‘Rhydwillim Nice’ a seven year old, Section ‘A’ Welsh Pony to a road vehicle.
John Powell, Brian Johnston, Denis O’Neill, Mervyn Ward and Eugene Larkin did a wonderful job stewarding.
Eugene Larkin, chairman, Northern Ireland Branch, British Driving Society thanked Vera Fawcett for her kind Invitation, the excellent cuisine which was much appreciated by all and wished her success in business in the days ahead. Gratitude to the PSNI for their invaluable assistance with the road traffic. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Ward 9, Ulster Hospital, Dundonald where Vera’s husband George was a long term patient.