THE first Sunday in August saw the classic vehicles of the East Antrim Old Vehicle Club turn out for the 11th Annual Belfast to Portrush Cavalcade.
The nominated charity for this year’s event was TinyLife, Northern Ireland’s premature and vulnerable baby charity (www.tinylife.org.uk).
This year saw a change in the event in that instead of Belfast Zoo, the start venue for the cavalcade on August 4, was Mossley Mill, the civic headquarters of Newtownabbey Borough Council, and the council very kindly supplied a hearty breakfast to help set up members for the rest of the day.
“With around 130 cars turning out, the best turnout ever, the change to the event seemed to have gone down well,” said East Antrim Old Vehicle Club President Robert Raj.
“The Deputy Mayor Fraser Agnew was impressed by the range and condition of the classic cars, some getting to around 80 years old. At 11am the Deputy Mayor and Stephen Clements of Citybeat radio station got the Belfast to Portrush Cavalcade on its way.
“The route this year took the cars through Templepatrick, Antrim but around Ballymena and on directly to Portrush for a static display at the Dunluce Centre.
“Many thanks to the by The Martin Residential Trust for making up the packed lunches for all the entrants which was waiting for them on arrival at the Dunluce Centre. This was made even more welcome by the arrival of the sun for the first time in the day which in turn brought out the crowds from Portrush town centre, so making the static display well worthwhile.”
That said, there were a few casualties along the route.
“Derek Clarke’s 1939 Austin Opal Tourer didn’t make the start line at the Mill, so he caught a lift with Patrick Kelso. The bad luck continued when Patrick’s 1969 Mecedes broke a fan belt. Both eventually made it to Portrush,” the President said.
“At about 4pm we headed, watched on by the large crowd that had gathered, to dinner, and awards at the Royal Court Hotel.
“After dinner a framed picture was presented to Iain Patterson, Managing Director of our sponsor EA Davies & Co Ltd, in memory of the late Donald Davies who sadly passed away in November. Donald Davies was Managing Director of EA Davies & Co Ltd, which was not only was a sponsor of the Belfast-Portrush Cavalcade for the last 10 years, but he had also been an office bearer in the club for many years, and was a personal friend to many of EAOVCs current and past members. He is sadly missed.”
The Finishers Awards were handed out and the ballots drawn before the end of a very enjoyable day.
“The Club would like to thank all who helped organise and fund the event as well as both Newtownabbey and Coleraine councils for the use of their facilities,” Mr Raj concluded.