Shane’s Castle, Northern Ireland

Club member Allan tells us about his recent trip of over 500 miles to the Shane’s Castle Steam Show in Northern Ireland. In Bertie, his 803cc Series II.

“Following Bertie’s unsuccessful 2022 adventure to Shane’s Castle (which was curtailed at the ferry terminal due to a hole in the radiator!) I was encouraged by the Morris Minor Owner’s club NI to return in 2023. So the ferry and hotel were duly booked.

A77, Cairnryan bound

On Friday 28th April we set off at 6am from Cardross for the 1130am sailing from Cairnryan to Belfast. I’m happy to say Bertie battled through the rain (never missed a beat) and arrived two and half hours before the sailing! Before any other vehicular traffic had arrived in fact.

The ferry departed on time, with the sun now following us to Belfast. We disembarked on schedule and set off on the run to Antrim. Full of confidence we slipped onto the M2. However, unknowing to me there is a huge hill to climb out of Belfast. We ended up in a 3rd gear, on hard shoulder. An experience that I don’t plan to repeat! However, we got there and survived to tell the story.

Nicest car on the ferry

After finding the hotel I set off the Ballymena to deliver 1913 and 1917 magnetos to Patterson Magnetos for the kiss of life! 

On Saturday 29th the sun was shining. Off we set on a drive to the North coast (beach) to visit relatives in Coleraine (River Bann below) Articlave, Castle Rock etc.

On the Sunday and Monday it was Shane’s Castle rally. It was great to meet Susan Shepard, the Chairwoman of MMOC NI and a number of the club members. They were very welcoming and made the trip thoroughly worthwhile. Some I had met in 2022 (minus Bertie). The Sunday was a great day, kindly supported by lots of sunshine and the odd thunder clap! It was actually a warm up day for the main event on the Monday with treble the amount of cars , MMOC NI Members, tractors and stationary engines.

On Tuesday 2nd May the great weather continued. So on the recommendation of Robert Hoy and Stephen Gordon from MMOC NI we set off towards Larne to join the Antrim Coast road, keeping the sea on the right. We followed the coast through Ballygally, Glenarm, Carnlough, Waterfoot until Cushendall turning west toward Ballymena. After batting to the top of the Antrim Glens it was plain sailing back to civilisation through Ballymena and onwards to Antrim. A 90 mile outing! 

On Wednesday it was back to reality. A trip back to the Belfast ferry terminal – avoiding the M2 Motorway! A relaxed drive, arriving in good time. The ferry conveyed us back to Cairnryan, where the sun was shining upon our return.

Morris Minor Series II in Girvan with sea and Ailsa Craig extinct volcano in background
Girvan, fish and chips with Aisla Craig extinct volcano in background

A quick stop to allow the traffic to disperse and off we set to tackle to the Galloway and Ayrshire mountains. A fish and chip refuel stop in Girvan was made, then it was full steam a head for home. Passing through Ayr, Kilwinning and Beith on the way, then over the Erskine Bridge back home to Dumbartonshire! A total trip of 515 miles complete. 

I’m really looking forward to the 2024 outing, when I may travel a bit further south to Rostrever.

Please note no handheld electronic devices were used by the driver to obtain any of these photos.