3 July: Here is a fact that always surprises me that so few people in Wexford know – one of the most iconic international publication of lists – The Guinness Book of Records – started off in Castlebridge in Wexford! Simple really – two men could not agree after a bit of bird hunting in The Slobs on which was the fastest European bird – was it the Golden Plover or the Grouse. In order to sort the bet – Sir Beaver (MD of Guinness in 1951 at the time) commissioned The McWhirter brothers – fact finders of note in Fleet Street London – to provide the answer (I’ll leave for you to research the result). He recognised that many people must have daily arguments about similar bits of trivia – Often made even more important over a pint or two – And from there stems the Guinness Book of Records.
The irony is that in this time of Google and simple answers to anything – now more than ever people are interested in records – and wouldn’t it be nice if we could have this little nugget grow into something global like a possible Guinness Records Theme park (the highest roller coaster, the deepest dip, with artists and local crafts maybe creating artistic interpretations of records) or maybe even just replicas or actual Irish record holding memorabilia… I let your imagination add to that!
Failing all that – the park in front of it is clean, well maintained, and there is a spot or two where an easy picnic can be held and watch the passing parade – Castlebridge is a busy spot that we all speed through on the coast road – but really worth a stop – even if just to pause for a short while and look at the old house/conservatory and imagine an era not too long ago of such intricate beauty and esteem.
I digress – this little walk and sojourn was at the end of a most enjoyable end of season dinner with the lovely friends and members of the Wexford Toastmasters Club at the Yard Restaurant in Wexford Town. Here’s hoping for an exciting 4th of July!
I was meant to quickly pop into this spot for a few minutes on my way to Dublin this afternoon – needless to say – thanks to the exceptional hospitality of Ailing and John Cullen at Quad Attack just outside Clonroche – The Big Smoke had to get skipped! (Sorry Orlaith)
Well, thanks to Una O’Dowd for the suggestion at the last minute – but can I say just what a brilliant time I had! Imagine arriving in just a suit after work – with a day’s work behind you – and then being strapped into some protective gear, put on a quad bike – simple instructions and safety – and we were off! I did not know what to expect – and after a few tentative first minutes – I was in heaven.
As it was a sunny and dry day – the surrounds reminded me a bit of Farms in South Africa – but there is mud, water, rocks, crevices – and the list goes on! If anyone told me I could enjoy something like this as much as I did – I’d never believe it and I can highly recommend it for everyone.
What I also liked, is that even though they close at 6pm – that is not official, and they are very flexible with times and open to staying open if there is a need till up to 9pm! VERY FEW attractions or entities in wexford can say the same – so well done to John and Aisling for that.
As it was – there was a Spanish Language group that arrived – and besides the quad bikes (they also service and sell Yamahas) – They opened the doors to the Crazy Corral for lots of Sumo, Bouncy, Bungie and Rodeo fun! Teenage kids were all having a blast and lots of laughs! I would never have on my now even thought of this – if not recommended – and will be sure to tell all and sundry about this great discovery (although John informed me that they have been there for almost 20 years)
Seems they cater for just about anything and anyone – can easily accommodate on short notice – and favourable priced. So perfect for tourists as well as locals – and fund for the entire family from 6 years up.
Besides one brief visit to Croke Park for a disastrous match many years ago – I blush to confess, but I have never been to any hurling match, not even to speak of practice. So I was delighted to spend my first day in Oilgate/Glenbrien pitch watching an U6 training session. Words like Ambidextrous, Dedication, Excitement, Tough and Resilient are just a few that springs to mind if I think of the hour I spent there.
Now it has to be said – thanks to the wonderful input of Wexford GAA I am happy to say that there is almost a match every night at around 7.30pm in the local clubs – and I encourage anyone with even a passing interest or curiosity to attend.
It’s easy to find the clubs on most Map Apps, and I am sure a quick question to any one of the locals will point you int he right direction.
The skills – and especially seeing how honed they are even between the ages of U6 and U8 are quickly noted, and even if just for the fresh air – truly wonderful day out.
So I do pose the question – why can’t Wexford Park have a weekly match there that we can advertise for tourism? Or can Wexford GAA maybe see promoting the club matches as a tourism entity – to show people what the next “1996 champs” might look like? I wish to thanks Brian for the invite – and Conall and Patrick for posing with me (even though they would not come an inch closer – and a hug was out of the question!)
Here’s hoping to many more Hurling outings in the years to come – and for those folks who are involved – remember – some of us don’t have small kids, or are not members of a parish – so please do extend a hand and invite to anyone showing a passing curiosity to spread the word!