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Local Studies Department

The Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903 - Leinster Leader June 1903

Back to Introduction | June list of articles

Leinster Leader, Saturday 6 June 1903 – Page 4
(Advertisement)

Motor Race Announcements.
Accommodation for Motors.
Extensive Storage in Spacious Yard,
quite close to
Town Hall, Naas.
Terms very reasonable
Cars will be carefully looked after.
Apply “Petrol,”
c/o Leinster Leader,
Naas.

District Doings.

In Athy and Carlow.
The June “Motor News” says:- “With Mr. Coleman at Carlow, Mr. Woods at Kildare, and Messrs. Duthie and Large at Athy, the neighbourhood of the Gordon-Bennett Race is well supplied with skilled repairers. The latter firm has already accomplished some very complicated repairs. Their plant includes two large lathes, drilling machines and punching and shearing machines.”
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The same paper still harps on “the enormous prices charged for hotel accommodation in connection with the Gordon-Bennett race, in the neighbourhood of the course.”
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The cry, however, has been sufficiently discounted by this time, and may easily be ignored.
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It may be well to mention, in the matter of accommodation, that several Athy people, who advertised their houses through the medium of auctioneers and otherwise, have not up to this received offers.
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Many have not yet advertised, but no time should be lost, as the rush will soon come and after all occupiers of houses in Athy and Carlow have just as good a right to make money as the members of the syndicate which is erecting a grand stand at Kilrush.
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The “Motor News” also states the “the English papers have got hold of the extravagant prices for accommodation demanded on the Gordon-Bennett course,” and points out that “they have fallen into the error, however, of supposing that the same charges prevail everywhere”.
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Charges in a number of Cork, Kerry and Down hotels are given, and described as “most reasonable,” and then comes the hope that “English papers will give prominence to this fact, and so undo the mischief which they have done.”
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If the influx of visitors be as enormous as is expected, it is only natural that prices should be somewhat high, but we are confident that, taking all the circumstances into account, there will be no room for the accusation that the cost of rooms in this district will be exorbitant.
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Extra stocks of all classes of provisions should be laid in, otherwise when the anticipated in-rush of thousands comes, there will be a sort of famine.
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Mr. Orde, secretary of the Automobile Club, visited Athy on Tuesday, and had an interview with Messers. Thos. Hickey, chairman of the Urban Council; Mr. J. Minch, J.P., C.C.; and T. Plewman, J.P. Mr. Orde wished to know if the Automobile Club might rely on the assistance of 100 stewards as “a voluntary offering” in Athy on the day of the motor race, and also if the Urban Council would move the control back to the Model School.
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As regards the stewards, Mr. Orde was given no hope, and Mr. Minch said that to rely on such a contribution would only lead to confusion.
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The District Inspector of Police (Mr. Sharpe) was accordingly requested to make representations for an increase in the force of police, as at present arranged for duty in the Athy Urban District, viz., 120 men. Military would only be stationed at the Curragh and the Heath of Maryborough.
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Mr. Sharpe said that in country districts the authorities had arranged for about seven policemen to the mile, this number of Constabulary to be supplemented by eight stewards.
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This looks rather small, and it will certainly be unsafe as well as dangerous to rely too much on volunteers.
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The Urban Council are likely to approve of the control being moved back to the Model School. The Geraldine Road would still remain free, and those occupying positions on the Agricultural Grounds will have an opportunity of seeing a spurt at full speed.
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Mr. Orde states that the cars will certainly start at intervals of five minutes, and that this will be retained at all the controls.
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Should two cars therefore enter a control together they cannot leave except at an interval of five minutes.
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