The Heritage offices of Laois, Carlow and Kildare County Councils, working with video makers Bailey and Blake, are looking for the memories from local families about the famous Gordon Bennett motor race of 1903.
This was the first ever international sporting race in Ireland, which brought the biggest ever crowds, and was probably the first time many people of Ireland had ever seen a car.
We want to find anyone who has old photos, maybe a postcard, a flag or just stories handed down the generations about this momentous race.
Did your family rent out a field to watch? Does your family have memories of RIC members coming to the area ? (Over 2000 of them were drafted in to work at marshalling from all over the country). Did one of the cars break down outside your house? Did someone in your family sell food or water to the hungry spectators?
The Heritage Office of Laois County Council, with the support of the Heritage Council want to bring those memories and photos together for documentary makers Bailey and Blake to help illustrate this event for everyone locally to be proud of, and to tell the story to the worldwide motor racing fraternity, and learn about the race that is said to have saved motorsport.
Catherine Casey Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said “Many people will know of the original race through the Gordon Bennett Classic Car Rally, which makes its annual come-back after Covid on the June Bank Holiday this year. We are delighted to be working with Bailey and Blake on this film project and we hope that as many people as possible will take par and share their family memories”
To share a memory , or maybe a photo or two, please contact the Bailey and Blake team on firstname.lastname@example.org or text 087 2539010
The Gordon Bennett Film is a project of the Heritage Offices of Carlow, Kildare and Laois County Councils, supported by the Heritage Council.