By Martin Walsh
TRAINS, boats and planes are some of the many model exhibits that will be on display this weekend to mark the 25th anniversary of the Courtmacsherry Model Lifeboat weekend.
During the Lusitania centenary commemoration in Courtmacsherry – a town that is now celebrating its inclusion, early next year, on the Wild Atlantic Way, Yorkshire man Alan Wilson, a keen model maker and Eric Newton from the north-east of England mooted the prospect of marking the 25th anniversary of the Courtmacsherry Model Lifeboat weekend.
The idea was subsequently developed by former Courtmacsherry Lifeboat coxswain Diarmuid O’Mahony, who spearheads the local organising team for this weekend’s event.
Key to their plans was the involvement of Jerry O’Sullivan, a Cork-based model maker, who also provided an important link to many other model makers.
The principal difference in this weekend’s Model Mania event is the decision to base it in the Courtmacsherry Community Hall as opposed to the pier area close to the RNLI station.
‘When the Model Lifeboat weekend began in 1992, it certainly was something different,’ former chief mechanic with the local lifeboat Micheál Hurley said.
‘However, our biggest problem was the rain. At that time, we had to resort to plastic and anything else that sheltered the models. As you can imagine, the model makers are extremely proud of their models and they didn’t want them damaged. ’ Model makers from all over Ireland and a few from Britain will showcase their exhibits – lifeboats, ships, planes, helicopters, trucks, tanks, buildings, drones and steam engines.
The exhibition is at the community centre 10am-5pm Saturday Sept 16th and Sunday Sept 17th. In addition, the Courtmacsherry RNLI station will be open to the public on Saturday, 2pm-5pm and Sunday, noon-4pm.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI has a total crew of 32 – including just one female, Antje Gesche, who, incidentally, will be leaving Courtmacsherry in a few weeks’ time for pastures new.