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County Kildare History and Heritage

Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903

Intro and Menu | June Articles

Leinster Leader, Saturday 13 June 1903 - Page 8

John Nolan, Kilteel, was prosecuted by Sergeant Porter with furious driving on the public road, and, by such misbehaviour, causing serious damage to property.

Mr. W. A. Lanphier, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the defendant, and requested the bench to adjourn the case until after the September Quarter Sessions. He understood that the damage charged consisted in the killing of a mare, the property of a man named Conway, who, he further understood, intended to take Civil proceedings against the defendant for recovery of damages.
The Bench, after some discussion, adjourned the case till the 5th October.


On Monday Messrs. S. F. Edge, C. Jarrott, and J. W. Stocks, who will represent England in the Gordon-Bennett Race, arrived in Dublin from Kingstown, and after spending some time in the city, proceeded to Athy by motor car, Mr. Jarrott driving one of the two racers which he will use on the day of the race. The other two gentlemen drove in touring cars. They intend remaining at Castle Rheban, which they have rented for the season from Mr. H. Large.

Subsequently Mr. Edge stated that the portion of the route over which he had travelled had been considerably improved since he last saw it, but he complained that a nasty bit was still to be found at the Athy side of Ballysahannon, and another between Ardscull Moat and Athy. He also mentioned that he has only just returned from France, where he has motored upwards of 2,000 miles.

Mr. Jarrott, in conversation, said that the complaint with regard to the places mentioned by Mr. Edge was that they were not sufficiently well banked. As to the angles at Simmons Cross and Mageeny, where two roads forming a part of the course run almost at right angles, he said he did not consider the turns quite so bad. The real danger lay in trying to take them at a speed of sixty miles an hour, when the pace should not exceed twenty.

Replying to a question as to the probable maximum speed of the cars, Mr. Edge said, “At times eighty miles an hour probably, but the average will be between forty-five and fifty.”

The three gentlemen mentioned intend to have quite a pleasant time at Castle Rheban. They will devote more time to rest and recreation than to practising over the course. The Barrow flows by their residence and on its waters they will spend a good deal of their time fishing for the next three weeks.


A great deal of uncertainty would appear to exist in the public mind as to the arrangements made by those responsible for the forthcoming Motor Race in the matter of accommodation for the vast crowds from all quarters that presumably will be present along the route on the 2nd of July next. The fact is, that no provision is made for the ordinary sightseer, and the authorities devote themselves solely to safeguarding the entire route, and in keeping all persons of high and low degree off the road, and these must, consequently, betake themselves to the bye-roads and behind hedges. The Automobile Club has already completed arrangements for the reception of their visitors at Kildare, where will be constructed across the public road a stand in the form of a bridge to seat 1,000, and on this stand, on the day of the great event, will be found the Lord Lieutenant and suite, a number of the foreign visitors, as well as the club members, and on either side of the road fields have been secured, and will be reserved for the use of the club members and their friends, where in marquees will be served luncheon and afternoon tea. A band will be in attendance, and, generally speaking, a great deal will be done to promote the enjoyment of the favoured few in this reserved space. A short distance from the club stand, and in a position, said by some to be the best on the track, will be found the grand stand intended to seat some 3,000 persons, and to this stand Messrs. Thomas Cook and Son, the premier tourist agents, are sending all their clients. Between these two stands the racing cars start and also finish: so that it seems that for the occupants of these positions nothing remains to be desired, from a sightseer’s point of view. As regards these two stands it may be said that the structures are suitable in all respects for the purpose for which they are intended: the plans having been prepared by, and approved of, by competent authorities, and the work of construction is being carried out by a Dublin contractor, Mr. George Langley, Ringsend road, who, it may be remembered, carried out the work of the extensive new stands for the Phoenix Park Racecourse Syndicate at Ashtown last year. The architect too, is a Dublin man, Mr. H. J. Lundy, M.R.I.A.I., 38 Dame Street.

A letter from Mr. R. J. Mecredy in reference to above was received too late for this week’s issue and is held over.