Tuesday 24 October 2017

Peter cuts a dash on wartime trike

Grainne Cunningham

SOMETIMES the old ways really are the best.

An 18km section of the former Newport/Mulranny railway route, which closed in 1937 and was opened as the Great Western Greenway earlier this year, is attracting a phenomenal amount of two-wheeled and two-legged traffic, according to Mayo County Council.

There is the occasional three-wheeled vehicle as well -- but none so unusual as the Dingwall hand-propelled trike steered by Peter Conway along the route yesterday.

Mr Conway has lovingly restored the 100-year-old tricycle, which his brother-in-law Kevin Rickard bought for a hefty £80 sterling in an auction in Britain 25 years ago. It had remained rusting in a shed until Mr Conway's retirement from farming.

He had always harboured a love of repairing bicycles and set about renovating the trike, using bits of metal he welded and tyres he cut to size. The trike is hand-propelled, boasts a beautiful bell and mirror, a double chain and can be driven either forward or in reverse.

"It's a very comfortable ride; it's a fascinating piece of engineering," said Mr Rickard yesterday.

He and his brother-in-law are happy to lend the trike to visitors at the home they share in Tiernaur, Newport, Co Mayo, with Mr Rickard's wife Mary.

But Mr Rickard believes the trike may have been used by soldiers in World War One and would be happy to hand it over to a museum if its historic links could be proven.

Irish Independent

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