The Irish Model T Ford Club was founded in 1990 by six individuals spread across the country who vaguely knew one another. What they had in common was ownership of a pre war Model T and a love and passion for this ubiquitous motor vehicle that made road transport available worldwide to the masses.
Over the next fifteen years, the membership grew steadily. An annual one day rally was the order of the year. The Secretary kept everyone informed with the production of an occasional newsletter.
The Cork element of the Club were conscious that they should take the initiative in undertaking something special in year 2005, it being the year of European City of Culture. A special promotion of a five day rally got underway with owners in Scotland, England and Wales invited and encouraged to join in with members from Northern Ireland and Eire covering Cork City, visits to City Hall and Chamber of Commerce together with a few days in the heart of West Cork.
Key to the promotion was the technology to hand via the internet. Sufficient to say the event was a successful. In total, 80 Model T vehicles were on parade for the duration. The net effect for our Club was a spontaneous reaction from those T owners who has vehicles tucked away in barns, to dust them down and get out and enjoy their hidden treasures.
So today, our club has 120 members who together have amassed at least 250 reliable roadworthy cars that are our and about over the season stretching from April to October each year. Feeding their interest is our website where our webmaster provides a write up and photos immediately after each monthly event. While the text provides the essential news and record of the event, places visited and general chitchat, the pictures really tell the story.
Each event generates about 100 images that are loaded up on our website, spread evenly as to motor vehicles, people and a mixture of both. A careful selection of text and images is undertaken so that there is a fair balance for readers to assimilate. It is little wonder that the traffic on our website attracts visitors from all over the world. We have real people and cars out and about, enjoying their hobby and the company of each other.
The website is key to communication which in turn keeps the membership abreast of happenings. It also promotes the brand of The Model T resulting in an upsurge in demand for the vehicles. As a knock on effect, demand and the market value of the vehicles increases with service providers and parts suppliers benefitting economically.
Some say that our Club is one known as an active one in our country, has the most membership for a one marque car club and is the dominant one in the old car scene. Whilst all credit is due to the members themselves who play such a vibrant role, the tool that make it all happen is our website. It provides the ingredient to propel the enthusiasm and enjoyment for all of us.
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Appreciation of Michael Beeney’s Services
Tangible communication with membership is key to any Club’s long living. A newsletter, produced on a regular basis, with club news and views helps enormously with keeping members in touch and reminding them gently to subscribe their annual payment on time so that our running costs are discharged.
In recent times we graduated from the print media to the internet, now that for the most part, the greater proportion of our membership are now computer literate.
But the big question that then arises is how does one go about building an interesting website that will be of practical use to the Club? The simple answer is get to know Michael Beeney and seek his knowledge and advice.
We were most fortunate to be introduced to him a few years ago. His IT skills and interest in voluntary old car clubs makes for a perfect match with the added bonus that he provides his services on a pro bono basis. Our single page dull website was upgraded in quick time to a modern and attractive piece of work that attracts a world wide interest.
We get traffic or hits from all around the world from people who have a passion and interest in Model Ts. We are confident that a lot of the success of our Club derives from an interesting website that Michael Beeney has created for us.
Perhaps of greater significance is Michael’s willingness to train, help and assist us to build self reliance, this giving us confidence to add our own creativity to our site, but in the certain knowledge that his expertise is always at hand especially when required.
We are most grateful to Michael Beeney for the generosity of his time and expertise in helping us to attain a quality website.
We sincerely and heartily recommend Michael’s services to any old car club who would be fortunate enough to be introduced to him.
Main Image Credit: Irish Model T Ford Club