Historic ‘Hutchy’ bottle joins Ballymoney Museum collection

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A UNIQUE memento, which marks ‘Bingley Bullet’ Ian Hutchinson’s memorable Ballymoney Borough Council Supersport Race win at last year’s Relentless International North West 200, went on show at Ballymoney Museum’s North West Frontier exhibition on Monday.

Ian has personally signed the champagne bottle which was presented to him on the winner’s podium and it will be on show alongside many other road racing items and memorabilia at the Town Hall based museum until 27th August.

An annual feature of North West 200 Race Week Festival, the North West Frontier celebrates Ballymoney’s unique motorcycling heritage and traces its story back to the early 20th century. The exhibition attracts thousands of visitors from all over the globe who also visit the County Antrim town to pay homage to racing legends Joey and Robert Dunlop in the specially created Memorial Gardens and take refreshments at ‘Joey’s Bar.’

Ian was in Ballymoney recently alongside fellow riders, newcomer Steve Mercer, NW200 regular Cameron Donald and local riders William Davison and Sam Dunlop to visit the newly opened Robert Dunlop gardens and sculpture and help launch Ballymoney’s 2011 North West Frontier exhibition.

“Ballymoney has long been associated with road racing having produced a series of international champions including the late Robert Dunlop, NW200 record holder with a total of 15 wins. Robert is joined on the list of Ballymoney winners by his brother Joey, sons William and Michael, his nephew Paul Robinson as well as Adrian Archibald. In fact Ballymoney men have won on the North West circuit an amazing 34 times!” explained Mayor of Ballymoney, Cllr Bill Kennedy. “Last year I was thrilled to see Paul Robinson win his first North West trophy and joining his cousins William and Michael Dunlop on the prestigious list of North West winners. Everyone in Ballymoney is proud to see the continuing tradition of riders from our borough and we wish them and all NW200 riders the very best of luck on 21st May.”

The North West Frontier exhibition at Ballymoney Museum opened on 9th May and continues until 27th August. Admission is free and the exhibition is open Monday –Thursday and Saturdays 9am -5pm and each Friday 9am – 4.30pm with a special Sunday opening to coincide with the Relentless North West 200 on Sunday 22nd May from 1pm until 5pm. For more details check out www.visitballymoney.com or contact Ballymoney Tourist Information Tel 028 2766 0230.

Relentless International North West 200 Race Day is Saturday 21st May. Visit www.northwest200.org for up to date details.