It’s that time of year when resolutions are high on lists, when leisure centre carparks are full to the hilt for a new start, when doing something different is in mind at the start of another year, or even just appreciating what’s on your doorstep but never took the time to explore.
So I thought it was no better time than to have a drive in Ford’s new Focus Active, thanks to local Ford’s dealership for Donegal, Hegarty’s at the Mountain Top in Letterkenny,
The Ford Fiesta is already available in the Active range and now the Focus is following suit.
Crossover was the buzz word in family transport but the family of today are looking for another division between crossover and family car – something that can change its self for all the things people want to do and be and yet can be normal when you just want to get from A to B, enter the Ford Focus Active.
At a glance you might not really think this Ford Focus is any different from a regular five-door family Focus.
Then you notice little subtle things starting with the ride height of the car just sitting that bit higher on the road. Then the stone guards under the wings at each corner of the car overflow to the outside of the wheel arches.
The reason that this family car has a rugged look to it is because this Ford Focus can change its settings, on your demand to suit a variety of driving styles which could happen as a result of a change in the weather conditions or a change that might be demanded by its driver.
This new Ford can be adjusted from its normal driving mode to a ‘sports mode’, a mode to suit when the going slippery and even can deal with a light bit of off-road driving and on the same setting button this car can be set to drive in ‘eco mode’ to capitalise on the benefit of the great fuel economy of this 1.5 diesel engine.
Driving this new Ford Focus Active this week it felt to me that this car has a very confident and understated feel to it.
We drove the Focus in both the normal and the sport mode setting and could find the change in the suspension, the steering and the response of the engine when we switched from ‘Normal’ to ‘Sport’.
The car we drove has a 120BHP diesel engine and earlier in the year we drove the petrol version which has around the same power output in the regular Focus, which are very good to drive as a normal Focus but this Active has made the Focus more of a bespoke driving experience which has a setting to suit everything that the Donegal weather and a drivers tastes can throw at it.
The late Larry Gogan
It was sad to hear of the passing of one of the most familiar radio voices of the 80’s that of Larry Gogan. His voice for me just brings me back to an era that has long gone, of 2FM Radio 40 years ago when it first began in 1979. Of days when we taped songs of the radio.
For me the fondest memory of that time was the voice of the presenter Larry Gogan who helped in the first “People in Need” and in particular the kind words he broadcasted on the national radio station about a fundraising drive we were doing in Letterkenny.
A request was sent into his radio show on RTE which after a long wait for a phone line we finally got through and the receptionist took the request.
And as if by magic the golden voice of national radio started talking about a pull-a-thon that was to be staged in Co. Donegal would make hairs stand on the back of your neck.
Letterkenny Fire Brigade were going to attempt to pull their seventeen and a half-tonne V8 Dennis Simon Fire Engine across the Pearse Road in Letterkenny by its firefighters for “People in Need” on the radio that day Larry Gogan even talked about Fireman Tommy Friel who was coming out of retirement to steer the fire engine for the fundraising attempt.
Long before the days of the benefit of iplayers and playback an old tape recorder and mike and a C-60 cassette primed and on standby, a finger on play and a finger on record buttons to record Larry’s voice.
Then we used the recording in a car cassette player which was wired into a spare fire engine driven by the late Benny Daly around Letterkenny along with the late Cllr. Tadgh Culbert sitting on board with words of encouragement over the loud-speaker and on the run-up to the pull-a-thon.
The voice of RTE’s Larry Gogan could be heard around the streets of Letterkenny, and someone even asked Benny Daly could they play a request on the Larry Gogan Show whom they believed was on-board with him in the fire engine!
Our fundraising effort that year was a great success thanks to all who helped at the time but our unique selling point was that of the voice on the radio of the late and Great Larry Gogan.
Most of the time when recording off the radio we tried to time it to get the end or the start of a song taped but not the voice of the radio presenter.
But for us, it was the sound of Larry Gogan all those years ago taped on a battered old tape recorder that added an element of class to our efforts.
May he rest in Peace.Tags: