Belfast Telegraph

Photos: Thousands of Vespas take to the streets of Northern Ireland

Thousands of Vespa enthusiasts have taken to the streets of Northern Ireland as part of a major festival celebrating the Italian scooter.

With bikes travelling across land from as far away as Portugal and Italy, on Saturday a cavalcade of around 2,000 scooters made its way from Belfast to Carrickfergus castle, having started from the HMS Caroline in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

Festivities tonight will continue until 11pm.

The Italian scooter has a long history in Northern Ireland, with the Ulster Vespa club being founded in December 1954, flourishing in the years before cars became more popular.

The club, which reformed in the 1980s, has invited many of the original members to join in the celebrations.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph ahead of the event, founding member of the Ulster Vespa Club's current incarnation Ricky Darrah (50) said: "We're looking for old photographs of that time. The Vespas were really ingrained into peoples' lives during that era and it was something to be proud of to be mobile like that."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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