De Courcey Harvest and Vintage Day August 2013

On Monday 5th August, Bank Holiday week end, The Harvest Working Day and Vintage Rally took place on the land of Jim O’Regan and family at Coolyrahilly, Barrel’s Cross, Kinsale, Co. Cork.

We met up at Bandon Motors – Main Ford Dealers for morning Coffee hosted by Robert and Catherine Clarke where we took a group picture for the record.

We set off in the direction of Kinsale for a 40 minute drive in a renowned beauty spot where scenery comprised riverside drives, forest trails and sea shore views – a mixture too often dismissed by locals but adored by visitors.

Our guide on the road was Robert Gabriel accompanied by Helen. Traffic in Kilbrittain was gridlock status – thanks to Claas Combine -v- eight Ts. We took a short break at Garretstown to allow our convey to regroup.

We arrived for a just after noon, parked up our vehicles in the vintage display area and hoisted our Ford flag. The event was now official!

On the viewing platform was John O’Neill with Rev. Fr. Pat O’Donovan acting as MC for the occasion. There has always been a great interest in vintage machinery in the parish of De Courcey situated on the picturesque southern Irish coastline between Kinsale and Bandon in County Cork.

Offering something different to the many vintage rallies around the country, and because of the number and variety of restored reaper & binders and vintage combine harvesters in the locality, they decided to celebrate with the CLAAS Machinery Company their centenary – being 100 years in business – and run a harvest working day and vintage rally. All sorts of harvesting machinery on a 35 acre site,  going back over the past 100 years;  all working in unison on the day.

William Ryan from Ballyhea was present. Father and son team Cal and Tommie Flavin restored this Class Combine with loving care and attention and was one of the best working machines present.

Friends old and new. The man holding his coat is Seamus O’Callaghan. Members who participated in our international rally 2012 will remember Seamus who carries bags and baggage from one hotel to another.

Rev. Fr Pat O’Donovan conducted TV interviews. As our 2013 wonderful summer progressed the ripening winter barley crop has been watched closely in anticipation of the upcoming harvest day.

To add to the occasion, John O’Neill invited his fellow Model T colleagues to come along and display their Model T Ford cars and commercials. This we were more than pleased to do particularly as John & Mary over the past few years have hosted one day events “par excellence”.

It was interesting for us to see the different methods of harvesting going back over the past 100 years from cutting with the scythe, horse mowing machines, reapers and binders.  So too the full range of Claas models from the beginning to the present day.  A special feature was the demonstration of hand stone grinding wheels as well as various threshing methods.

The weather was kind to us. We have enjoyed a bright and sunny summer this year and the blue skies made the harvest working day even more enjoyable to the young and old alike.  Well done to De Courcey Classic & Vintage Club and John O’Neill for providing us with another different day out in West Cork.

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