Ford 100 Fest August 2017

On the last Sunday in August 2017 a dozen Ts turned up at the Ford ancestral home at Ballinascarthy, Co. Cork where locals had organised a Ford Festival in celebration of 100 years in Ireland in manufature of cars, commercials and agricultural tractors. Ballinascarty was the fitting venue hosted by the Buttimer family.

Weather was kind. The show was extensive, from static displays to working machinery on silage and corn with plenty of amusements and food stalls for the large crowd of people who came.


Robert and Catherine Clarke hosted morning coffee where of course we partook. Plenty of room for trailers.

Destination Ballinascarthy

We arrived safely at our destination. The T owners were given direct access to our set down spot. The cavalcade of vehicles was much admired by the many visitors to the event.

Agricultural Machinery at Work

The variety of FORD vehicles at work was splendid. It included ploughing, silage making and corn cutting. Club member John O’Neill was to the fore in teh ploughing demonstration and by all accounts he did well. The pictures give a good indication of what we all enjoyed.

Mingling Members

In the midst of all of this there is no doubt that the Ts created an attraction that was admired by the many Sunday strollers. A chance for our own people to chat and answer questions posed.

Historical Lecture

Well known historical guru, especially if it comes to Ford History, retired employee Denis McSweeney gave a 30 minute lecture on the Ford family, their background, how and why they emigrated to USA, the Ahern connection, the Cork City street Fair Lane (now Wolfe Tone Street), the visit of Henry Ford in 1912, the setting up of Henry Ford & Son Limited in April 1917 and the commencement of Fordson Tractors in 1919, the Irish struggle for indepencence, the economic war, the 10 day strike and the solution provided by Michael Collins, and so on up to 1984 including reference to Ireland joining the European Economic Community, the open borders on trade ultimately leading to the closure of the Cork plant.

Your scribe wondered why Denis kept a thread in his talk on why did Henry Ford pick Cork and what about the Ahern connection. Little is it known when he was tired and feeble he called his driver to take him to the graveyard where Patrick Ahern is buried. Standing there with his slippers and a blanket over his shoulder, he waited for a few moments in solitude, then beckoned his driver to return him to his home where after an hour or so later he died.

Ford Homestead

With grateful thanks to the Buttimer family, they have preserved the Ford Homestead and are most generous of their hospitlity in allowing Ford admirers the opportunity to enjoy a visit to a place back in time where an Irish man made a significant change for the better for the lifestyle of the masses.

Festival Ongoings

In addition to the agricultural demonstrations for all to enjoy a helicopter provided 10 minute spins around the locality. There was plenty of demand for this novelty.

Presentation to Robert Clarke

By now it is known in Club circles that those who organise an event receive a wood turned gift as a memento of the occasion and an expression of thanks. Former Club Prsident presented Robert Clarke with an Irish Platter, turned from Irish Yew timber and polished and we took an opportunityy too take a group photo of our gathering.

Farewell Homestead

In or around 5.00pm it was time to go, especially as long distance members had to get home in a respectable time.

It was a good day. Thanks Bob for organising our end of the event. Thanks to our members for your continued support. Thanks to Denis McSweney for your most interesting lecture. Thanks to the Buttimers, the good people of Ballinascarthy and Henry Ford & Son for making this happen.

Click here to see the poster that appeared in Irish Vintage Scene.

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