Harvest Day 2014 Event Report

The hard working team of the De Courcey Classic and Vintage club are just settling down and relaxing, after the excitement of yet another wonderful August Bank Holiday ‘Harvest Day’ at Barrel’s Cross, Kinsale.

Once again in 2014 crowds flocked to the farm of Jim and Eileen O’Regan at Coolyrahilly, Barrel’s Cross, Kinsale in County Cork. The many thousands who attended the event were not disappointed as the club committee and sponsors Mc & S Agri Sales Ltd, had prepared a very special day indeed. Of course with Mc & S on the team Courceys had to abandon their traditional red and white colours for the blue and yellow of Ford and New Holland.

The day started early with ploughs, harrows and tilling at midday followed by the teams of horses mowing, binding and drawing sheaves in the traditional harvest section. The vintage Claas, M.F’s Dronningberg, and Dania harvesters then started their own display.

A break in activity was called at 1PM for the opening ceremony. The crowd was addressed by John O’Neill (Club Chairman), Jim O’Regan (landowner) and John McCarthy of Mc&S. The official opening was then performed by Mr Andrew Watson C.E.O. of New Holland UK and Ireland, who had travelled to Ireland especially for the event.

Then it was down to work! A range of Ford and New Holland tractors from Keith Byran’s 1918 model F, to Jim O’Regan’s 2014 T7.260, gave an unforgettable display of ploughing. Donal McCarthy’s team of Clydesdale horses were joined by Fordson model F’s, N’s, Ford Nans, Majors and Dextas with a mixture of trailer and hydraulic ploughs. The thousand series up to the modern T6’s and T7’s with their huge reversible were all represented. There was plenty for the tractor enthusiast to enjoy and lots of cameras were out to capture the occasion. The final sequence in the ploughing area was a spectacular line up of the 24 participants in a single line spanning 96 years of progress.

With the ploughing out of the way, the Claeys, Claysons and New Holland combines took up position for a unique formation harvesting display of 16 combines with Kinsale Harbour and the sea in the distance behind them. The earliest machine on site was a 1963 Claeys M103 owned by Michael Ryan, Ballinscarthy and the most modern was a 2014 New Holland CX6090 owned by Leonard Draper of Dunmanway. New Holland combines from each decade in between were present.

As all this activity was taking place visitors were able take a break in the picnic area at the food village which occupied a central location in the 35 Acre field. Delicious food was served all day by local West Cork food outlets and many people returned several times to try out the different wares. The De Courcey tea tent was an especially busy place with many exhibitors and visitors having a cuppa and catching up with acquaintances for a chat.

In tune with the harvest theme, there was an impressive display of various milling machines from horse operated threshing machines to engine and tractor driven mills. Raymond White from Ballinspittle was kept busy all day demonstrating how the hand operated kern stones produced flour from wheat.

A fine display of vintage cars, trucks and tractors was on site. The tractors were of course dominated by the blue of the Fords. Many early Fordsons were also present. New Holland had a full range of modern machines at the event and the merchandise shop did tremendous business out all day.

After the final harvesting displays completed the raffle was held. Prizes included three months use of a New Holland Tractor, a weekend break and a New Holland gift pack. Mr Andrew Watson was then called to cut a specially commissioned cake commemorating 50 years of tractor production at the Basildon UK plant.

De Courcey Classic and Vintage Club would like to thank the members, sponsors, landowner, local groups and individuals and the many people who contributed in all sorts of ways for their support in 2014.

The proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Marymount Hospice, Ballinspittle and Ballinadee primary schools and to Courcey Rovers GAA underage teams.

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