Three friends from Ards and North Down are attempting a ‘first of its kind’ model display of over 180 combines in their latest charity show.
Friends Sam Snellin, Trevor Garrett and Sammy Watson all grew up on farms and later became farmers themselves, and their love of farming machinery has stayed with them ever since.
After having a heart attack nearly 10 years ago, Sam wanted to give something back to the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke charity, which helped him during his recovery, and in 2009 he started the North Down Farm and Construction Show in Bangor as a fundraiser.
Over the years it has grown into an annual attraction, with visitors coming from far and wide to its usual spot at the La Mon Hotel & Country Club.
The men visited County Louth in 2012, where the ‘Combines for Charity’ Guinness World Record attempt was underway, during which 208 combines worked together and cut a crop of winter barley, and taking the record in the process. Inspired by that event, in July last year, Trevor suggested to Sam that they could try something similar, except using 1:32 scale models a 400 square foot diorama, and that is what the men hope to achieve in their next show.
On Wednesday 16th November the three friends will be attempting the ‘Model Combines for Charity’ and, as Sam said, they have received a huge boost in confidence with the support of the original farmers behind the 2012 record. Brothers Tony and Philip Brady, who organised the original ‘Combines 4 Charity’ will be taking part in the model show.
Sam believes this is the first time that a display of this kind on such a large scale has been attempted and they are eager to get the word out that all collectors can be a part of it by lending them their 1:32 scale combines. “At the minute we’re aiming for 180 model combines,” Sam said, “but if we get more we won’t turn anybody away. We’re going to keep spare matting at the show on the day for anybody who wants to bring some.” Sam also thanked David King, who is regarded as having one of the biggest model collections in Ireland, and who will be donating 30 of his combines for the event.
The organisers also say it will be the perfect opportunity to pick up some Christmas presents from the various stalls, including, for the first time, Alan Mulholland from A.M. Models who will be selling an extensive collection of agricultural models of all kinds.
If you would like to register your interest in the ‘Model Combines for Charity’ display, you can contact Sam on 07808 800770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, Trevor on 07745 650594, or Sammy on 07729 065965. To enter any number of combines, which will all be returned after the show, it costs £10 for the first model and £2.50 for every subsequent one. You can also contribute a combine on the day and for anyone who does not own a model combine but would still like to take part in the show, you can sponsor a combine on the day.
To date, the shows have raised over £3,000 for Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke, and all proceeds from the November show will go to the charity.