Saturday, 6th October saw the annual Vintage Rally and Threshing Day take place in Moneyslane, hosted by Drumgooland Parish Church.
This was the 16th continuous year of what has become a successful event, after originally being conceived as a one-off fundraiser.
There were attractions to suit all ages, providing that unique country flavour and craic that Ballyward hospitality always provides with visitors attending from as far afield as Co. Donegal. A wide variety of stalls were present with bargains available for a range of items that included everything but the kitchen sink!
An extensive array of vintage vehicles were in attendance including 54 tractors, 78 cars and the steam engines of Tom Herron and Mickey Brannigan as well as Mervyn and Liz Ward with their horses and carriage. Congratulations to Terry Pritchard who won The John Quinn Perpetual Shield for Best Tractor Restoration. There was a step back to a bygone era with the threshing and baling demonstration that provided nostalgia to many in attendance.
This year saw a return of the climbing wall, in association with 1st Drumgooland Scouts. This popular attraction proved to be a great success. It was previously rumoured that the Rector was to have a go and if he did, he left the field unscathed by the experience. 1st Drumgooland Girl Guides had their usual cake stall of homemade goodies which like other years sold out. Many orders were accepted for their Mini Christmas Cakes with the proceeds going to the Southern Area Hospice.
Local celebrity of Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor fame, R.J. Woolsey entertained the crowds with a wide range of classic tunes with Rathfriland’s very own, Mr Jive, Robert Irvine, providing line dancing and jiving tutorials to the willing participants.
An excellent range of homemade food was available in the Tea Tent and Burger Stall, providing a meeting place for all. Trade was constantly brisk all day and both were completely sold out, owing to the large crowds.
Thanks goes to the Veterinary Clinic, Rathfriland for their kind sponsorship and providing a judge for the Dog Show. This now popular event drew a total of 35 entries across seven categories. A new category for next year could be added for the best dog driving a tractor which resulted in many disbelieving stares to the amusement of all.
Dog Show Results
Small Breed: 1st Ralph and Christine; 2nd Mollie and Mary; 3rd Amber and Angela
Medium/Large Breed: 1st Cookie and Rachel; 2nd Ben and Indie; 3rd Buster and Katie
Most Obedient: 1st Fred and Cheryl; 2nd Susie and Robin; 3rd Buster and Katie
Best Groomed: 1st Phoebe and Ben; 2nd Mandy and Pixie; 3rd Bella and Stephen
Waggiest Tail: 1st Duster and Ryan; 2nd Harvey and Kathleen; 3rd Alfie and Tara
Fancy Dress: 1st Pepper and Eva as Baby Shark; 2nd Archie and Allegra as a Cowboy; 3rd Oscar and Jeanette as James Bond
Judges’ Choice: Amber and Angela
The ever popular Tractor Pulling returned for another keenly fought competition which continued until dusk for those who wanted to win the coveted Trophy.
An enjoyable day was had by all in the glorious autumn sunshine which brought out the crowds in large numbers. Thanks to all who helped and contributed in any way to the success of the day and organisers hope you will join them at the 17th Annual Ballyward Vintage Rally on Saturday, 5th October 2019 (DV).