We are all aware of the severe injuries sustained by Jonathan Mulhall following a recent motor accident.A Trust Fund has been set up by friends and community and there is a major fundraising drive in place to raise funds towards Jonathans on-going and future care. With this strongly in our minds, Narraghmore Vintage Club have launched their own fundraising event for ...Jonathan, which will take place on the weekend of the 5th and 6th May 2012.Our plan is to have 100 Tractors and cars, travelling 100km from Narraghmore to Enniscorthy in Wexford and back. Everyone joining us has been asked to raise a minimum of €100. We will be staying overnight in Enniscorthy and Enniscorthy Rugby Club have kindly agreed to let us use their facilities for parking, camping and the Club house will be open to use for our evening entertainment.We will have our own personal chef to look after the culinary needs of the traveller. Local vintage Clubs in Wexford will be joining us along the route and their support is very much appreciated. Alot of our members have already committed to this event as have many people who have volunteered their services along the route with pick-ups, mechanics, waters stops and traffic management, but there are plenty of jobs for anyone wishing to contribute so we would be glad to hear from you. Anyone wishing to join us in what we all anticipate will be a very enjoyable and fun weekend is asked to contact John Treacy on 0872455214 or Aideen Treacy on 0877700789. Sponsorship cards are now available so please contact us and pick up a card and get out there raising much needed funds for this very worthwhile cause..... the Club needs you!. Yours in Vintage Aideen Club Secretary
THE fourth annual Narraghmore Vintage Club Santa Run took place the 28th of December 2011 and while the totals aren’t in, it’s anticipated that well in excess of €3,000 will have been raised for St Vincent’s Hospital Athy. According to club secretary Aideen Treacey huge numbers turned out for the event. “We had 100 tractors, 40 cars and 15 bikes taking part. The weather was excellent; we have always been lucky with the weather even in the past few years. For the past two years bikes couldn’t take part because of the frost and the ice so when it became apparent that the weather was going to be mild the bikes came out in force.” Money raised from the Santa run has in the past been used to provide an orchard and vegetable gardens for the patients of the hospital and the produce of these gardens is used in the kitchen for the patients’ own benefit. The proceeds also went towards the provision of patient sitting rooms and they also went to providing recreation facilities for the patients which the club say have been hugely beneficial to both the patients and their families and friends. Aideen says that the club picked the hospital because most people know of someone who has been or is being cared for by the hospital in Athy and the wonderful care that is given by the carers and staff. “This is the fourth year that the event has been run and it has always been a huge success. There are many different fundraisers held at this time of the year for variousdifferent hospitals so it is fitting that we have one for the hospital in Athy.” The Santa Run began in Narraghmore Wednesday 28 December with registration between 10am and 11am and the run itself left around 11.30am. It followed a route to Athy where it stopped at the hospital and Emily Square before going back to Narraghmore again. Again this year all participants were asked to dress in their Christmas out-fits and there were prizes for best turned out vehicle in each category.
Video compliments of the best Video Man in Ireland in the Agri and Vintage Scene, John Anderson
The Santa Christmas Run on the 28th December last was the main focus of our Club year and was very successful.
It was a very cold frosty day and there were very icy conditions on the roads, but this did not deter the supporters from coming out with all their tractors and cars decked out and ready for the run.The feature attraction before everyone set off was Benny Gorman with his Steam Engine which he had shipped in by container from South Africa 12 years ago in pieces and had lovingly re-assembled it over the intervening years and its appearance at the charity run in Narraghmore was it’s maiden run. To watch the steam engine arrive in a cloud of steam in the frosty air was truly spectacular.As the tractor run was on smaller roads, Benny had to travel a route on a main road and it was easy to follow its route from the plume of smoke rising into the cold air. Over 150 tractors, cars and various other modes of vintage transport took part in the run, which travelled from Narraghmore to Athy and we were followed by helicopter which was flown by Club member Eoin Roche and we were lucky to have some wonderful aerial photographs of the tractors on the road, a first for us. The cavelcade stopped as always in St. Vincents Hospital, Athy, the main beneficiary of our collections and a large number of patients and their families were waiting to greet us when we arrived.
Following a stop in the main Square in Athy, the cars which had travelled a longer route through Carlow and Ballylinan, joined up right on time with the tractors as we all assembled in Emily Square in Athy. It was then back to Narraghmore Village where the trusty Catering Committee once again produced a feast of food to be enjoyed by everyone and with everyone in such high spirits, a very enjoyable evening was had by all. As always, the turnout of volunteers and Committee to help on the day was astounding and a huge thanks goes out to everyone who got involved.
The Christmas run is our only fundraiser in the year, however, this year we made an exception to our rule and came up with a very novel fundraiser in aid of the earthquake appeal in Haiti. All members were invited to join us in reversing “around the block” for 4 miles. Again we were lucky to have a beautiful sunny afternoon and great fun and banter was had as some very dodgy driving skills were exhibited during the reversing process and many unsuspecting Sunday drivers questioned the amount of whiskey in the Sunday gravy when they met 70 tractors all reversing up the road. We were delighted to be able to make a donation of €1500 to the Haiti fund from a very simple and novel idea and thank you to all who participated.
In April we had a working day in Treacys farm and were delighted at the number of young members who turned up with their tractors, grubbers and ploughs to take part. There was alot of advice to be given by the more experienced participants and everyone were treated to beef pie and roasted “freshly picked” potatoes in the field which went down a treat.
We had a number of fun runs over the summer months and also ran a Restoration Competition and were delighted with the quality of the entries. As I write this article, the results of the competiton are not available but it was great to see so many people getting involved and hopefully, it will encourage all the members to become involved next year.
The most recent event for the Club has been our involvement with the National Ploughing Championships in Cardenton in Athy. It was very encouraging to see the number of entrants from all over the Country, old friends at this stage and it is super to see the contacts that are made between Clubs and members through this forum.
We produced a Club Calendar last year for the first time, which was very successful and was good fun both in the making and indeed, in the slagging and banter which accompanied its launch and sale. The enthusiam with which the models put themselves forward was surprising and certainly great encouragement to go ahead with our 2011 Calender. The final product will go on sale on friday 26th November at a cost of €10.00 per copy and I do not think either the models or our supporters will be disappointed with the end result. If you wish to order a copy, contact me on 087 7700789 for place your order.
Finally, as I write this, its all steam ahead for our Christmas Run 2010 on the 28th December and I am delighted to report that people are already talking about it and looking forward to taking part. It is a very enjoyable day and certainly a bit of light entertainment for all those involved. With the exception of a change of route and a complete refurbishment of the infamous “Molly O’Looneys”, all things remain the same, as we say – “if it works, why fix it”. Heres to fine weather, good friends and a great day”.
Thank you to all our Club members for their continued support and involvement, our President Seamie and all the Committee for their help and assistance all year and to all involved in the Irish Vintage Society for their support.
The third annual Santa Vintage Run took place again on the 28th December. This year was as big as ever, which is a great result with all the damage from the snow, burst pipes and the recession. The beneficiaries this year will again be St. Vincents Hospital Patient Comfort Fund, which does such wonderful work for the elderly and disabled in County Kildare and some proceeds will go towards the cost of the Old Folks Christmas Party held annually in Narraghmore.
All people taking part adorned their tractors, cars, motor bikes or whatever they chose to drive, in the Christmas theme and dressed as Santas or wore Santa hats which were available to buy on the day. The meeting time was 10.00 a.m. in Narraghmore Village, where soups, teas and coffees were available to warm everyone up after their drive up.
The run itself took a new route to Athy. It went from Narraghmore to the Seven Stars, Fontstown, Booleigh, Mylerstown Cross, Rathconnell, Clarey Bridge, Cloney Bridge, Kilberry, Miltown Bridge and stopped at the hospital and then down in Emily Square before returning to Narraghmore. The catering committee put on a huge selection of soups, sandwiches and ham dinners when everyone got back to the Village. Molly O'Looneys was the centre of the entertainment for the evening and late into the night.
The weather was favourable at 8 degrees and cloudy. It is not always that you would call that favourable but given recent weather, it was welcome. The atmosphere was brilliant so there was a lot to enjoy when the driving was over.
The committee would like to give a big thanks to all the helpers. A huge thanks to Shane and Martina Black from the Hunting Ground for cooking the food. Liam Tallon for supplying the bread and the Gardai for excellent traffic control. A thanks to all the people who donated spot prizes. The committee look forward to seeing the attendees at the next event. A big thanks to all that took part and gave generously.
The 35 has the distinction of being the first Massey Ferguson, as it replaced the last-of-the-line Ferguson FE35 ‘Copper Belly’ in 1957. The FE35 was itself a development of the infamous TE20, and featured a choice of petrol/TVO or four-cylinder diesel power-plants; the first of the Massey Fergusons continued with this specification, the main change being simply from the Ferguson grey/gold colour scheme to the familiar MF red/grey. However, in 1959 the Standard-based four-cylinder diesel was dropped in favour of a three-cylinder Perkins diesel, and it is with this engine that the 35 is perhaps best known. The three-pot Perkins was to find itself under the bonnet of a great many tractors in the sixties, seventies and eighties in virtually unchanged form, even tractors in direct competition with each other such as the MF 135 and Ford 2000. For any tractor drivers used to the previous 35 four-cylinder diesel, the Perkins proved a boon thanks to its easy-starting nature and far better fuel economy; the engine really brought the 35 range into the 1960s.
As we have written about previously, in Ireland the MF 35 took up the reins from where the Ferguson 20 had left off. The relatively poor Ireland of the sixties, with its small farms and demand for varied tractor tasks, had taken the diminutive, economical, simple and reliable grey Fergie to its heart, and soon did the same with the 35. Indeed, in the more rural parts of the country to this day you can still see the odd 35 working hard for its keep, usually complete with a makeshift cab, rust-covered bodywork and odd wheels. It might be no showpiece, but any machine that can give loyal service over forty years after it was built is a special machine indeed.
The stunning example on these pages, however, could well be called a showpiece; you won’t find any flapping fertiliser bags, empty headlamp bowls or homemade seats on this one! Owned by Ross Kelly from Athy, Co. Kildare, this Meath-registered (ZN) 35 is a 1959 model, built in the first year of the three-cylinder Perkins era. While there is no shortage of restored 35s in this country, it is rare indeed to see one on double rear wheels, and that’s even before you get to that beautiful teak-panelled trailer following behind. First and foremost, Ross is a car enthusiast, with his chosen area being classic and retro Fords. Having restored a very special Mk2 Escort in the recent past (which we hope to bring you more on in a future issue) and with a three-door Sierra Cosworth currently receiving his attentions, you would think that he would have neither the time nor the interest in the sedate progress offered by a classic tractor. “Every second or third house around here has a vintage tractor,” Ross explains, “I used to think they were mad!” However, as many of our readers will know, a scenic day out on a tractor run is some of the best craic to be had on the old vehicle scene in this country. This attraction, combined with his memories of his first driving experiences on his uncle’s farm, resulted in Ross tracking down this 35 as a project about three years ago. The previous owners in Castledermot had been using the tractor regularly for topping work, and it came to Ross complete with a small topper, a Duncan cab and well-serviced mechanicals. In this guise, Ross ran around on it for a year, taking on mowing work for neighbours and suchlike, before taking it into the garage for the inevitable strip-down.
While its regular use had found the 35 in good stead mechanically, it had really suffered on the bodywork front; as with most cab-equipped classic tractors, the rear mudguards were well rotten, and the bonnet was also beyond saving. In the end, Ross ended up replacing all of the 35’s tinwork, along with many components such as lamps and gauges that rarely seem to survive without getting damaged. Ross is full of praise for Stradbally Tyres and Tractor Parts, where proprietor Willy Deegan proved very helpful in supplying any and all parts needed during the project. With the bodywork and all ancillaries removed from the tractor, the services of a mobile sandblaster were enlisted to erase the old paint and muck of ages, before the real restorative work could begin. Ross was able to apply his car-restoration experience to this tractor project, completing almost all of the work himself including the spraying of the new body panels, but is keen to acknowledge the valuable assistance of his father Phil and friends Tom Hickey, Wayne King and Ken Farrington during the restoration. As his childhood tractor memories related to his uncle’s farm, which included a turf bog, Ross decided to make his 35 stand out from the crowd by equipping it with twin rear wheels; although fitting four large tyres instead of two resulted in more expense, it certainly marks this tractor out as something a bit different to the rest.
Of course, that fabulous trailer also adds to the overall appeal. Although Ross’ initial plan was to restore an old Massey Ferguson trailer, on closer examination it was evident that too much work would be involved and so the decision was made to build a similar piece from scratch. Enlisting the help of two friends with welding skills, Kieran Davis and Paddy Gorman, the trailer was built over a six week period on evenings and weekends using all new steel. Two new stub axles and wheels were fitted to a new box-section axle, and this was mounted towards the rear of the trailer as Ross wanted to maintain an old-fashioned look; the lovely teak woodwork also helps in this regard, and with its fully operational tipping hydraulics it works as well as it looks. Having since joined the Naraghmore Vintage Club, Ross’ 35 and trailer have already taken part in their fair share of road runs and events. One of the trailer’s recent outings wasn’t such a joyous one, however, as it was used to carry the remains of good family friend Liam Doyle to his removal, mounted behind his beloved Nuffield 342. Ross summed it up best when he told us “the trailer won’t have anything as special in it ever again.” As much a part of the Kelly family now as his fast Fords, we suspect that Ross’ immaculate 35 won’t be leaving the fold any time soon. Narraghmore Vintage Club would like to thank Irish Vintage Scene for the content of this article as published in the February 2010 magazine. Irish Vintage Scene would like to thank Christy King for the use of his land (and cows) for these photos.