Monday 24 June 2019

Local projects to benefit from rally

Liz Day on her vintage tractor.
Liz Day on her vintage tractor.

Anna Hayes

It was a Tagoat Vintage Rally with a difference this year as the event took place, for the first time, on a Saturday and featured just stationary engines due to a large steam engine rally taking place in Dorset, England.

Despite the changes however, the crowds turned out in their droves to spend an afternoon daydreaming over classic cars, vintage tractors, watching the threshing, and picking up a bargain or a prize at the stalls and games stands.

The event, which is usually held on a Sunday, was changed this year so as not to clash with the All-Ireland hurling final.

Organiser Paul Browne said they could have looked at installing a big screen but it could have been problematic in terms of volunteer cover.

'Everyone wants to watch the hurling final so we decided to go with Saturday instead. Next year, we might go back to the Sunday but hold some kind of event on the Saturday as well.'

Mr Browne said the Tagoat rally was something that was enjoyed by generations of families, remarking that a tractor he would have sat on as a child was now a vintage vehicle that his own son was getting a spin on.

All of the various events of the day went off without a hitch and Mr Browne is hopeful that somewhere in the region of €5,000 profit will be shared out among various local community projects.

'The weather stayed with us - we had wind and cloud but it was dry. Everything went according to plan. We had about 50 vintage tractors, more than 70 vintage cars and a number of stationary engines. We usually have four working steam engines but they are at a rally in Dorset this year.'

The event, which has been running for 33 years, attracts visitors from all over the country.

'We had a 90-year-old man from Cork who was celebrating his birthday that weekend - he was from a farming background and had a great interest in all of the vintage vehicles. You wouldn't know who you might meet at it.

'We had two women, who met at the rally 20 years ago, who have met each other at the event every year since then, bringing their kids with them. It's a community event, run by the community for the community.'

Mr Browne expressed huge gratitude to landowner Fran Doyle who gave the rally the use of his field.

He also thanked all those businesses who had sponsored raffle prizes or signs, people who had helped with logistics in the run-up to the event, and all those who attended or supported the event in any way.

Wexford People

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