THE 2017 DeCourcey Harvest Working Day was run on the August bank holiday Monday last on the farm of Derry Desmond, Harbour View, Kilbrittain.Â
The site is a spectacular setting with a view of the West Cork coastline from the Old Head of Kinsale to Courtmacsherry. From early morning, it was full of activity as various vintage machines arrived on low-loaders, trucks, trailers and under their own power. Old machines began working in the tilling area and the harvesting machines lining up for later on in the afternoon.Â
The official opening was performed at 2.30pm by Trevor Tyrell, CEO of Claas UK and Ireland, and with responsibility for exports to Australia and New Zealand. Mr Tyrell paid tribute to local contractor Denny O'Donoghue who recently celebrated 50 years in the silage business.Â
He also complimented the great work being performed by the beneficiaries from the Harvest Day, Friends of Bandon Community Hospital and Ballinspittle Comhaltas group. Mr Tyrell thanked Claas dealer Tim McCarthy, the club committee and all involved for the hard work put in to organise the day, before declaring the event officially open.
The first main activity after the opening was the highly-anticipated display of old and new silage harvesting: Single chop and double chop mixed with self-propelled and modern harvesters.
Tony O'Mahony's Jaguar 970, latest state-of-the-art silage harvester was the highlight of the silage display. However, this was only one of two as there was a second of these machines owned by Mark Troy on the Claas machinery stand for the public to inspect at close quarters.
The silage display went down very well with the spectators and was the subject of much discussion and reminiscing.Â
Then it was the turn of the combines. What a sight it was to see over twenty harvesters of all ages and makes take to the field all at one time. The machines had two areas of barley to cut, the final being a chance for a great photo opportunity as the machines cut in from both sides of the field in a âV' formation with Courtmacsherry Bay in the background.
Throughout the day various other activities entertained the large crowd: Barry Lordan's Fowler traction engine powered the threshing machine of the O'Sullivans from Cahereagh.Â
In addition we were delighted to have a second engine. Murphys of Kinsale drove their 1907 Marshall traction engine from Ballinspittle to the field.Â
There was constant activity in the tilling arena during the day and Derry Desmond, with his brother Bart, had a permanent crowd to view their giant nine-ton Crossley stationary engine built in the 1930s. With a large selection of vintage cars, tractors and machinery, the event was a fascinating day out.Â
Refreshments were available from the hard-working ladies in the tea tent and the selection of good food in the food village suited every taste.
DeCourcey Classic and Vintage Club thanked everybody who helped in any way.Â
Special mention went to Claas and Trevor Tyrell for their support of the event and to Tim McCarthy for moving it in a new direction with the silage display.Â
Thanks also went to the various individuals and contractors who took time to bring their machinery to Harbour View.Â
However, none of this could have happened without the site, owned by Derry and Mairead Desmond and family.