Ballyeaston annual vintage tractor event

Seamus Haveron is pictured on his Massey Ferguson 35 along with Sean McCafferty at the vintage day at the Glynn to raise funds for the East Antrim Riding for the Disabled. INLT 27-021-PSB
Seamus Haveron is pictured on his Massey Ferguson 35 along with Sean McCafferty at the vintage day at the Glynn to raise funds for the East Antrim Riding for the Disabled. INLT 27-021-PSB

To mark their 40th birthday, members of Ballyeaston Vintage Tractor Club received special anniversary plates at Saturday’s annual gathering.

The anniversary celebrations were held for the fourth year in a row in the sheltered setting of DJ McKee and Sons Yard, Shore Road, Glynn.

And, as a token of the club’s appreciation, hosts Ian and Mary McKee were presented with a special platter plate, depicting some Ford tractors, which would be of special interest with Ian being a Ford collector.

There was the usual old favourites and a fine array of vintage tractors, stationary engines, lorries, bicycles and cars and this year there was also a working thresher, provided by Jack Millar and Nattie Shaw.

New to Ballyeaston was the exhibition from Norma Smyth, Breeder and Exhibitor of Quality Netherland, Lop, Rex and Belgian Hares – while there was the chance to turn the clock back, with a fascinating photographic display staged by Murray and Johnny Elliott, with some of the photos going back to the early 1900s.

Proving popular with the crowds was Ian McKee’s carving of a Scottish Highland Cow, cut out of a tree by a chain saw.

There was also a special Inchgreen JCB exhibited by Chris McCann of FP McCann’s. In 2009, Chris acquired a digger made by Inchgreen in the early 1960’s, a model called the IG-5 which is identical to one his father Paddy used to own.

Inchgreen did not manufacture for long and the IG-5 model diggers are few and far between.

Restoration work began on this 50 year old digger back in February 2009 with extensive work required to bring both the bodywork and engine back to working standards. After three years of intense restoration work, the Inchgreen IG-5 was officially unveiled last year by Finance Minister Sammy Wilson at Stormont.

There was music from the multi-talented Dave Lee, and Ballyboley Pipe Band, as well as the usual stalls, bric-a-brac, catering and entertainment for the less vintage generation.

There was also a competitive element, with some silverware up for grabs.

The judges were Tony Magill and Stephen McKee.

Results were as follows:

Foster Cup, for the best maintained tractor 1917-1937, Gilbert Armour, Antrim, for his 1928 Twin City.

Zetor Cup, for the most original and best maintained tractor 1938-1945; John Magill, Islandmagee, for his 1944 Fordson ‘N’.

Sam Currie Cup for the most original and best maintained, 1946-1952; Tom McCullough, Glynn for his 1949 Fordson Major E27N

Whyte Trophy, for the best restored tractor overall; Colin Agnew, Doagh for his 1985 TW25.

Hugh Johnston Memorial Shield, for the best maintained tractor and farm implement, confined to club members; Raymond Clifford, Larne for his 1942 Ford Ferguson and Plough.

Nuffield Trophy, Robert Beggs, Larne, for his 1968 Nuffield.

Massey Ferguson Trophy; Bertie Dundee, Irish Hill Road, Ballyclare for his 1968 MF 135.

Ford Trophy; William Currie, Broughshane for his 1952 Fordson Major.

Leyland/Marshall Trophy; Allen McAnally, Ballyboley for his 1941 Field Marshall.

Part of the proceeds from the gathering will go towards the worthy cause of Riding for the Disabled

Ballyeaston Vintage Tractor Club thanked Vice President Ian McKee and Family for the use of the premises, exhibitors, stall holders. They also thanked Riding for the Disabled for manning the entrances and the general public for their support as well as anyone who helped in any way in contributing to the latest in a long line of annual gatherings.