The Final Destination!

The last of the ‘Thank You’ letters have been posted, the tractor is home and what a journey it has been, ending of course with celebrating the 50 year anniversary of Charlie’s World Championship Ploughing win at the National Ploughing Championships. Getting there, I can tell you was no small feat! With all the excitement and razzmatazz of the ‘Ploughing’, all the stalls,all the people, all the animals, it was only about one thing for us. A very special little green tractor.

Right from the start, even before a spanner was lifted, all eyes were focused on the completion date of September 20th. Would the tractor be ready on time? Being a complete optimist I bobbed along the river of blind faith that everything would work out right.  ‘If God be on our side, who be against us’… Or words to that affect. Our nerves were at all of us and we kept expecting small little issues to become major disasters. In fact the tractor was restored by early September and we were able to display it at two local events. IMG_0948

Philip Bromwell from RTE came to visit the tractor when it finally returned home and complete the story he started telling so many months before. The final piece on the RTE One o’clock and Six One News showing the transformation from the total rust bucket to gleaming factory floor new was something else. I think Charlie would have been proud, particularly because of the special relationship he had with Michael.

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The last job to do was to fit the all important stickers for total authenticity. There was a special sticker made for all Deutz tractors sold in Ireland for a period of time after Charlie won the World Ploughing in recognition of his victory using a Deutz tractor. Michael spent a great deal of time putting on all the stickers in the correct position and they really completed the picture. Once was everything was in place and the final polish was done the tractor was ready to display.

 

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First port of call was the annual Powerscourt Plough Match, held this year in Charlie’s memory, where it received lots of attention and even featured in the local paper, The Bray People, later in the week. The very next day the tractor was in pride of place on a raised platform at the Enniskerry Victorian Field Day. Having the opportunity to display the tractor at these two local events was wonderful and I had not fully realised how significant the whole restoration project was to many local people. Fond memories were recalled and I did spot a few glistening eyes on tough farming men.

 

The next stop was the National ploughing nine days later. There was a super article in the Irish Times newspaper about the Ploughing and Charlie’s tractor with some lovely old and new photographs of the tractor too.

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Michael left early Monday morning to display the tractor at the epi-centre of Irish ploughing, outside the NPA tent at the National Ploughing! From the moment it was in place the tractor was the centre of attention with all sorts of people stopping by to view it and recount their memories of Charlie, his big win and farming 50 years ago.

 

There was a lovely display of old photographs taken at the time and also a long ‘Thank You’ list. The tractor featured on the RTE Six One News on Tuesday and Michael met all sorts of people throughout the three days including a brief and unexpected photo op with Minister Simon Coveney.

Joe Jones, Tony Killarney, Peter Jones, Michael Keegan

Joe Jones, Tony Killarney, Peter Jones, Michael Keegan

 

 

All in all it has been quite a rollercoaster of an experience with plenty of ups and downs. Now that the dust has settled and the thank you letter are done it is full steam ahead for our Harvest Party Harvest Party on Saturday October the 18th.

 

I have really enjoyed sharing our Tractor Story and hope you have enjoyed reading about it too!Charlie's Tractor at the Ploughing 2014

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