Normality returned in a roar of vintage engines in Abbeydorney over the weekend – in one of the first big gatherings of enthusiasts of the old machines of 2020.
Over two days, the tractors and cars came into their own, beginning on Saturday night with the big tractor run which saw no fewer than 110 of the agri vehicles travelling in convoy from Abbeydorney, to Ardfert on into Tralee through the town and back out again, in a mighty roar.
It was the turn of the car on Sunday then, with 70 driving a long route in the car run from the Complex in Abbeydorney out to Ballyheigue and north along the Wild Atlantic Way before cutting inland for Lisselton and making it back to Abbeydorney. The cars got one choice pitstop or ‘chipstop’ however, at the home of a chip van operator who has managed, since lockdown, to maintain a Covid-safe business in the guise of a drive-through at his home on the Dale Road.
The whole weekend, meanwhile, was undertaken in aid of the Palliative Care unit at University Hospital Kerry.
“We had a great weekend of it altogether,” one of the organisers Joe O’Sullivan said. “The turnout was wonderful with 110 tractors taking part in the run and 70 cars present on Sunday. We had people from Castleisland to Listowel and, of course, a great local turnout too, all in aid of a very important cause in the Palliative Care unit,” Joe said.
He said that while there had been a number of smaller vintage gatherings already, this marked one of the first big gatherings since the Covid restrictions came into force.
“People were absolutely delighted to get out together again, over a great shared passion in vintage machinery. And it could not have been safer, especially for older people, as everyone could stay in their cars and tractors for the event,” Joe added.