Laois steams ahead with annual threshing festival

Knock Vintage Club in Laois will host its fifth annual two-day threshing festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 7 and 8.

The fun will begin on Saturday 7 at 4:00pm, with a tractor run leaving Scully’s pub, Ballyroan. Registration will be from 3:00pm.

The day’s events will be rounded off on Saturday evening with the ‘cock ‘n’ bull auction’, a steam engines display and music in Headen’s pub, Spink, from 9:00pm.

The Sunday working display will begin at 12:30pm in Josie’s farm, beside Knock National School, from 12:00 to 6:00pm.

Entertainment will include sheaf throwing; bullseye; battle star wheel of fortune; and bring and buy. The event will include a large display of steam engines with working threshing machines joined by classic cars, vintage tractors and static steam engine displays.

“For thousands of years, threshing was done using hand flares and the first threshing machines were driven by horses which was revolutionised in the late 1700s by the introduction of steam powered machines,” said Tom O’Connor of the organising committee.

On display over the weekend will be the 114-year-old ‘Caillin Bawn’ steam engine, one of two steam engines registered in Co. Laois all those years ago. This machine was originally owned by the Keating and Fleming families from Laois.

Also unique to the day is that following a brief refurbishment by the Knock Vintage Club, this engine will be paired off with its old workmate, a Ramsomes threshing mill, for the first time in 50 years.

All proceeds from the event will support the local primary school, parish and Knock Vintage Club. More information is available on Facebook – ‘Knock Vintage Club’ – or by phoning: 087-2619151; or 087-8141682.