The Mountbellew Vintage Rally will take place on Saturday September 4, with spectators expected to travel from all over Ireland to attend the event.
In July, the rally was postponed due to poor weather and ground conditions, but the opening weekend in September will not stop the rally rolling through the town, according to members of the Mountbellew Vintage Club. Now in its 17th year, the annual show promises to be the biggest yet, and will have a variety of projects on offer to encapsulate the minds of adults and children alike.
This year, the rally is attempting to break an Irish record by assembling the most vintage fire service appliances in one location. There will also be a special collection of IM and ZM registered vehicles, which pre-dates the introduction of vehicle number plates as we now know them. IM stood for Galway city, and ZM was reserved for vehicles in county Galway. This system was used as part of the British system of identification which was disposed of in 1903.
Vintage car enthusiasts will be treated to a magnificent 1919 Buick car, recently imported from the US. The car cost $2,600, at a time when Henry Ford was charging $360 for his history-making Model T car.
Along with vintage cars and tractors, steam engines, and a six-acre threshing machinery display, there will also be a host of activities on the day such as a 1916 re-enactment by Ahascragh, live music, amusements, and a special truck reversing exhibition outside Ganley's store.
Another new item this year, and possibly for the first time in any vintage show in the west of Ireland, will be a coffin cart. The iron-tyred cart which is a few feet longer than the conventional horse cart goes back to the early years of the last century. It was originally owned by Castleblakeney business man John Golding, and he used it to bring coffins and barrels of porter from the railway station at Woodlawn.
With onsite entertainment to suit every family member - free admission for all children - the rally boasts a number of new presentations. Local man Eddie Noone will display his version of an old style saw mill, which captured the imagination of everybody at the Teagasc festival in Athenry a few months ago. Noone has piloted many other projects associated with timber, but for style, attention to detail, and its imposing size, the recreation of this saw mill will bring back many memories to an older generation who were used to a local sawmill in their area when they were young.