Report on 2011 Festival
ENNISKERRY VICTORIAN FIELD DAY 2011
dressing up and all kinds of everything
Did you ever fancy dressing up in your great grandparent’s clothes, throwing sheaves, tugging a rope, or steam threshing? No, well I can understand why this strange combination would not normally pop into one’s mind as “a must do”. However, combine the above with a dog show, a flea circus (no connection to the dog show), viewing a ploughing match, vintage and classic cars & tractors and you get close to what was on offer at The Enniskerry Victorian Field Day on Sunday 11th September, 2011 at Knocklinn Farm, in the village of Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. The event was held in a giant field, which has a spectacular backdrop of the Wicklow Mountains on three sides and the glistening sea on the fourth side.
The event was a huge success, more than 3500 people attended raising €12,000 for local and national charities.
Despite ominous early morning weather and the threat of a hurricane tail sweeping in, the weather on the day turned out to be better than expected, although the gusting wind off the mountains did sweep over us all day and spoiled the chances of a world record attempt for sheaf throwing. The high wind did not deter a great turnout of participants and spectators for all events.
At over 100 years, the local Ploughing Society is one of the oldest Ploughing Societies in Ireland. In the past the society has produced many All-Ireland ploughing champions and a world ploughing champion. The ploughing match was a celebration of the age of the society with vintage ploughing competitions using horse drawn ploughs.
Another major attraction on the day was the “Elizabeth”, a magnificent 101-year-old Foden Compound Steam Engine powering a Ransome 54 inch heavy mill. The last steam threshing took place on the farm over 60 years ago the scene evoked many memories of what was a very common sight and provide a rare opportunity for the younger generation to see steam power at work.
One of the most popular events was undoubtedly the tug-of-war. The dog show, flea circus and the olden time games attracted many families with children who also enjoyed life music and the crafts fair. Classic cars and vintage tractors from different clubs were displayed. Best car prize was awarded to a Mercedes 190 Ponton and the ‘Best Vintage Tractor’ was awarded to a Deutz. Many people turned out in spectacular period costume hoping to attract the judge’s eye and win some of the fantastic prizes for ‘Best Victorian Costume’.
The ambition to recreate a traditional rural field day of olden days was achieved in a spectacular fashion. The success of the event is a testament to the hard work of Enniskerry locals and volunteers and months of planning with the event committee.