PICS: 'Hauling home' brings joy as vintage tractor restored

Back in 2011 John Arnold wrote about old time thrashings and bemoaned the fact he’d never actually been at such an event.
PICS: 'Hauling home' brings joy as vintage tractor restored

Family, neighbours and friends celebrate the ‘hauling home’ of the restored tractor at the Arnold farm in Bartlemy recently. Pictures: Geraldine Dorgan

THERE used to be a phrase used long ago when a couple would be returning home after the honeymoon.

Neighbours and friends would gather for what was called the ‘hauling home’.

It’s largely forgotten nowadays but the light of other days shone in a haggard in Bartlemy last week with a 2022 version of a hauling home.

John Arnold with the tractor which the family bought in 1964.
John Arnold with the tractor which the family bought in 1964.

In this case it wasn’t’ a newly wed couple that got the cead mile failte but a tractor!

Yes indeed a tractor, but no ordinary common or garden tractor.

Back in 2011 John Arnold wrote about old time thrashings and bemoaned the fact he’d never actually been at such an event.

Well vintage machinery fans Tony Doyle, Pat O’Connell and the late Dinny Hennessy decided to stage a thrashing for John’s benefit.

So in the autumn of that year a load of sheaves were brought to the Arnold holding at Garryantaggart, Bartlemy and thrashed using Mick O’Driscoll’s Ransomes thrashing machine.

For the following two years an acre of oats was planted on the Arnold farm and two further ‘old time’ thrashings’ were held.

Vintage machinery people love their tractors and other farm implements and take great pride in their preservation and restoration.

One word led to another and friends including Pat O’Connell offering to ‘do a job’ on the Arnold family’s very rusty old David Brown 3 cylinder 880 tractor which first saw the light of day in the year 1964.

So began an odyssey that only came to final fruition after nine long years. Parts were sourced here there and everywhere -some had to brought in from abroad. The painstaking job of restoring the tractor was in reality a labour of love for those involved.

There were many ups and downs on the long and winding road to the completion of the task. Perseverance and a good dollop of stubbornness were also required to bring the project to a successful conclusion.

It all came together recently when the absolutely magnificent David Brown returned home in triumph to Bartlemy.

It’s now in pristine condition -similar in fact to the tractor that came from the David Brown factory 58 years ago. John Arnold was emotional at the ‘hauling home’.

“Yes it’s just brilliant to have it back but I can recall so many people who were here in this haggard back when we had the thrashings and many are gone to their eternal reward. They’d all be thrilled at seeing the tractor in such a condition,” said John. 

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