Taaffe’s Castle Scything Challenge took place in Carlingford on Saturday, 30 August with three teams of six men signed up to raise money for the Childrens Hospital in Crumlin in this unique charity event.
The morning weather caused intermittent mowing for the period dressed group but the afternoon was spectacular for both participants and onlookers.
“A few scything opportunists travelled with their own equipment from Hackballscross and Meath to participate and contribute to the nostalgia of the day,” said participant Sé Weston, from Castlebellingham.
“Local man Hugh Rafferty gave instruction on scything to the volunteers having gained his experience 75 years ago when he was first allowed to pick up a scythe by his own father.
“Hugh hopes this could become an annual event which might see the true harvesting of a crop and let people see how things were done before mechanisation.”
The volunteers certainly caught a few eyes on the day as walkers passing by paused to take a looked and cars did u-tuens to catch a brief glimpse into the past at how harvest time would have looked to their fathers and grandfathers.
“Those using the scythes were glad to stop and explain their efforts for the repose and fun,” said Sé. “We all agreed that in less mechanised times life was more physically demanding yet with greater camaraderie within communities.”
The group hope to have raised over €2500 for the charity when all funds are collected.
You can still sponsor the event at www.cmrf.org scything.