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30 March, 2009

Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has paid a visit to the 11th Ballygawley and Roscavey Bygone Farming Day at Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

The Minister was welcomed by Councillor Allan Rainey, President of the Ballygawley and Roscavey Farming Bygone Day and the Chairman James McAnenly who introduced her to fellow members and took her on a tour of the site at Clarke’s farm. During the visit she had the opportunity to speak with competitors, and view the many attractions on display for visitors. She was enthralled by the tractor building display at which three teams competed to build a tractor in the fastest time.

Acknowledging the hard work of the event organisers and the local community, the Minister said: “Our bygone heritage in rural areas is one to be cherished and events like the Ballygawley and Roscavey Bygone Farming Days are a great tribute to those who worked off the land all their lives.

“Maintaining farming traditions is a key part of our rural way of life and events like this one help keep old ways alive. It is wonderful to see so many age-old practices such as threshing and horse ploughing living on into future generations. Although it is also important to provide attractions for the whole family and this was offered through a dog show, music and model aircraft display.”

Touring the show, the Minister added: “I am sure farmers know only too well how times have changes, as the work from Bygone days was hard but enjoyable and was something of a social event with neighbours helping each other. Agricultural days are key dates in the rural community’s calendar and it’s great to see such a broad range of all ages taking part and enjoying the sights. ”

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