July 2024

Memories of the Ploughing.

As I reach for a Lemsip I smile and think yes here it is my annual Ploughing Championships cold.

I used to blame the Championships for my annual sniffles, the stress of the busiest time of year. Will our clients’ leaflets get there? Will the signage all be the right way up? Would the many different promotional items arrive in time and be printed in the right branding colours, would we ever find a parking space?
For those of you who don’t know what the Ploughing is you may be picturing a quaint scene in rural Ireland with a few tractors, which is part of it, but now supersize that to include everything from a Céilí to a fashion show and try to visualise the fact that on the opening day yesterday they welcomed 91,500 people through the gates!
Forget Glastonbury, the Ploughing championships is Europe’s largest outdoor event and if you do the full 3 days you will feel like you have been to Glastonbury twice.
It must be the only place you can watch a ploughing competition, get a fake tan, and buy a new hat and a tractor, as well as getting countless goody bags and your fill of ham sandwiches. I will never forget the haunted face of the man at the Denny tent wiping the sweat of his brow as he produced yet another cooked ham to be devoured by a group of fifty children who descended like locusts.
Another memory is the lady on the tannoy, narrating the day’s events and news in real time, “Michael is here at the lost children’s tent looking for his parents Michael Senior and Bridget, he is dressed in cords and a navy jumper and he tells me he is sixty years of age, but sure you are always someone’s child.” Also, I had heard the phrase tyre kicker, but at the Ploughing I saw it in action, people actually do kick tyres.
Who goes to the Ploughing?  Everybody, families, kids, farmers of course, politicians’, Agricultural firms, in fact any business that is in any way connected to the countryside all gather together to showcase their wares and enjoy what is usually the tail end of the summer sunshine.
It’s been at least 7 years since I went to the Ploughing and it is back this year for the first time in 3 years after Covid, so I have to admit my September cold can’t really be blamed on the Ploughing but for me Lemsip, golden sunshine and a ham sandwich will always conjure up memories of the  Ploughing Championship. For all of you exhibiting and attending I hope the sun stays shining and that  you have the best time, and  for those of you doing the full three days I salute you!