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Victorian mansion to host vintage car show

Claire Donnelly, Visitor Services manager at the Argory, along with Kenny Colbert.

Claire Donnelly, Visitor Services manager at the Argory, along with Kenny Colbert.

More than 400 vintage cars and engines will make the grounds of a Victorian mansion their home today when the 27th Vintage Rally takes place there.

Up to 1,000 people from all parts of Northern Ireland are expected to turn out to view the array of cars, engines, motorcycles and tractors at The Argory, a National Trust property close to Moy in Co Tyrone.

Almost half of the vehicles on show will be vintage cars including MGB, Ford Capris, Triumph Spitfire, Austin 7, Morris Minor and Wolseley.

Tractors will include Jawa, Triumph, BSA and Norton. Other highlights featured on the day will be a display of stationary engines.

The working engines, which can pump water and run generators, are testament to the skills of engineering that still exist today, one of the rally’s organisers said.

Ian Greenaway, Head Warden at The Argory, said the event is a popular one with rally enthusiasts and those interested in taking a peak at the past.

“This marks our 27th consecutive year of The Argory Vintage Rally,” he said.

“And thanks to the support of all our exhibitors and visitors, the event gets bigger and better every year.

“It’s fantastic to be able to showcase so many unique and interesting vintage vehicles and machinery on what would have once been a working Victorian estate.”

Mini enthusiast and former motorsports competitor Kenny Colbert from nearby Killyman will bring some of his five-strong collection along today, and is looking forward to viewing the wide selection of vehicles on display.

“For me this is a labour of love,” said the 63 year-old who also ran a business preparing rally cars for races.

“There is quite a strong Mini fraternity around this area so we all enjoy this annual rally. But there will be all sorts there on the day so I would say it is a really nice family day out for people.”

Kenny won the 2009 International Mini Meeting, in the car’s 50th anniversary year, having restored a 46-year-old car.

He said: “Sometimes you think ‘How am I going to do this when it’s in such a state?’ But then when you work at it you get a great level of satisfaction from restoring the car.

“Even if you aren’t directly involved in restoration there is a big spectator following of vintage cars.”

Entertainment on offer at the rally includes a tour of the unique Irish gentry home.

There will be home baked cakes, scones and teas in the Courtyard Coffee Shop, and there are walking routes along the River Blackwater.

Gates open at 12 noon.

National Trust members go free.

For more information on National Trust events visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ni

 

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