Vintage Club to stage blast from the past in Strokestown

At Saturday’s Strokestown Show the Mid-Roscommon Vintage Club will again be showcasing a different machine that was once in common use but is now a relic of yesteryear.

Last year, they had a working threshing mill. This year, the club has sourced a working stone-crusher, which will be crushing some stone on site this Saturday.

Before the advent of large industrial quarrying plants, stone was crushed in small quarries throughout rural Ireland by local authorities using the small mobile crusher. In earlier times, farmers who had limestone bedrock on their land opened quarry pits and broke stone by hand to sell to the county councils.

The first successful mechanical rock-breaking crusher was invented in 1858 by Eli Whitney Blake in the US. Blake’s machine was very popular until 1881, when PW Gates (also from the US) invented the gyratory stone crusher. Gates’ crusher was able to outdo Blake’s in production, and his device then became the common machine used by companies for the crushing of stone for road-building.

Mr Billy Stewart from Killashee, County Longford, will have his crusher on hand. The machine was manufactured by Robey Engineering (Lincoln, England) and is at least one hundred years old.

Also on show will be two stationary engines, the property of Mr Kevin Foley (Newtownforbes, County Longford). One of the engines is almost a hundred years old, having been manufactured in 1924.

Blacksmith, Mr Patrick A Strahan from Carracastle, Co. Mayo, will also be present with his mobile forge.

People with vintage items/implements are welcome to come and display their goods at the vintage site. This year’s display should not be missed – see you in Strokestown!