Gartree Parish Church, located on the estate of RLC Langford Lodge Ltd near Crumlin, held a very successful fundraising Tractor Run and Open Day.
All proceeds from the event were in aid of Gartree Parish Church Building Fund, and the RLC Langford Lodge Ltd 2022 charities – Castle Tower School, Fleming Fulton School and Parkview School.
After registration, 115 tractors of different shapes and sizes set off on a short run around the estate, located on the scenic Lough Neagh shore, and which served as Northern Ireland Base Command for United States troops during World War Two. On their return, lunch, included in the registration fee, was served, and all Tractor Run participants received a commemorative medal. After lunch, there was an auction of farm produce, including hay, silage, power tools, coal, a turkey, straw and much more!
At 2.30pm, Elizabeth McBride, a local history enthusiast, gave a talk in the church on the history of the Packenham family and Langford Lodge site.
Throughout the day, visitors were able to look around the 19th century church and adjoining graveyard and were entertained in the afternoon by music played on the recently repaired ‘Glen Millar’ organ.
Dundarave Farm Shop was on site, while Randox was offering health checks. There was hot food, a cart boot sale, tombola, vintage teas in the church hall and an ice cream van. The event raised in the region of £8,000.
Priest-in-Charge, the Rev John Farr, said. “The estate is not normally open to the public, which is why we had such a great response. To get to see around the site is a real privilege.”
He credited parishioner Bertie Graham with the vision for the Tractor Run, held on October 8. “The day was a raging success. There was a lot of work done by a lot of people, but especially Bertie,” John said. “There were prayers for good weather beforehand, and the sun shone all day!”
Anyone wishing to visit a grave in Gartree Parish Churchyard should contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.