Autumn Comes to Roaringwater


Just as the leaves begin to turn, the gales have come to tear them away and send them flying all over the Bay. Autumn is bringing angry seas with wild white horses, while the trees on our exposed acre are bending sideways. I admire the small birds who manage to find their way to our bird-table in the face of it all: we have just been visited by a whole flock of ravenous Goldfinches who hang on to the wildly swaying feeders in a determined frenzy to fatten themselves up for the coming winter and squabble noisily with any Great-tits, Chaffinches or Robins who try to get in on the act.

Byway in Ballydehob

In Ballydehob (our local community) it’s time for the annual Thrashing. This event always takes place just before Hallowe’en, a festival which nowadays overlays the old Celtic Samhain (1 November) – when the souls of the departed are remembered. Here it’s a good time to bring in the threshing machine and lay up sacks of grain in the barn. It’s also a reason to hold a fair and show off vintage cars and tractors, to make butter, to watch performing dogs, to gamble on mouse racing – or just to chat over a cup of tea.

Byway in Ballydehob

Byway in Ballydehob


Don’t miss it!




The Thrashing


Mouse Bookie

We look forward to the turning seasons: what we see from Nead an Iolair changes constantly, is never dull, and can’t be taken for granted. Skies can be steel grey – or still as gloriously blue as they were in the summer; and our sunsets can be even more beautiful.


6 thoughts

  1. And your comment, Chris, about a connection with Fellows, Morton + Clayton – canal carriers: I can’t find a direct link between Nathaniel Clayton of the threshing machines and William Clayton of F, M + C, although they were contemporaries.


  2. Yes Chris – Clayton + Shuttleworth were established in Lincoln in 1842. By 1890 they had built 26,000 steam engines and 24,000 threshing machines. In the 20th Century they made oil engines, tractors and combine harvesters and – as you say – aircraft. They failed in the 1930s depression and were then taken over by Marshalls, also based in Lincolnshire: a firm famed for its tractors.


  3. Hi Robert. I see the the threshing engine is an old Clayton and Shuttleworth. C & S went on to build aircraft, notably the Sopwith Camel which downed the Red Baron, and I wondered if Clayton was of (Thomas?) Clayton and Morton Carrying Co. of the cut?


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