Ronnie Crawford; Eric Jess, chairman
of Harry Ferguson Celebration
Committee; ClIr Allan Ewart, Cllr
Jenny Palmer, and John Sherlock,
severe weather conditions, visitors from across the globe
descended on the birthplace of Harry Ferguson to witness the
official opening of the Harry Ferguson Memorial Gardens last
Local residents and visitors have been
looking forward to the day they could celebrate a long-lasting
memorial to remember the inventions of the local hero who
transformed how work on a farm was carried out.
The launch of the Gardens was funded by
Lisburn City Council, Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development (European Union), the Midlands group and the Harry
Ferguson Celebration Committee.
The memorial include landscaped gardens (due
for completion in September 2008) as well as information boards
and seating. The centre-piece is the life size bronze sculpture
of Harry Ferguson officially unveiled on Saturday by Harry
Ferguson's granddaughter, Sally Fleming who flew in from London.
Despite the torrential rain thousands of
people turned up to the launch and to participate in the Harry
Ferguson Celebration Day. This annual event and tractor
exhibition showcased some 450 tractors from vintage old time
classics to modern state of the art models.
Tractors driving through the rain at
the Ferguson Day. US3408_504cd
Bill Forsythe, from Lisburn, one of
the organisers, and Harry Ferguson's granddaughter,
Sally Fleming, at the Ferguson Day on Saturday.
The Harry Ferguson Memorial Gardens will now
be open to the public between dawn and dusk with events staged
on site from time to time. It is hoped that further work will
continue the Harry Ferguson legacy including a self guided
driving trail, information leaflets and website.
2009 also marks the 100th anniversary of
powered flight in Ireland when Harry Ferguson first flew his
monoplane at Hillsborough Park some 130 yards.