'I was like a child in a sweetshop' - machinery fanatic on his visit to Krone production line
Machinery fanatic Damien McDermott was one of the winners of a trip to Dusseldorf to see the Krone production line in action
I'm a hospital porter during the day. I work in the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar. It's a very busy time of the year, the cold weather brings in lots of sick patients. My job means I often work on a week on/week off type rota.
That gives me the freedom to indulge in farming and machinery, which are two other big interests of mine. I'm what they call a part-time farmer. I keep a flock of sheep these days and I've always been interested in machinery, especially vintage machinery.
Thinking back, my interest probably stemmed from my grandfather on my father's side, who was a farmer, and my uncle on my mother's side, the well-known agricultural contractor John Salley who is based on the Kildare Meath border. John runs Fleet of John Deere and JCB Fastrac tractors as well as a Claas Jaguar harvester and a Krone Big M mower.
When I was a kid he used a Fleet of Ford tractors and that's what really sparked my interest in vintage and machinery. I'm a member of the Fingal Vintage Club. I'm happy to say I have a few classic Fords myself, including a Pre force 3000 Super Dexta and Ford 6600, which was previously owned by former World ploughing champions John and Eamon Tracey. I'm in good company.
You have to go back to May to see where my adventure to Germany came about. My friend Oliver Ennis and I decided to go to the FTMTA Grassland and Muck show in Gurteen College. It was our second or third time going; it's a good show and the live demonstrations are always worth seeing.
Anyway, as we were walking into the show we saw everyone coming away from the Krone stand with these buckets with the Krone logo on them. They were all over the place, anyone who was there would have seen them. We went over to the stand to see what all the commotion was about.
It turns out Farmhand, the Krone distributors in Ireland, were running a competition and if you entered you got a free bucket. We jotted down our details and enjoyed the rest of the day, buckets in hand.
Lo and behold about a week later I'm back in the hospital at work and I get a phone call from Farmhand's marketing manager, Steven Scrivener, to tell me I won the competition for a trip to Krone factory in Germany for two people.