Birr Stickmaking Competition a resounding success !

Sunday the 29th of August saw the first ever all Ireland stickmaking competition take place at the Birr Game Fair with a terrific showing of sticks from North and South of the country . In all we had two hundred and twelve sticks on display by 11:00am on Sunday ! Judging of the sticks by Mr Tom Kavanagh and Mr Linsey Carlisle began in the early afternoon and continued until nearly 3:30 , and both men are to be complimented on their thorough and fair assessement of every stick present . Eventually after much consideration a winner of best in show and runner up were decided upon , and I don’t think anyone could argue with their decision ! Stephen Hall took the prize for best in show and Roger Hannah took runner-up . Mr Albert Titterington the director of the Fair was present at the prize giving and made a moving speech, while I had the honour of presenting him with a rams horn stick created by our chairman Mr Tom Kavanagh to commemorate the occasion .I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people who made such a big contribution to the day being such a success , particularly Jim Matthews and John Lutton who took this “greenhorn ” under their wings for the day and showed me the finer points on running a stickmaking competition and categorised the sticks for us and reduced my chances of complete heart failure by 100per cent ! Also Roger Hannah who offered advice and help throughout the day and was there whenever he was needed, (which was all the time ! ).I would not have been “fed and watered” on the day if not for Tom Burke who maintained a constant flow of coffee and buns and was such a big help in numbering all the sticks on Sunday morning !To all the above a huge thank you for making the competition go smoothly . A big congratulations to all the stickmakers who won in the fourteen categories , and while we have a way to go ,some of our own members from the Celtic Stickmakers Club stepped up to the line and did us proud !It’s hard to get back into “ordinary” stick making after such an occasion , but the show must go on and the pursuit of perfection is never ending ! Yours in Stickmaking Robin Hon’ Sec’