A chance meeting between local gentlemen, Bob Dowey and Hugh Grant, whilst Bob was getting his steam engine steamed up and raring to go after it had been completely restored, led to Bob asking Hugh to grow a field of corn for a day’s craic at threshing. Hugh agreed and the corn was planted.
Hugh was teaching Corkly pipe band at the time, and happened to mention the idea to a few of the band members, who thought this was brilliant and could be used to raise much needed funds for the band. Corkly band advertised the threshing and made tea, against all expectations a ‘serious’ crowd attended.
This gave basis to a vintage club, as after this event, Mr Eddie Crossan and Mr John Boyle approached Hugh with the idea of forming a vintage club. Much talk and many meetings at Hugh Grant’s home, gave the club its foundation.
Eddie Crossan happened to meet Leslie Willis on the Main Street in Markethill, after one of these meetings and in the course of conversation told Leslie about the new vintage club explaining that one stumbling block was a place to hold regular meetings, without hesitation Leslie said what about the café, and so a meeting place was found, Willis’s café.
Hugh and some of the founder members attended a vintage rally at Moneymore shortly after this and used the trip as a fact finding mission i.e. how to organise a vintage rally. Members of the Moneymore club came to Markethill and based on their sound advice, “The Boys (and girl) from County Armagh” are still going strong, now into their 44th year.