Prior to Ernie creating this website, our sole method of communication was via the magazine, the only other alternative is by post which unfortunately must be ruled out on cost alone.
The magazine has proved to be an excellent vehicle for disseminating club news and I do not see this changing, however, it is clear that as Ford and Fordson Tractors is a bimonthly publication and as the deadline for copy to be submitted to it is about a month before it drops through your doors, some three months can pass between an item of interest coming to our attention and to your being told about it.
To try and keep you better informed we shall, for a trial period, be publishing a regular ‘Club News’ item on this website. It will also feature items sent in by area representatives of ‘happenings’ they would like brought to your attention and you the members who have something you would like aired.
Please email items that you wish to be featured either to Ernie or to myself Pat Pawsey and we will do our best to include the most topical. We shall also include stories of interest that have missed publication previously due to editorial constraints or for other reasons.
Make no mistake this is your club and we need both input from you and feedback on the content we publish if it is to work properly.
Above in the blue header you can see the Isues 71-75 of "In the Chair" 2016.
Cick on the Month & Number you want to view and this will open on another page for you.
Click In the Chair 2016 button in the blue header to return to this 2016 Main page.
I hope you enjoy reading these In the Chair information pages as it is my way of keeping the Members upto date with what is going on with Your FFA.
From The Chair No: 70 - January 2016:
As another successful season for the Club draws to a close, for many there only remains Newark, local ploughing matches and the inevitable road runs around Christmas and the New Year to come. The weather has been reasonable, but few rallies that I have been to have had all days without rain and there does seem to have been more cold North wind blowing than is usual, but it has certainly not been as wet as in some recent years.
I must say that too many rallies are spoilt for me and, asking round, for most others by the ridiculously high levels at which music seems to be universally played in beer tents. What is the point of going to have a sociable pint and chat when you cannot hear yourself think let alone what you or anyone else says. I have yet to find anybody who likes their music played at these ear-shattering levels.
I would go so far as to suggest that the legal decibel levels are grossly exceeded for a work place environment and make no mistake that, for the bar staff, this is exactly what the beer tent is. Surely in this day and age when health and safety regulations seem to adversely affect everything we do there must also be a duty of care on the part of the organisers to protect the hearing of us the paying public?
Registrations and the DVLA:
Trouble afoot for historic vehicle owners:
I must start by explaining that the V765 scheme that began in 1990 was instigated to allow historic vehicles to be reunited with their original registration marks, this scheme was expanded to allow other vehicles, that had not previously been registered, to obtain an appropriate age related mark. Authenticity of the vehicle has always been paramount and rightly so.
There have been some rather hysterical stories circulating recently to the effect that all owners of historic vehicles and that includes tractors, some one million of us apparently, are about to receive a letter from the DVLA asking for proof that our vehicles meet the strict legal criteria which qualifies them for historic status. If this is true and the evidence provided by the owner does not satisfy the DVLA at best the existing registration mark will be withdrawn and a Q plate issued, even if the original 'buff' log book is still held and at worst the vehicle may be deemed illegal and banned from road use.
These tales appear to emanate from problems that a rather 'grand' marque owners club has been experiencing for the last few years over certain of their members' vehicles. These vehicles are worth mega bucks and the financial temptation for an unscrupulous dealer, for example, to falsify a vehicles provenance and pass it off as genuine is immense. I have no idea if this is the actual problem or if any dishonesty has occurred, but it was clearly the trigger for the DVLA's enquires.
Apparently the DVLA have come across both green and brown log books that have been forged. I have always insisted on seeing the original as I have to put my name to the certified copy that I make of it which is then used as primary evidence to retain an existing registration number. After all if the DVLA were, for any reason, to distrust the validity of just one dating certificate that I have signed that would put all the others at risk and that just does not bear thinking about.
I hope that we tractor folk have little to fear from this. If you are worried take a look on the 'Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs' web site and read the very good reports in "News Issue 4 2015"of their meeting with the DVLA and also of a subsequent meeting with the All Party Historical Vehicles Group.
Number Plates: on a lighter note 'Non-Reflective' plates i.e. black and white or silver and white are now linked to the historic class tax date and are permitted on vehicles built before 1st January 1975. I must say that they look much better than the more modern reflective ones.
From around the Country and further afield:
Great Dorset Steam Fair -2nd - 6th September:
The weather at this year's show was much better than last although Monday's arrival was marred by my having to be towed on and the subsequent task of mud removal that necessitated removing the rear lorry wheels to clean mud from the disc brakes, not the easiest job on a soft surface. However the weather steadily improved and although plagued by a cold North wind remained largely dry.
This year the Ford & Fordson Association's special display comprised of some 37 tractors ranging from a very interesting model T of 1916 vintage fitted with a Pullford conversion and also featured examples of F, N, E27N and E1A Majors, Dextas, X series tractors right up to the 10 series.
There were some very nice conversions including examples by Roadless County, Murhill and others. We had our own section following the main static tractor parade and the tractors were presented in age order that made a truly excellent display.
As is our custom the tractors were judged by fellow exhibitors and to my mind they got it right, the winners were:
Best in Show:
1st C Collier 172 Ford 5000 Select-O-Speed
2nd G Saddick 156 Roadless Major
3rd N Bryne 145 Fordson N Industrial
1st T Donovan 151 E27N County Full Track
2nd M Jenkins 163 E1A Roadless Half-track
3rd S Horsey 177 Ford 7810
The One to Take Home:
G.Dell 157 Petrol Dexta
The organisers kindly provided us with a marquee and a steady stream of members availed themselves of the tea and coffee that was served throughout the rally. Nick Bryne's cut away E27N engine was a constant source of interest and there always seemed to be someone turning the starting handle.
Stuart Cotton, the static tractor steward, although short of space, made room for rather more tractors than we should have had. He couldn't have been more helpful and both he and his excellent team of marshals made for a most enjoyable show.
Whilst a number of the FFA committee will be attending Dorset next year, as usual, our next themed display will be in 2017 when we will celebrate the centenary of the Fordson F. So if you haven't one and want to take part there is plenty of time to acquire one. It would nice to try for a record attempt but more of this later
FordFest at Santa Pod, Sunday 13th September:
Keith and Jane Broomhall represented the Club and Keith reports:
We had the stand set up by 7.30 and not being a morning person I needed a sit down!
From my chair I watched a steady procession of Ford cars on the roadway past our stand. For almost two hours Focus, Fiesta, Escort, Cortina, Sierra, Mondeo and Granada models with ST, RS, Lotus, and Cosworth badges drove slowly to their respective club stands though, sometimes, just to catch up, there was a quick noise from spinning tyres followed by the turbo wastegate blowing off.
All the participating cars were lined up, bonnets open to show big turbos and huge exhaust systems, slightly different from my Mini days of SU CARBS and PECO BIG BORE exhaust pipes. There were also the real dragsters based on Ford Pops, Cortina's, Consuls and some American models all with big V8's and huge rear tyres.
All exhibitors had the chance to try their pride and joy on the main drag strip, with terminal velocities ranging from a leisurely 62 mph from an unmodified Escort Estate to 138mph for a fully blown Cortina MK4 dragster. Definitely a spectacle worth watching.
The Ford and Fordson display consisted of a number of modified tractors, with the attention of onlookers focusing on the Doe Triple D of Bernard Saunders and the Fordson Major based tractor puller of Giles Moston from Cheshire. Unfortunately no tractors were allowed on the strip.
Many thanks to Ford and Fordson enthusiasts who supported the event, namely Bernard, Giles, Rick Cobley, Tim Pearman and Graham Donaldson.
Roger Ingham our Northern Ploughing Director visited the European Ploughing Championships and reports:
We finally arrived at Veendam in the Netherlands after a long scenic drive through France and the Netherlands, the location of the 2015 European Ploughing Championship. Ploughmen from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium and the Isle of Wight had all travelled to compete for the honour to be champion.
Saturday 19th September dawned and the official practice took place, many of the ploughmen turning over some excellent work whilst adjusting to the conditions of light sandy soil; both of our FFA members ploughing was very good work and they were confident they would plough ok. Walking round the site it was a spectacle to see all the various makes of vintage tractors and ploughs, with many of the ploughs not up to match plough standard.
Sunday arrived and competitors joined the parade to their plots and were soon clearing straw in readiness. When the first furrows were turned soil condition in the match plots was found to be very different from the practice field and caught many ploughmen out. The field varied so much in that top ploughmen had to work hard to produce a decent never mind a winning plot.
The judges pondered and awarded 1st trailer class and European champion Ray Alderson,
1st classic class: Stewart Burden and European champion &
1st vintage mounted: Jock Sivewright and European and overall champion, not a bad result for the Great British ploughmen.
So from the sunshine and heavy showers of Sunday the silverware and honours came to 3 worthy winners and back to Britain.
Ford and Fordson has a European champion in
Ray Alderson to be proud of.
The Southern area ploughing match held on 3rd and 4th October:
Conrad our Southern Ploughing Director reports: our thanks to Henry Castle of the Ferguson club for inviting the FFA to their annual
ploughing match for the third consecutive year at Fornham St Martin. Saturday morning began in thick
fog and after the usual banter whilst awaiting a cup of tea some 16 ploughmen made their way to the practice plots, in bright sunshine after the fog had lifted. By 3pm some ploughmen had finished for the day, others continued ploughing until darkness fell.
Sunday dawned to early morning sunshine; ploughmen arrived from 7.30 and, following the usual cuppa and the crack, booked in and were given their designated plot numbers. At 10am the rocket was fired and the ploughing began. A good days ploughing in bright sunshine ensued on a field used for harvesting onions through the summer.
There was good public attendance and prize giving was at 3.30pm with firstly the Ferguson prizes presented by Henry followed by myself presenting the FFA prizes. £100 was raised from the day for East Anglian Air Ambulance.
1st Roger Starling
2nd Mick Debenham
3rd Ken Bailey
1st Max Cherry and Show Champion Ploughman
2nd Paul Clements
3rd Barry Dear
1st Conrad Hopkins
Andrew Green from Devon writes:
My wife and I had the opportunity recently to visit the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village at Dearborn near Chicago in the USA. What amazing vision Henry Ford possessed to realise that the old America that he knew as a boy in the 1880's was being lost and he relocated many old buildings including Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers home and cycle shop, a car workshop with the 15th million Ford model T car, a coaching inn, school, courthouse and even a steam railway, all onto an 80 acre site to create Greenfield Village. This was all very interesting and so much to see, so much more than I can describe in limited space!
The adjoining H.F. Museum contains many areas of interest but my obvious ambition was to see two very early Fordson tractors. The first was the 1907 experimental tractor using car parts like a model B engine, a model K radiator and rear wheels borrowed from a grain binder.
This was further developed and eventually from this, the Fordson F tractor evolved which was the very first Fordson produced in July 1917. Later that year 6000 (MOM tractors) of these were sent over to the UK to help with the WW1 war effort. The Fordson F is the forerunner of the modern tractor, as we know it today, the "model T Ford" of farm power, mass produced and inexpensive. All in all H.F. wanted to make a farmer's work and life easier if he could as he was after all a farmer's son.
We spent two whole days visiting and even then we didn't see it all! It was a truly amazing place and my wife had to admit just how much she enjoyed it as well!!
I hope to see you at some of our winter evening meetings. Contact 01363 83791 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Ploughing Championships held on 10th and 11th October held at Marden; Conrad reports:
We arrived at the field on Friday and finding the ground was a bit spongy from the recent rain, out came the tow rope and we were towed in by Rodney Gibson with his KDF. Then a walk over to find out where the FFA club stand was to be and up with the Gazebo so all was ready.
On Saturday morning the competitors were escorted to their plots some of which were in the field across the road including the FFA's plots. At 10am the rocket was launched and ploughing commenced. One of the judges in our class was 'Steady Eddie' from my local tractor club in Rochford. Competitors completed their opening spilt and then awaited judging, at 11am the rocket went of again and ploughing recommenced.
Over the course of the two days the club tent was busy selling merchandise, making teas and enrolling new members. We had Peter Mitchem's narrow Dexta fitted with narrow disc harrows, my Ford 4000 and, on Sunday, Tom Falconer's Ford 4000 cut away on display, which was very popular. A good weekend was had by all.
FFA Ploughing Results:
1st John Lewis and Ploughman of the day
2nd Ken Bailey
1st George Newport
2nd Oliver West
3rd Martin Watson
1st Bob Knellor