Club News No:4 - July 2012
"From the Chair"
As announced in the last magazine the AGM will be held on Sunday 21st October at the Bredgar & Wormshill light railway in Kent. The ticket price including lunch & train rides is £12. As usual members are invited to bring their tractors, please contact RODNEY GIBSON on Landline 01795841775 or Mobile 07850788347 and let him know what tractors you are bringing.
View our AGM website page for more details.
The weather has been a real problem for rally organisers and exhibitors alike and several shows have been cancelled or curtailed. The Club has had a stand at three rallies in East Anglia over the last couple of months and it has been good to have a chat with so many of you; committee members do take note of your views.
The first was The Farm Machinery Preservation Society's rally at Long Melford on 7th and 8th July.The rally is held on land behind Melford Hall, a really idyllic setting. Last year was the club's first attendance and the weather was gorgeous; but this year what a difference; the first day, after rain the previous two nights, turned out well but on Saturday night even ducks needed to take cover!
The Club had its own parade on Saturday; the photographs of this and the FFA display are courtesy of Trevor Burch. It must have been a heart breaking decision for the committee but the show was cancelled before opening on the Sunday morning.
Sunday was spent pulling exhibitors off the site and FFA members played their part. Such a pity as this is one of my favourite rallies, my sympathy goes to the organisers.
FFA Expo VIII
The next FFA event was our EXPO VIII at Swavesey, this is a relatively new rally just off the A14 West of Cambridge. The week had been wet and frankly I feared another cancellation, but this was not to be. Ray and Vander Parcell held their nerve and the event went ahead, the site drying up as the weekend progressed. We had a marquee provided by the organisers, and an interesting turn out of members' tractors. The Club again had its own parade which was ably compared by our past Chairman Peter Godwin.
Next year's EXPO is scheduled to be at the Welland rally; I attended the rally for the first time last year and can thoroughly recommend it.
Southern Area Ploughing Championships
To be held on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th October 2012
at Ingham, nr. Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. IP31 1SL
With kind permission of Land Owner Mr. Andrew Long &
Mr. Henry Castel who is organising a
Ploughing match for the East Anglian Freguson Club
and allowing the FFA to hold it's
2012 Southern Area Ploughing Championships
also at this event.
All FFA Members Welcome
The Saturday 6th October will be for practice and setting up with the Championship on Sunday 7th October.
The Classes will be Vintage Trailed, Vintage Mounted,and Classic.
For more details contact
Henry Castel on 01284 728422 before 8:30pm
Northern Area Championships
To be held on Sunday 4th November 2012
at Saxton, nr.Tadcaster with kind permission of Mr. R Bayston
3 Classes: Vintage Trailer, Vintage Mounted & Classic
This is a New Club Championship for the Northern Area.
No Qualifying Needed - Just come along and compete
All FFA Members Welcome
For more Information & Entry Forms contact:
Roger Ingham: Landline on 01937 531532 or
Mobile on 07910 272757.
More information view our 2012 Ploughing section of our website
Newark Vintage Tractor Show:
This is the 10th show and is held on 10 & 11th November right at the end of the season. This years theme is 'Perkins Derivatives' that will prove interesting. We will again have a marquee and members wishing to bring exhibits to show outside will be most welcome. Entries close on 28th September Email email@example.com or 'phone 01636 705796. I hope to see you there.
An East Anglian Tale from Natel Taylor:
The Woolpit Steam Rally was held on the weekend of 26 /27th May. There was, as always, a good selection of Fordson tractors together with some other really interesting 'Old Iron'. I must say that this rally never disappoints and is one of the friendliest ones that I go to.
On the Friday evening I was in a group chewing the fat and one of the steam men, Natel Taylor, who rescued a derelict 1916 Wallis & Steevens engine named Faith from near Lavenham.
I well remember her forlornly standing by the roadside just over the railway bridge in the late 50's, told a story of particular interest. It is impressive to note that he has now owned and cherished 'Faith' for nearly half her life; this surely must be a record.
It transpires that in the early 50's his father; F Taylor (Fred) was about to become manager of Rectory Farm Tostock for Group Captain Pearson-Rogers. At his interview he was asked what tractor he would like, his reply was that for the ploughing he reckoned a County crawler would be ideal. The Group Captain agreed to this and said that he would negotiate the purchase himself.
Prior to starting Fred visited the farm taking Natel along and whilst business was being transacted, the Group Captain suggested that Natel might like to inspect the new crawler that was safely garaged in a barn. Imagine his surprise when he found an E27N County fitted with a Perkins P6 engine painted 'powder blue' inside! On further inspection he found welding repairs to the track plates, grease nipples missing from the rear axle in other words a second-hand tractor.
He promptly went to inform his father and you can just imagine the embarrassment. There is dad talking to his new employer and son saying that the brand new crawler isn't new at all. I gather a bit of 'shushing' went on but Natel rightly stuck to his guns and the three trooped into the barn to survey the evidence. There stood the County that should have been dark empire blue painted light blue and was on inspection obviously not new.
The Group Captain was aghast, he was a magistrate and did not wish to invoke the law so he asked Natel's father to sort it out. Fred wrote to Counties giving the serial number of the tractor and asking for details and when it was built. The reply stated that the crawler was indeed one of theirs but had left the factory as a petrol paraffin tractor a couple of years earlier.
The next morning armed with this letter the intrepid pair set off to visit the dealer from whom the tractor had been purchased. On arriving at Whitlock's yard in Gt. Yeldham they entered the offices and asked to speak to Mr Whitlock. His secretary said that he saw no one without an appointment, so having established which was his office they knocked on the door despite his secretary's protests and entered uninvited. Mr Whitlock protested that no one could just walk into his office without an appointment but Natel's father was not to be browbeaten and said simple that the County they had been sold as a brand spanking new one was in fact a second hand tractor. Whitlock said that was absolute nonsense so the letter was produced, Natel tells me that on reading the letter there was a dramatic change in attitude. Mr Whitlock then asked what was wanted and was told that a new six speed County was required straight away and if court proceedings were to be avoided a new four furrow plough to go with it without any charge, Whitlock agreed to this.
The pair returned home and that afternoon the telephone rang and they were told that a County was available at Man Egerton's Kesgrave depot. They duly went over and inspected a brand new County built on a Fordson E1A that was accepted as a replacement and was duly delivered the following day. Natel subsequently collected the 'free' plough that was Ransoms 4 furrow Mowtrac from Wasp at Cockfield towing it back to Tostock with a petrol Ferguson shortly afterwards.
Of course many of you will know of the Whitlock business better in relation to the manufacture of farm trailers and loading shovels and 'Dinkum' diggers produced at Gt Yeldham followed by both Whitlock diggers and later the world renowned Hy-Mac range. I found this a fascinating glimpse from the past and am indebted to Natel for both recounting it to me and allowing its publication.