From The Chair June 2014:
Issue 62 Aug/Sept
At this time of year there are just not enough hours in the day, I'm glad I'm retired, or as my wife would say retarded. Anyhow I discovered some time ago that you can't go to rallies and do much in the shed, the grass keeps growing and there is always Club business to be attended to.
Looking at rally programmes it surprises me how often the tractor listed is not the one on the peg. I have to confess that I took the wrong one to the my last rally, it was already on the lorry and I didn't check which one I'd entered. In future I shall do what a pal of mine does and select one tractor for the season can't make mistakes that way.
An Apology: In the last magazine there was a picture of a very nice Super Major taken at Tractor World in March, I must apologise to the owner Mr G D Saunders for wrongly crediting ownership to David Neville-Stockley. Gordon, from Near Worcester, has owned the tractor since it was about eighteen months old and although she looks very smart today she has in fact had a very hard working life having clocked up over twenty thousand hours, the original clock is still fitted and working. Unsurprisingly the engine has been rebuilt twice and it is a credit to the Fordson build quality that all but the rear wings are original and even these will be refitted when time allows. I'm pleased to say that Gordon took the mistake with his usual good humour but it is only right to put the record straight.
Registrations: I do find helping members register their tractors interesting and it is rewarding when they actually take the trouble to contact me to say that they have either been able to keep the original number, which is always my aim if at all possible, or have been allocated an age related plate. One such recent case was for an early 1952 Major with original tinwork being in very good condition belonging to Mrs Julie Long. In my dating letter I addressed her as Dear Sir, fortunately neither did she take offence nor did the DVLA notice, as she was able to retain the tractor's existing number.
Julie wishes to know if her father's E27N Major is still about, she thinks that the picture dates from the 70's, that's Julie on the tractor.
Her dad used to buy fallen trees from the Forestry Commission and the tractor was used to bring the logs back to keep the home fires burning. One year the trailer got stuck and Julie, her father and chain saw Fred together with Cindy her dog all returned home on HOR 969 in the snow without the trailer. If any one knows of this tractor's whereabouts please contact either the editor or myself.
The Club's AGM; our next Annual General Meeting will be held at Tractor World, on Sunday 15th March 2015 at twelve noon in the Freisan Hall on the Three Counties Show Ground at Malvern. There will be no AGM in this calendar year; you will recall that the Club's constitution was amended to allow for this possibility at our last AGM. The show is a couple of weeks later than this year than usual, so make a note in your diaries now.
Just north of Boston, Lincolnshire was held on 25th and 26th May.
The theme this year was Ford and Fordson tractors and Ransomes implements of which there was a very impressive entry. Unfortunately on Saturday 24th the day of the auction and car boot sale the heavens opened, I didn't have a rain gauge, an oversight since rectified, but if there wasn't over an inch of rain then Boston isn't in Lincolnshire. It stopped raining by the Sunday and although there were no parades in the morning, a necessary curtailment, and the working area was deemed too wet the sun came out and matters started to get back on track in the afternoon when the Ford and Fordson tractor parade took place.
On Monday the sun shone, the birds sang and all was right with the world even though it was a tad damp under foot still. It really is a tractor man's rally and there was a good selection of Fords with a few quite rare ones.
I particularly liked Mick Patrick's recently acquired Mailam crawler, it is something of a hybrid being based on a Super Major married to a TD 9 back end. Paul Cooper was awarded the trophy for 'the best Fordson 1917 to 1950' for his stunning E27N which is carried to shows on his equally beautifully restored Bedford TK.
This is the first year for some time that the Club has been invited to attend and I must thank the rallies chairman Malcolm Robinson for looking after us so well. It is a very well-run event and if you have not been I can thoroughly recommend it and hope to go again next year.
The Devon County Show
Held near Exeter on May 22nd to 24th Andrew Green reports:
The show set out to be a great success but regrettably the weather brought the Show to a premature end as the heavens opened and the organisers decided to cancel the final day principally due to safety within the car parks. It was a great shame as the vintage side of the Show has been increasing and there was an even bigger turnout of tractors of all makes. The Ford & Fordson representation was equally strong and Ralph Sharland had his usual display of heritage models which is always great to see. Devon as a County is blessed with many shows throughout the summer and it is not possible for me to get around too many but I hope to see some of you at the Mid Devon Show at Tiverton on 26th July or the Okehampton Show on 14th August. Please call by and say hello!
Held on 6th and 7th June, Conrad Hopkins reports :
Rain was forecast for the Saturday morning and it duly arrived mid-morning just as 17 drivers of Ford and Fordson Association were going in the ring. After a delay of 15minutes or so the rain stopped and in we went spending some 20 minutes parading our pride and joys to be followed at 1.30 by all other makes of tractor. Sunday morning dawned fine and bright with up to 27deg forecast. At 12.15 FFA were again in the ring with commentary by yours truly, with a good showing of 20 tractors. After they all passed me near the commentary box we had the figure of 8 display lead by Ken Bailey on this 2000. This went on for about 10 minutes then the fun started with 10 tractors back to back tied together with parcel string 1.4 meters long. The idea was to get to the other end of the ring without breaking it. If you did you got off, retied the string and carried on; when they had rested at the other end they returned to the start doing the same again. The winners in this challenge were Rick Hambling on my tractor and Steven Tarmen who joined the club on Saturday. This was followed by a slow race with 12 tractors taking part ranging from Ford 2000 Fordson Majors plus E27Ns; the winner in this challenge was Ken Bailey on this 2000. Once more round the ring then back to our stand each driver was given a 50 years for Fordson rosette courtesy of Aldham rally committee .
Held 7th and 8th June, Roger Ingham writes:
Wet & Dry Newby Hall
What a scorcher on Friday prior to the weekends show. After a long journey Margaret and Derek Badham arrived and we duly assisted in setting up the stand by 4pm all was in place and members started to arrive with their tractors. We were soon sorting tractors into their groups and the stand was looking good Margaret soon had a cup of Yorkshire tea brewed to wash the dust down.
Saturday arrived and an early start, by 11am sixty five tractors were on our stand and lots more arriving on wagons, then within five minutes the heavens opened and it poured down, everyone ran for shelter and there they stayed. By two o clock it was looking serious and the rain got worse. At three o clock after a meeting with the Newby hall management, a sensible decision was reached and an announcement told us that no tractor movements were to take place until Sunday four o clock. This was the correct decision and nobody wanted to see the beautiful parkland chewed up and put future shows in jeopardy.
So Sunday arrived and so did the sun, a beautiful day followed and the crowds flocked in. There was huge interest in our display and many new members were signed up, old and new faces stood around discussing the merits of some stunning tractors especially two ford Countys that were better than new.
Thanks must go to all the members and exhibitors for their patience in the extreme weather conditions and commiserations to the members who did not get a chance to unload their tractors, many thanks also to Derek and Margaret Badham who supplied endless cups of tea all weekend. Grateful thanks also to Newby Hall and their management team. I hope everyone returns in 2015 and makes it a record show for Ford and Fordson.
Future Rallies, as this is the August / September issue it will not drop through your letter box until mid-July by which time it will be to late too enter some of the events listed below which the Club will be attending but we still look forward to welcoming members who come to the show to the stand.
Lister Tyndale Rally at North Nibley on 12th and 13th July (David & Kenneth Ford)
Kent County Show Detling 11th to 13th July
FFA Expo X at Flookbrugh on 26th and 27th July
Cambridge rally at Stow -cum -Quay on 26th and 27th July (Conrad Watkins)
West Oxen Rally at Ducklington on 20th and 21st July
(David & Kenneth Ford)
Road run at East Stour on Saturday the 26th of July if call Tony or Suzanne on 01747 838925
Welland steam & Country Rally 26th to 28th July
(Kenneth & David Ford)
Gloucestershire Steam Extravaganza at South Cerney on 1st to 3rd August (David & Kenneth Ford)
Show Time at Barrons Lane Purleigh on 9th and 10th August a working event. (Conrad Hopkins)
Tern Valley Vintage Machinery Trust 16th and 17th August Newport (Margaret & Derek)
County of Salop Steam Rally Onslow Park Shrewsbury 24 & 25 August (Margaret & Derek)
Gillingham & Shaftsbury Agricultural Show 20th of August (Andrew Gould)
Gt Dorset at Tarrant Hinton on 27th to 31st August, a celebration of the 1000 series
The Gravesend and Rochester Agri. Ass. 27th Sept Machays Cout Farm, Lower Stoke, ME39RJ
The Weald of Kent Ploughing Match September 20th at Gate House Farm, Marden (Rodney Gibson)
The Grand Henham Steam Rally 21st and 22nd September
Rallies and their 'Cut off Point,' a very personal view - Many rallies do not accept entries of tractors made after the mid sixties. Now I quite understand that some of you with, 'blue' blood coursing through your veins, will think that the last proper tractor was made at Dagenham in 1964 and anything newer than that is not worth bothering with. But, consider this, the first tractors from Basildon are now fifty years old and yes they were blue too and for that matter still are. However the point that I want to make is this, most people coming into our hobby start off with a tractor associated with their youth and if you look round any Club meeting there are precious few youngsters present, if truth be told most are getting like myself, somewhat past their sell by date.
Before Health and Safety had been invented back in the 60's, lads and for that matter lasses, were often encouraged to drive farm tractors before they reached their teens. Just ask yourself what was the shiniest most up to date tractor in the farmyard that they were itching to get their hands on? I can tell you that it wasn't that battered old N kept at the back of a shed that had to be started by hand. No the tractor they coveted started with a key, had a padded seat and might even have sported a radio. Although that tractor is probably long gone and is now just a distant memory the first tractor in their collection will probably be the same model.
It is universally recognised that the movement needs to attract younger people and yet here we are discouraging the very people we need to attract. I am not advocating that there should be no age limit but surely allowing anything over twenty five years old on a rolling basis would be more appropriate.
Expo XI next year will be held at The Gloucestershire Steam Extravaganza at South Cerney, I have wanted to enter this rally for a while now but as I said at the beginning this is a busy time of year and there simply isn't enough time to do everything that you want to do. David and Kenneth Ford will make you very welcome so why not go and have a look this year it really is a very good rally!
Finally a progress report on my petrol Super Major. It's good to know that pals look out for you and, as a result, the other day I had some 'phone calls as a complete manifold was spied on a certain auction site that would suite my tractor. The 'in line' ones do come up from time to time but this was the first 'staggered port' one I've seen. It was a bit on the pricey side but I've been looking for one ever since I acquired the tractor and when will you see another, expressions about hen's teeth spring to mind; it's now mine but I haven't had time to fit it yet.