From The Chair August 2014: (For issue 63 Oct/Nov)

Sonny Smith:
It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Sonny Smith following his sudden collapse at the Oswestry Agricultural Show on Wednesday 6th August.  Sonny, a great supporter of the Association and who had recently attended our EXPO in Cumbria, was twice European ploughing Champion; he had judged ploughing matches all over the world and was the acknowledged expert on the Ford Select-O-Speed gearbox.  He had recently suffered serious sight loss but did not allow that to affect his sense of humour or his unfailing willingness to help others.
Sony was one of nature's gentlemen and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Jackie and family.
Here is Sonny Winning the "One I'd most like to take home" at this years FFA Expo X 2014


Committee News: 

I am pleased to welcome Ken Bailey who has been co-opted onto our committee; many of you will know Ken.
He has been actively helping to erect the FFA stand at shows up and down the country for some years. You may recall the picture taken from on high at last years Expo at Welland; Ken took this, as frankly no one else had the bottle to go up in the crane's cage.


Overseas Members:

There are a good number of Ford and Fordson Association members overseas, particularly in Europe. We were pleased to welcome a sizable Dutch contingent to last years AGM at York, and I was surprised by the number who visited the Club stand at the Blue Force1000 event at Newark at the end of June.  They complained that they have had a problem renewing their subscriptions, and after a chat, with our redoubtable treasurer Jane Broomhall, the problem can be resolved by them instructing their bank to pay in GBP - £ -  Pounds sterling directly to our bank account; the details of which are:
Bank: NatWest /  Account Number: 72642505 /  Sort Code: 53-70-01
   BIC:NWKB GB 2L /  IBAN:GB11 NWKB 5370 1172 6425 05


Paint Colours:

I'm probably opening Pandora's box here, but apart from registrations, I receive more enquiries about paint colours and what should be painted and what colour it should be, than almost anything else.  I'd like to start off by saying that I'm not a purist and that everybody must do with their tractor as they wish, its their tractor and their choice. But I know how I like mine and that's in its working clothes, if that's possible, but if you have to paint them, and sometimes you do because of tin work repairs etc. again, in my view, they should be no better than they were when new, but that's just my opinion
"In the High and Far off times, O best beloved' as Rudyard Kipling was wont to say colours were not standard in fact they came from different suppliers and were often of very different shades. With the model F, to paraphrase Henry 'You can have it any colour you like as long as it's grey', but what shade was it?  In this country the move to Dagenham and the attempt to jazz up the ageing N led to the 'Essex Cart' colours being introduced, but what was the actual colour of the orange and what was the shade of blue?  Then came 'Harvest Gold' I've spent hours talking to more knowledgeable men than myself and still don't know what colour it really was, and looking at restored examples I really don't believe the spectrum now seen from pale yellow to bright orange would have been acceptable to even a colour blind buyer at Dagenham.  Then we come to the Majors, both the E27N and the New Major the E1A were painted 'Empire Blue' although they were very different colours, confusing?  I remember picking up a tin in the '50"s from Ernest Doe's Sudbury branch to touch up one of father's tractors and having to take it back because when opened it was the dark E27N blue.  Alf, the store man at the time, was quite nonplussed and changed it for a different tin.  That's when there were proper store men that didn't need a fistful of numbers to give you the right part, but that's another story.
Once the Blue /Grey Majors were introduced colours were to B.S.I. standards but the last NP Super majors had a greenish tint to the grey.  One thing that is certain, the E1A Major never had orange grills, they were blue up to the Power Major when they were changed to silver and thereafter were the same colour as the mudguards on the blue / grey Majors.  Dexta grills are another matter, there certainly are contemporary sales brochures showing orange grills, but from my recollection and of the ones we had at home they were blue up until the NP Super Dexta, which was grey. 
I said at the beginning that this was a can of worms and I stand to be corrected but a lot of people want to know so drop me an email with your view and I will report back. With the earlier tractors probably the best bet is to take a sample piece that has not had too much sunlight to a paint supplier and have them match the colour.


Rallies Past: 

The Blue Force 1000 Event
held on 28th and 29th June at Newark showground, we took the Club marquee and we had a cracking weekend.  There were some very interesting tractors exhibited but unfortunately not in the numbers the organisers had hoped, which was disappointing but there was plenty for the enthusiast to see.  I have no idea of the number of public who came through the gate, but the showground generally was far from busy.
The Farm Machinery Preservation Societies' rally
Held at Long Melford on 5th and 6th July although dampish on the Sunday morning went well. Certainly the Fordson N owned by Mike Stevenson (a.k.a. Dodge) painted Massey Ferguson red and black with a Perkins V 8 grafted in stole the show, there was a constant stream admiring it.
Everyone has their own view on this sort of conversion and I must say that they usually leave me wondering why anyone should go to so much trouble but this one just made me smile!
Ford & Fordson Association Expo X 
Held at The Cumbria Steam Gathering's rally at Flookbrugh on 26th and 27th July; my first visit to this rally, but one should try a few new ones every year so that you see something different and I was not disappointed.  We were provided with an excellent marquee in the tractor section and made very welcome but it was unfortunate that organisers did not put all the Ford and Fordson tractors together, as had been promised; this makes for a much better display.
This mistake was compounded because members who are regular exhibitors to the rally did not join us simply because they were not given that option and were just placed in the general tractor line up.   We did have our own ring parade and, on the second day, when word had got round, considerably more tractors, which went round in age order, organised by Keith Broomhall.
As usual at Expos the judging was undertaken by the exhibitors and this year we decided to include all Ford and Fordson tractors in the show regardless of whether they were Club members or not. I found it satisfying that most winners were Club members but not all and the judges, owing to the layout of tractors, couldn't have known.
The winning tractors that I particularly liked were Ian Strong's Ford 7000 in its working clothes, a very straight tractor and just how I like them and Sonny Smith's Petrol 4000 industrial Select-O-Speed that was particularly nicely restored; I first saw it at Tractor World a couple of years ago.  Sonny, as you will know, was the Select-O-Speed expert without peer.
                                                              Best In Show:                                                                                
                                            1st. Mr Bowman        - 1930 Fordson N (Irish)                                                                
                              2nd. Eric Davenport - 1917 Fordson model T (tractor conversion)                
                                                 3rd. Philip Ireland - 1919 Fordson F                                                
Best Unrestored:
                                                         1st. Ian Strong - Ford 7000        
                                   2nd. Edward Woof - Fordson Major, T.V.O with 'Bale Slinger'                
                                    3rd. Pat Pawsey - Fordson Super Major (Industrial petrol)
The One I'd Most Like to Take Home:
                               Winner - Mr J B Smith (Sonny) - 1970 Ford 4000 industrial petrol        
From what I am told the show committee had been misled as to how many tractors to expect if the FFA held an Expo at their show. If this is the case I apologise to them but had they asked me I would have supplied a realistic figure.  It all boils down to transport costs; I know that I'm getting boring about this, but it is a fact of life.  Flookburgh is a long way from Suffolk, in my case a round trip some 947 kilometres, and my little Cargo when driven carefully does about 5.4 km / litre and with diesel at around £1.39 per litre that's just short of £250 in fuel cost alone.
I have to say that no recognition was given to those that had travelled up from East Anglia and further south, which was a pity. FFA entrants were not recorded in the programme and no plaques given to them by the show committee.  I shall say no more.
Kent County Show:
Held at Detling Showground on 11th - 13th July 2014. We are indebted to Ernie Clark, our website Guru, who writes that the Kent County Show is getting better and better as each year passes. The show is concentrating more on what is or has been going on in the Kent Area including superb local produce, local manufacturers and of course the local heritage. This has resulted in more of the vehicles that are on show in the "Heritage Area" being either of Kent origin or have worked in the area.
"Thank you" to all exhibitors for making this year's show the best we have had. I cannot wait to see what next year will bring. We all know that the show doesn't just operate on its own and that there are many, many people that have worked hard to help put on a show like this. I would like to thank the organisers of the "Heritage Section".
The Fordson Tractor Club of Australia Inc. 
Are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year. They publish a quarterly magazine entitled "Power on the Land" and  Dawn Milson, their Club secretary and magazine editor has ensured that we have received a complimentary copy for many years.  It does contain some very interesting information and as we have permission I intend to include extracts from it over the winter months when there is less rally news to report.  In appreciation of their support and help our Committee offered lifetime membership of the Ford & Fordson Association to Dawn and her husband Barry that they have graciously accepted.
Events to come:
A rather shorter list in this issue with only three rallies and four ploughing matches.
The Weald of Kent Ploughing Match 20th September at Gate House Farm, Marden  (Rodney Gibson)
The Grand Henham Steam Rally 21st and 22nd September will be featuring the 'Dancing Does' and giving particular emphasis to 1970 Ford tractors, it is a great show.
The Gravesend and Rochester Agri. Ass. 27th September Machays Cout Farm, Lower Stoke, ME39RJ 
Southern Area Ploughing Championships:
The FFA are very grateful to Henry Castle for again inviting us to attend the Ferguson Club Annual ploughing match and fun day to be held on 4th and 5th October at Hall Farm, Fornham St Martin, Bury St Edmunds, IP311SL.
The 64th National Ploughing Championships:
To be held at Wootton St Lawrence near Basingstoke on 11th-12th October by kind permission of G B Foot Ltd.
"Due to land shortage at this years ploughing event, the 12 plots that were available to the FFA and its members are now not available." The Club will still be on site and members are more than welcome to join Conrad there & exhibit their tractors. For more information call or Email: Conrad Hopkins on 01621-773592 No later than 9 pm. please.
Northern Area FFA Ploughing Championships:
  Roger Ingham will again be organizing these, they are to be held on Sunday 2nd November at Towton, nr Tadcaster.  For more information contact Roger on 01937531532.
Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show:
8th and 9th November, the rally year's swan song. As usual the Club will have the marquee and we look forward to seeing you there, this year we have been invited to nominate two tractors for display in the George Stevenson Hall.
Andrew Green Our FFA Devon Area Rep writes : As the Shows season comes to an end, it is now time to turn our attention to planning Winter evening meetings and I am hoping to get these started at Whiddon Down after the clocks have changed on Wednesday 29th October  and again on November 26th but I will confirm this in due course. If anyone reading this would like to be part of our Group, please drop me an email to or ring 01363-83791 and it would be great to hear from you!
I was at a farm sale the other day and ran into Ross Hext, one of our members, and whilst watching an extensive number of entries of Ford spares being sold he told me about a Charity event he is planning for next spring. He is going to do a road run from Cheriton Fitzpaine to St Teath in Cornwall, a 150 mile round trip, to raise money for both Motor Neurone Disease and Hospicare, both of which are very close to his heart and it would be his way of saying a big thanks to them both. He will be drive an early KFD Major, a 1953 wide belt model which Ross will spruce up before the big event. He is looking for sponsorship, so anyone out there who would like to help or get involved, please give him a call evenings on 01363-866624. Well that's all for now and we will catch up soon!
Finally ....... A lack of progress report.
In the last magazine I said that I had acquired the proper manifold for my petrol Super Major.  I thought it would be nice to pop it on for the Blue Force 1000 event, where it was to be part of Brian Dye's display of petrols.  I did and it ran like a dog so I refitted the one that was on before but it still ran like a dog and frankly I've not had time to play with it since. 
This is the only reason for my resignation as chairman at the next AGM in March.  Make no mistake I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the job and have made many new friends as a result, but it takes up so much of my time that I cannot play with my tractors, as I want to.  I am not resigning from the Club, in fact I shall continue to contribute and serve on the committee for as long as you, the members, want me to.
But I've got a shed full of tractors needing work and I've just acquired another "little gem" that I couldn't just spirit in and park behind the shed and say nothing as I've done in the past, but more of that next time.