From The Chair : No: 69 - Nov 2015 

Open any tractor magazine these days and quite a large section is taken up with sale reports.  This is not new and is both of interest and a useful guide to tractor values for subscribers.  However it can be a bit of a double-edged sword and may become a disservice to some.
I must say I think that Tractor and Machinery’s reporting is sensible and for the vast majority of “ordinary” tractors the prices given in the comprehensive ‘Price Guide’, are a fair reflection of what one should expect to pay or receive.  Of course allowances, if applicable, should be made for additional costs, for example, buyers and seller’s premiums, commission, VAT, transport etc.
My tractors, like most of yours are  “ordinary”, I don’t mean any disrespect by this statement just that they are not very rare and are consequently traded on a fairly regular basis so keeping the valuation tables up to date should be fairly straight forward.
However suppose that you have a “rare” tractor and some disaster befalls it.  Let us assume, for the sake of this scenario, that your pride and joy has been stolen, but fortunately you have taken precautions to cover just such an eventuality by having  “The Strength of the Insurance Company” around it and have some recent photographs.  The insurer will appoint an assessor to deal with your claim who, in all probability will be no tractor ‘expert’ and is likely, apart from speaking to an auctioneer (perhaps from Cheffins or H J Pugh), to consult the ‘Price Guide’ in Tractor and Machinery.  Remember that as they are working for the insurer they will base their offer on the lowest valuation listed for your model as the starting point.
You can all see exactly where I’m going now. Although the ‘Price Guide’ is undoubtedly a useful tool it can set a dangerous precedent.  The reason for this is the low volume and sporadic timing of rare tractor sales.   For example there is no information given as to where or when a tractor was sold or the numbers of transactions the valuation is based on nor would it be practical to do so.  In some cases a model changing hands is a very rare event and may have been a considerable time ago.
I am not criticising the ‘Price Guide’, just warning that if you have a less common tractor do make sure that you discuss its value with your insurer regularly and preferably have agreed something in writing before a disaster occurs, just in case.  It is too late afterwards.


     Registrations and the DVLA

A couple of months back I reported that the DVLA had altered the evidence required to retain an existing registration number no longer held on their records.
It was then clear that tax discs were no longer acceptable but it was unclear how extracts from those registration records that have survived and that did not contain the vehicles chassis number would be treated.
I’m afraid its bad news, unless the all-important number is present it will not be accepted.  The DVLA can talk all it likes about .”the correct rules being more consistently applied”. but for my money it boils down to LSD.  Think about it, if you want an age related plate their fee is £55, if you have lost your V5C the fee is £25 BUT V5C for a retained registration number is free. Yet another stealth tax?


From around the Country

Andrew Green from Devon writes:
 Readers may remember that back in April, one of our members, Ross Hext, undertook a tractor road run down to St Teath in Cornwall and back to raise funds for principally Motor Neurone and I am delighted to say that he has raised almost £3000 for his efforts. What a great achievement!  He tells me that he is now being asked just what he is going to do next!  Keep up the good work Ross. Just to say that we all had a job to keep up with his KFD68 on the road!
Looking ahead, we have organised a couple of winter evening meetings, starting off on 28th October with a talk by Spence Kingdon entitled “Why” which is a very apt question we all ask ourselves when dealing with our hobby of vintage tractors!  This will be at our usual venue of Whiddon Down starting at 7.30 with refreshments.
 This is followed by another evening on 25th November at 7.30 when George French of Sparex will deliver Part 2 of his talk regarding life spent working in engineering, tractor and farming worlds; this should be another great entertaining evening not to be missed. Please put these in your diaries now.
For more details contact Andrew on:
ANDREW GREEN - 07809-031177

Journey Through the Ages 20th and 21st June:
This is a relatively new rally being only in its third year and it was the Club’s first visit to it, we took the new marquee for its inaugural outing and it looks really good too. The rally is held at Palgrave near Diss, Norfolk in the grounds of Goodrich Park, now a nursing home, it had that lovely parkland feel to it.
The organisers could not have made us more welcome and all the Ford and Fordson tractors, some 47, were grouped together on the Club stand which always works well and looked great.  We had our own ring parade; the road run was really excellent, lasting a couple of hours with about 75% ‘off road’. I think that it was one of the friendliest rallies that I’ve ever been to certainly one for next year’s diary!

Farm Machinery Preservation Society’s Rally at Long Melford held on 4th and 5th July:
The tractor display was a little different this year as the Ford and Fordson Association and Friends of Ferguson were adjacent to one another, the latter display organised by Peter Rash, and it made for a much more interesting line up. I particularly liked the so-called “Grey menace” being next to us as it was Fordsons greatest rival for many years, but it was just a pity that we didn’t have a few more 2 or 9NAN’s to show just who really was the innovator.
It is with regret that I have to report that Tom Hunt, the tractor steward for many years is retiring, Tom has hosted the tractor section at every rally I have been to.  He has been a FMPS committee member for many years and has organised the annual road tractor run at the rally, proceeds from which were donated to Macmillan Nurses.  He will be sorely missed.

Pink Ladies Charity Road Run 5th July:
The eleventh Pink Ladies tractor run, was a day of two halves, the morning wet, and thankfully the lunch time picnic stop and afternoon dry. Spirits remained high throughout this emotional day for the 160 participants and the feeling is that monies raised will see yet another record established. Huge thanks go to all sponsors, tractor owners and the large support team, without whom this memorable day could not take place.
      FFA’s Own Pink Lady our Treasurer Jane Broomhall

Dacorum Steam Rally 25th and 26th July 2015:
from John Worley our Hertfordshire Area Representative
It rained and rained nearly all day on Friday 24th July!  The approach to the arena area was via a gully between two fields. Most of the afternoon and early evening was spent by the members and committee using their tractors to tow stallholders and exhibitors' caravans on to the showground.
Early on Saturday morning it was touch and go whether the event would be cancelled.  However, it was decided to go ahead, although by Saturday afternoon a decision had been made to finish at 5 p.m. making it a one day show, due to the expected further rain which had been forecast for Sunday and Monday.
There was a variety of tractors totalling forty, with eighteen of these Ford or Fordson.
Ernie Barters Super Major
At lease twenty or more tractors did not turn up but the tractor people who did turn up had a good day.  Events included a tractor balancing competition and rusty but running, and a grand parade into the arena.
Our thanks and congratulations must go to the committee of the event, who spent so much time and effort organising it only to be rained off after one day.

Welland Steam and Country Rally held 24th to 26th July:
A really well run and relaxed event with an excellent working area, unfortunately spoilt this year by rain.  On Friday, the sale was run by Sunderlands & Thompsons and it was wet all day; no vehicle movement was allowed and 17mm was found in the rain gage on Saturday morning.However Saturday started off bright, the site dried,ring parades commenced and the crowds poured in. 
Lobb Bross's County Drive fitted with Blade
The rain was back by 9 o’clock on Sunday morning and, for safety reasons, the rally was cancelled by 10.30,  This is a really interesting show and is always worth attending even if, as this year, only for one full day.

The 8th and 9th of August saw the start of the Driffield Steam and Vintage Rally:
On Saturday the show starts with the vintage auction when hundreds gather to pore over bygones and vintage parts
The steam section is a wonderful sight. The engines gleaming in the sunshine that blessed both days of the rally, vintage cars, caravans, stationary engines, vintage commercials, motorbikes, pushbikes, lawnmowers, vintage toys, clothing, the list is huge and not forgetting our section of vintage and classic tractors. There were some stunning exhibits in this section and well worth mentioning Alan Nicholson's line up of 3, 4, 5 and 7000 series tractors
Thanks to all who made such a huge show a tremendous weekend for all and I'm sure we will all be back for more at next years event.

FFA Expo from August 31st / September 2nd: 
By kind invitation of the Stroud Vintage Transport and Engine Club we were made very welcome by Clive Osborne, the tractor steward, our own David Ford, his deputy, and by John Kedwell, the rally field supremo. I have known South Cerney for many years having spent 2 years at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, as it was then known, a bit over 50 years ago.
3 Rare Industrial Fordsons amoungst the many Ford & Fordsons displayed around the FFA Maquee
              Full report / more photos of FFA Expo                   


Forthcoming events:

Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show on 7th and 8th November 
The Club will be attending as usual this year with the added benefit of the new marquee. Although the closing date for entries is 18th September, as we are outside, late entries can be accommodated.  We look forward to seeing you there.
FFA Family weekend: 
In the last issue I mentioned the family weekend planned for August 2016 at the kind invitation of Tim Pearman in Worcestershire. We have had considerable interest from members, do come and talk to us if you are interested and before plans are finalised; Tim will be at both Dorset and Newark.

Advance Notice:
Ford & Fordson Association’s Expo 2016
 is to be held at Woodcote Steam and Vintage Transport rally on 9th and 10th July. Woodcote is some eight miles north of Reading - details to follow.
It is always difficult finding a suitable site that meets the committee’s aim of moving the Expo venue round the country, that has room to accommodate us and is fairly centrally placed so that members do not have to travel too far.The first Woodcote rally was held in 1964 this was a one-day show, subsequently the organising committee registered as a charity and by 1974 the rally had grown to a two-day event.
This will be a new rally for me, but it comes highly recommended and I do like to try some different rally’s each year otherwise one sees mostly the same tractors all the time. Of course this does make for future problems as the show that you really like always seems to be on the same weekend as another one that you also really liked so the next year a choice must be made. Life just seems to be full of decisions these days, I’m quite sure that it wasn’t like this when I was younger or were they just easier to make back then?  I suspect that advancing years have a lot to answer for; I certainly worry about things now that I would not have thought twice about a few years back.  But seriously, the real problem here is that many shows have a full compliment of regular tractor entries and if you go every year and don’t upset the tractor steward you are sure of an invitation the next year.  But should you wish to skip a year and attend another event you may have difficulty getting back into the first one.  I know that ‘automatic renewal’ of invitations makes the steward’s life a lot easier but it does nothing for the diversity of exhibits think about it.

If you have or know of anything of interest to other members. Don’t be shy if it interests you it will almost certainly interest others, so share it with us.
I look forward to hearing from you