In The Chair No: 72 - May 2016

 
The Club's new relationship with Kelsey, announced in the last issue, has been very well received and has kept Jane and Keith busy resolving the inevitable membership issues that have arisen as a result. 
 
Whilst unable to accept credit or debit card payments, we now have a secure direct debit system in place that is working well and I have to say, in my case, Jane made all the necessary changes to transfer my direct debit payments from Kelsey to the Club.  It was a quite painless process and I can only commend it to anyone who, like me, was paying Kelsey by direct debit and wishes to remain a member of the Association.
 
 
The Club selected GoCardless as its direct debit provider. They are a BACS approved bureau, authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009, for provision of payment services.
 
Monies are held in a 'secure client account' and users are fully protected by 'the direct debit guarantee' that entitles them to a full and immediate refund of any payments taken from their account in error.
 
GoCardless is also able to offer the additional benefit of being able to accept payments from the EU in Euros under the Single European Payments Area, known as SEPA.
 
All you need to set up a direct debit is a bank account and an email address. However, cheque, cash and bank transfer payments are, of course, still welcomed.
 
 
Following my request in the last issue asking for your views on the content of the Club's four pages, some members have taken the trouble to get in touch and it would appear that, by and large, they think the balance is about right.  If any member has something that they think should be aired, perhaps a problem to solve or a story to tell, in fact anything that would be of interest please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will do my best to include it. 
 

 

Registrations and the DVLA:

 
When I took my driving test before the sixties had started to swing, you could take a group A driving test entitling you to drive vehicles up to 7,500kgs, on a BSA three wheeler, at sixteen years of age and hold a full license that, from memory, permitted me to drive all other groups with the exception of a track laying vehicle, a motor bike and a road roller. The only problem being that I was not old enough to drive any of them apart from the BSA! 
 
 Changes to driving licenses since are still causing confusion. There have been alterations to the minimum age at which certain classes of vehicle may be driven, though I suspect that will affect very few of you.
Probably the most important areas affect those wishing to tow trailers and what holders of the old 'seven and a half ton' license can legally drive. In 1990 the old group classification of vehicle type was replaced by the category system now used. The notes that follow give an overview; the full regulations should be carefully read.
 
If you passed your 'Car,' the old group A driving test before June 1990 you are entitled to drive a vehicle up to 3500kgs MAM and draw a trailer, with a combined weight of up to 8250kgs MAM. {MAM is the 'Maximum Authorised Mass' and includes the total weight of the towing vehicle, the trailer and any load.  In old money it was called Gross Train Weight}.
 
This remained largely unchanged until 1st January 1997. From then the vehicle could be up be to 3500kgs and the trailer up to 750kgs but their combined weight must not exceed 3500kgs MAM. The next change was on 19th January 2013; from then the trailer could neither exceed 750kgs nor the unladen weight of the towing vehicle.
 
From the age of seventy and every three years thereafter your license must be renewed, by a self-certification process.  There are stories of categories of vehicles being arbitrarily removed from licenses on renewal and I would advise photocopying your license before retuning it to the DVLA. Do make sure that you request to retain your existing categories and carefully check your license on its return.
 
The old Heavy Goods license was valid until the age of forty-five and are renewable every five years until sixty-five and then annually.  If you want to tow a caravan behind a vehicle with a MAM of 7500kgs, unless your van weighs 750kgs or less you must have category CE on your license to be legally able to tow it.
 
Registrations: I gather that the DVLA are in the process of carrying out random checks to ensure that recent registration marks issued to historic vehicles have been correctly verified, processed and that the vehicles are as certified.
If anyone is subject to a visit please contact me.
 Tel:01787 277316 - Mob:0797 74952739 (Before 9pm)
E-mail: Pat Pawsey
 

 

From Around the Country:

 
Congratulations to FFA member Rick Cobley on winning The Mortons Heritage Media Cup at Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show last November for the " Best Vintage tractor restored to manufacturer's specification with owners modifications".
 
Rick also fitted the diesel engine from his wife's Mondeo into a derelict Fordson N and made a splendid job of it. Incidentally it runs very well.  The tractor was a prizewinner at Newark in 2010 and still looks just as good today. It is a real credit to him.
 

 
Ray Syrett who recently joined the Club writes about A MAJOR IN A SMALL WORLD  - see issue 71 page 48 (Bill Foreman)
After reading the article, noted above, I felt I should send you a picture of my Super Major which was also supplied by A G Potter of Framlingham in 1963.  Len Wardley was the representative at that time and I can remember going to look at it; it must have been a Saturday because I was still at school. 
 
Our registration number 809 RBJ, fairly close to Bill's registration number 749 RBJ, would have been registered a month or two earlier. Mine has all the original body work and it is sound. I can't remember it being much trouble over the years, apart from two fuel pumps being fitted.
 
Our Major was mainly used for ploughing and sub-soiling as we had a Dexta for top work.  When the land got sticky in November to December we would put spade lug wheels on so we could keep pulling a three furrow plough. The ploughing used to go on until just after Christmas. The hour clock stopped back in the 1980's at 6,800 hours.  In the later years it was used on a pig scraper and, now, for a bit of straw carting at harvest time.
 
A few years ago we were on a road run which took us through Framlingham, right past the old Potter's yard where she started off (now the Co-Operative shop and car park). I couldn't help but think how things have changed in that time.
 
Ray Syrett on his Super Major
 

 

Isle of Wight Classic Tractors - Road Run 28th December 2015: 

David Lemonius reports on the fourth Isle of Wight Classic Tractors Charity Road Run which was held on the Bank Holiday Monday after Christmas.  We were blessed with some very mild and dry weather with the sun just peeping through the high cloud on occasions which, considering the awful weather that the rest of the country has had, we considered ourselves very lucky.
 
The route took us over approximately 24 miles of varied terrain starting off from the Eight Bells PH at Carisbrooke where many of us partook in their excellent breakfast. We followed a most interesting route and traversed the length of Brook Down and Afton Down to Freshwater Bay by kind permission of the National Trust. The views from these Downs are absolutely stunning with the English Channel in rather angry mode to the South and the Solent in somewhat calmer mode to the North with far reaching views across Southern England.  How lucky we are to live in such a wonderful place.
 
         Eddie James on his 4000
 
Chris Melrose on his Super Dexta
 
George Case on his 4000
 
At Compton Farm on the coast we were entertained with cups of tea, cake and a lovely steam engine quietly purring away close by. Our thanks go to Anna and Neville Smith for their kind hospitality. Also to Andrew Hodgson for access to some excellent off road opportunities.
 
We started with 41 tractors of various makes and shapes and finished up with 38, following a couple of minor breakdowns and a puncture on top of the Downs; probably as far from civilisation as you can get!  One of our local tyre fitters soon had it sorted. It was also pleasing to see that some of the younger generation is becoming involved in these events.
 
Entry monies and other donations meant that we were able to give £250 to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and £250 to the Isle of Wight Branch of the Osteoporosis Society. The organisers David Lemonius, Denis Pocock and John Butcher would like to thank all involved for their support of this event.
 

 
Devon FFA Area Rep Andrew Green  writes: With our enjoyable winter timetable of evening meetings behind us, we now look forward to Spring and Summer activities which, of course, focus around the many regional and local shows. Our membership should be represented at most of these, including the Devon County Show, which continues to grow in popularity. If you would like to exhibit, just call the Show Office and ask for an entry form.
 
We would like to wish the organisers of the NVTRR every success for a great Devon National weekend, with some kind weather. It will be an opportunity to show the rest of the country our wonderful West Country hospitality and, of course, to raise lots of money for Charity.
 
The National attracts participants from many counties and, indeed, from Ireland, Scotland and Wales too. We know of a number of FFA members who are booked in e.g. Keith and Jane Broomhall from Norfolk who are regulars at the event. We look forward to welcoming everyone.
 
On a personal note, I would like to invite you all to my local Vintage Rally & Flower Festival at Coldridge on 2nd July.
Your support would be most welcome.
 
I hope to see you out and about. You can contact Andrew on 01363-83791 or
 

 

2016 Events:

 
We started off at Tractor World in late February where we held our AGM. Reports and accounts are available on the website.
 
 
 
The next rally is the Eastern Counties Tractor and Vintage Spectacular - 9th & 10th April
Newby Hall Tractor Fest Showand - 11th & 12th June Journey Through the Ages - 18th & 19th June at Palgrave which is a new rally for the Club last year.
  Long Melford - 2nd & 3rd July
FFA EXPO XII at Woodcote - 9th and 10th July
Tim Pearman's family weekend for Club members - 6th & 7th August
Driffield - 13th & 14th August
 

 
Hertfordshire member, John Worley, is hoping to hold a tractor run during a Sunday in May, in the Chipperfield area, date to be finalized. Would anyone interested contact John on 07939 003890 after 7pm.
 
Also entries are now being taken for the Dacorum 10th anniversary show at Potton End to be held on 30th & 31st July.
Entries can be made via their web site Dacorum Website
 
or Contact John Worley on 07939003890
 

 
Yorkshire Vintage Association's Tractor Fest at Newby Hall, near Ripon on 11th  and 12th of June.
Roger will host the FFA's stand as usual and ensure a great display of tractors.
 
However Roger's Big event this year is the World Ploughing Championships at Crockey Hill near York on 8th & 11th September. The Club will have a stand with Roger officiating and he is seeking member's tractors for display.
 
Continuing the ploughing theme, the very popular Northern Ploughing Championships will be held at Towton, Nr Tadcaster, courtesy of J E Hartley Farms on Sunday 25th September.
For more Details on above Events Contact:
Roger Ingham - 01937 531532 or 07910-272757
 

 
All above Rallys & Events are listed in Show Calendar 2016 pages on Our website.
 

 
Finally: I receive many calls about buying and restoring tractors, paint colours, which oil to use, where to source an elusive spare part as well as a huge number about registration and driving licenses.  So I thought it time, as there was space to discuss some of the everyday tractor problems that we all come across.  I have already covered some of the common queries about driving entitlements in this issue and thought that I would end with a few thoughts on choosing a tractor when first entering our hobby.  It is not intended for the experts amongst you but for those just starting out.
 

A Note about Tractor Restorations and Restorers - Part 1:

 
1. Men and their Toys:
Everyone is different; they have differing aims, knowledge and skills and it's important to bear this in mind as it affects everything else that follows here. For example one needs little mechanical knowledge to be a reasonably competent car driver, however to adequately carry out routine checks such as for correct fluid levels and tyre pressures some ability is required.  To service it you need more and to actually diagnose faults and repair them still more skill is required.  Most farmers have a working knowledge of mechanical things but many are notoriously bad at servicing and maintaining their equipment, particularly stockmen!
 
2. Choice of Tractor - Make and Model:
The first tractor acquired is nearly always one remembered from boyhood.  Not the old and now extremely rare Dungey Weeks, that was then slowly gathering rust at the back of a shed and probably not been started for over twenty years; but was kept just in case.  No, the memory would be of one that was new when they were about six or seven.  A brand new, shiny, state of the art "New Fordson Major" or whatever other make had lightened the farmers pocket, always first seen on a lovely sunny day and leaving an indelible impression on them for ever afterwards.  At least that's what happened to me albeit in my case an earlier model, but speaking to others it is quite remarkable how similar these memories are.
 
The next critical factor in choosing a tractor is what is it to be used for? Is it basically just a trip down memory lane, to be admired and little else or is it to be taken to shows and rallies or perhaps there are chores around the house where it would be useful or maybe for taking on road runs or are ploughing matches the main objective?
 
Probably the next most important point to consider is transport, if the tractor is not going to be driven to its destination how is it going to get there?  Think weight, what towing vehicle(s), trailers are available and not least, but often overlooked, what class of driving license is held.
 
3. Buying the Tractor:        
Once the decision of what to buy has been reached the search can begin.  Always ask around as well as scouring the classifieds in specialist magazines, dealers' and auctioneers' advertisements as well as auction sites, its often surprising what is tucked in a shed just down the road. Beware of photographs; they invariably make things look much better than they actually are!  Do your homework and find out which particular areas for the chosen model commonly give trouble, if you don't know already and have an idea of the probable repair cost.
 
If the tractor is a 'runner" ask that it is not started until you get there and check it is cold before starting it.
 
Do all the usual checks, oil levels and colour, coolant, listen to the engine, oil pressure - check the condition of the tinwork, make sure that the hydraulics, the gears, the brakes and the steering operate correctly. Take it for a spin to see how it drives and again listen for untoward noises.
 
If the tractor is a non-runner inspect it very carefully and you will need to take some tools with you unless you know the owner very well!  Either you will know what to look for or if you don't take a man who does.
 
Finally be careful before parting with any money, particularly if it is a non-runner, and agree any loading assistance or possible transport home, should either be required, before you do.
 

 
Your view about the Club pages please:
 
Several of you have contacted me complaining about the loss of two of the Club pages in the last issue.
 
To explain, in March 2014, at a meeting with Kelsey at Tractor World, we asked for an increase in the space allocated to cover Club affairs in the magazine. The request was granted on the understanding that we would provide both the words and photographs to fill it; at the same time the provision of a further page for merchandise promotion was confirmed. The affect was that the two pages that were then given to Club affairs were increased to four making five pages in all.  The first such issue was No 61 out in May 2014 and this format continued for the next seven issues until the October/November 2015 magazine, issue 70. 
We welcome Peter Love's return, as magazine editor for the December / January issue.  In that issue Peter decided as editor, that to increase the magazines circulation he would reduce our four dedicated pages to two and use the two pages so released for other content.  The first I knew of this is when the magazine dropped through my letterbox.
 
Peter has since called me and said that our four pages would be reinstated but that we should change the content limiting Club reporting to two pages and that the other two pages should comprise pieces, for example, about members' tractors, restoration etc. 
 
In other words half the content should be about items not directly linked to Club affairs but of general interest.  I have always included general interest items in the Club pages to try and make them more interesting; in fact the non-Club content has averaged some 30% since the four pages began. 
 
Judging from the comments made to me over the last eighteen months you are, by and large happy with the content, but I'm always looking to improve it so if you have any suggestions please give me a call or better still send an email to fordsonclub@gmail.com like it or loath it I really do want to know what you think.
 

 
Finally:
There is continuing chatter about inter-club rivalry (read Blue force) and frankly it is about time it stopped.  It's of no interest to me and indeed talking to other tractor men it's of no interest to them either.  We have good relations with all clubs, both at home and abroad and that is it should be.
 
When we go to shows we go to enjoy the tractors, to meet like-minded enthusiasts and for the craic, Of course there will be competition with fellow exhibitors, perhaps to put on a better display or to attract more new members but that's no more than good-natured healthy competition.   
 
Many of our members also belong to Blue Force and the same is just as true in the reverse, we are all part of the same brotherhood with a common interest in all things Ford.  You all have friends that belong to a different clubs and just because they have chosen a different club that will in no way lessen your friendship.