In The Chair Nov 2016:(75 Oct/Nov) 

 

A Little Conundrum, you learn something new every day and I certainly did while at Journey Through the Ages, or to be more precise I learnt that the bell housings on Dextas are different but not why.   Roy Pratt asked me why some Dextas have longer 'bulge' by the starter motor than others and frankly I had never noticed that they had.  I find it slightly alarming when Roy asks me a question because he has an encyclopedic knowledge of Fordsons and I know that the answer is unlikely to be straightforward if indeed I can answer it at all. 
See the pictured examples, it appears to be nothing to do with whether a live clutch is fitted nor if it is a Super Dexta or a standard one.  Examples of both were there and the type of casting fitted appeared to be quite random.
 
  If anyone knows the reason for the difference please let me know.
 

 

Registration: 

I frequently receive calls asking me to help trace a tractors registration number, usually this is either to find out if a machine remembered from child or young adulthood still exists or because one has been acquired that requires to be registered for road use. 
If the registration mark is known the first port of call is the DVLA's database; this is easy to check by visiting 'Get vehicle information from the DVLA'.  Just paste https://www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla 
into your browser and put in the registration and make and it will tell you if a record exists, it will not however say to whom the vehicle is registered. 
If the vehicle has been acquired without a Registration Certificate (V5C) one can be obtained by getting a V62 form entitled 'Application for a vehicle registration certificate' from your local Post Office, completing this and sending it with a £25 fee to the DVLA.  To be successful the chassis number must be entered on the form and it must agree with the one held on record by the DVLA.
There are two important points to understand here, the first is that the DVLA will not tell you the chassis number relating to a specific registration mark.  They obviously cannot do so as otherwise any similar vehicle could have the appropriate number stamped on it to match a given registration mark which would make a complete nonsense of the mark being unique to a particular vehicle. 
The second is that many registered vehicles that were not taxed in 1983 when the records were computerized and have not been licenced since will never have been entered on the database.  Some of these records are held in County record offices around the country or by other bodies for example the Kithead Trust.  In such cases, if approached, the DVLA will advise that they have no record.  However it may be possible to reinstate the registration number if the record still exists and records the chassis number but be warned many do not.
 
If the tractor has no obvious registration number it may very well never have had one.   However the DVLA will know from the chassis number if it has previously been registered, that is if the vehicle is on their system.  For example I applied for an age related plate for one of my tractors a few years ago. The DVLA returned the paperwork together with my cheque saying that the vehicle was already registered and that if I completed the V62, that they had helpfully enclosed, they would reinstate the number, a result that quite made my day.
 

 

From Around the Country:

 
Journey Through the Ages - Vintage Rally & Country Fair at Goodrich Park  was on 18th and 19th June, this was the Club's second year in attendance and the show is going from strength to strength.  All the Ford and Fordson tractors were again grouped together and we were allocated a space and given a free hand to arranging the display, the centrepiece was a circle featuring four  "All rounds' and four Ns with the other models in groups arranged in curved rows around them and quite splendid they all looked too.  This is a very friendly rally and it was good to meet up with so many friends and members; it really is what these events are all about in my book.
We again had our own ring parade if you haven't been to this rally it is definitely one you should try next year.
 
Pink Ladies Tractor Road Run - from Jane Broomhall; A Humbling Experience:
The first Sunday of July is, for many, the first date reserved on their calendar each year. Once you have participated in the Pink Ladies Tractor Run it becomes addictive and, with ladies travelling from Dorset, Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire, the Run continues to gather momentum.
The very first Run was held in 2004 when Annie Chapman had the idea after witnessing several of her friends tackle breast cancer.  Fifty ladies took to the roads on the 4th July that year raising a total of £8,000.
Thirteen years on the number of ladies on tractors has risen to between 150-160 each year and we will reach, and most likely exceed, an amazing £500,000 after this year's Run.  Many ladies taking part have overcome or are still battling with breast cancer and we all have dear friends or know of someone who has lost their personal battle.
 
The central focus of the Run is the town of Harleston, Norfolk, Annie's home town, which becomes crowded with people in carnival mood.  The shops are dressed for the occasion, flags regale the street and each lady is clapped and cheered through; a really humbling experience.
Unlike last year, it was sunny and warm which ensured the day was extra special and the traditional lunchtime picnic was relaxed and enjoyed by all.
 
The Farm Machinery Preservation Society's Rally that should have been held on 2nd and 3rd July was cancelled at short notice I gather because the grass had not been cut due to the wet weather and other problems.  I am told that its future on the Melford Hall site is also in doubt that, if true, would be a great shame.
 
Roger Ingham writes: the 11th and 12th June brought one of the North's leading tractor shows to Newby Hall near Ripon.  The weather was kind to us this year with no huge downpours and lots of sunshine. Margaret and Derek Badham had the FFA stall up and running and brewing up Yorkshire tea for the members - both old and many new members.
A good turnout of immaculate tractors arrived on the stand, a credit to the hard work put onto their restoration.  The Broomwade compressor was a must on every building site in the 60's with its 4D Ford engine, it was a beautifully restored piece of construction equipment and brought lots of admiring attention, as did the WW2 RAF Standard Fordson and bomb carrier complete with bombs!
 
It was good to see so many unusual restored exhibits that add a lot of interest to the Ford and Fordson stand.
The weekend isn't complete without the Saturday night road run into Ripon when a huge convoy of tractors turned out for the popular run.  The weekend flew by and soon everyone was heading to all parts of the Country with a smile on their faces after a splendid weekend in Yorkshire.
 
The FFA Expo held at Woodcote 9th and 10th July: our first visit to this rally that is a little different to most.  The rally is a organised by The Woodcote Charitable Association the aim of which is to raise money for local good causes last year, from the proceeds of the rally, they were able to donate £16,500 to local charities and organisations.  It consequently has a very high level of local support and distinctive atmosphere.  It incorporated a beer festival that was very well attended in the evenings and a feature that perhaps other rallies might consider emulating as it certainly did the gate no harm.
 
It was an enjoyable experience, with an interesting working display put on by the Thames Valley Vintage Tractor and Working Club, the usual ring parades, a nice selection of steam of particular interest in this section were the two Shay-drive rollers owned by the Wingfield family that I had not seen before.
 
  A good selection of Ford and Fordson tractors but unfortunately the trade stands had little appeal for tractor men. but this is becoming a universal criticism of many rallies - EBay has much to answer for.
 
The Cambridgeshire Steam Rally 23rd- 24th July at Stow-Cum-Quy: Conrad Hopkins reports that once again the FFA had their own stand which was supported with 16 tractors including Fordson N's. Dextas. E27- Diesel Majors 2000 - 4000's plus one Major V8.? ?The weather was better than last year with temperatures in the high 20's on both days. The FFA had there own slot in the ring for 45 minutes playing games on the Sunday; Don Sapsford came in with this blue Fergi 20 but he was beaten by a V8 major.
?There was a steady flow of public chatting to us and making enquiries about various tractor problems they have.  A good time was had by all and my thanks to Ray and Vanda for inviting us and to Ian, Lin, Ken and Brenda for help on the Stand.?
 
Dacorum Steam and Country Fayre's 10th Anniversary 26-27th July at Potten End - John Worley writes: This show has now raised over £126,000 in aid of the Hospice of St Francis.  It was opened by Alison Allard from the Hospice and the Hon Mike Penning, Minister of State and MP for Hemel Hempstead.  Sixty tractors were present, with a good number of Ford and Fordson.
Tractors included:  Power Majors, Majors, Fordson 3000 Force, Super Dextaers, EIA Diesels, Roadless Super Major and Standard N's.  Also we had the Beast of Markyate, a 1967 County 1124 owned by Dick Trott of Markyate.  This tractor has been ferrying people from the car park to the arena for the last nine years, how many thousands I don't know! Well done to all the tractor people who made this event possible.
 
With excellent attendance figures for both days we are hopeful of a major donation to the charity.
After speaking to the committee of the show I am hoping that next year we will have a designated area just for Ford and Fordson exhibitors.  I would ask all owners of Ford and Fordson to put the date in your diaries to support this new venture.
Last year's show was rained off after one day.  Still, over £6000 was raised.  After this year's show, with thousands turning out each day, we will hope for a major donation to the charity.
I should mention here a great "Well Done" to all the tractor people who made this event possible.
 
The FFA Club weekend by courtesy of Tim Pearman on 6th and 7th August was blessed with wall-to-wall sunshine.  We were joined by the North Worcestershire tractor Club, several of whom bought their tractors and belong to both clubs.  On Saturday proceedings kicked off with the County Sea Horse owned by Martin Feornihough being put through its paces in Tim's lake that had been dug out for the occasion. Lake owners that have fish apparently don't like the Sea Horse mudding their waters!
 
It was certainly an impressive demonstration but I shall stick to the tunnel or a ferry to cross the channel. This was followed by a tug of war between a County 1164 and a Muir Hill 141 that resulted in ignominy for the County when it's drawbar snapped.
 
Neither Tim's FW 30 nor Versatile were a  match for a Nuffield 10/60 fitted with a winch.
 
The FW was later pitted against a Versatile 965 when it was somewhat redeemed probably due to its better tyre size.  The day concluded with a superb hog roast and music in the tractor shed.
Sunday saw the road run, after an excellent pub stop for breakfast, through 200 acres of Martin's woods, making halts to inspect more rare and unusual tractors.  Parts were very steep, known as 'banks' in those parts and quite interesting even in dry weather!  A really excellent weekend enjoyed by all.
 

 

Forthcoming Events:

By mid September, when you read this, most of the year's events are past and the ploughing season will be well underway.  Still to come are the FFA Northern Area Championships that will be held at Towton on 25th September courtesy of Hartley Farms, ably run by Roger Ingham 07910 272757 or 01937 531532.
 
The Southern Area Championships at Fornham St Martin near Bury St Edmunds will be held on 1st and 2nd October by kind invitation of Henry Castle of The Ferguson Club contact Conrad Hopkins 01621 773592 or 07720 097267
 
The new Autumn Tractor World is on 8th and 9th October, at the Newbury Show ground and we look forward to seeing you.  We shall have Tom Falconer's excellent cut away on the stand which Tom has further improved.  I must say that the public just love it and f.  For many of them it is probably the only time they will ever see what is inside a tractor or indeed an engine come to that.
 
Newark Tractor Vintage and Heritage Show is on 11th and 12th November, the final rally the Club attends, let us hope that it is neither wet nor cold. 
 
Please go to the FFA website for more information on these and many other events where you will find useful links and, where possible, downloadable entry forms.
 

 

Looking forward to 2017:

 
Somerset Vintage & Classic Tractor Show Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th January 2017 at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 6QN. This is an indoor static tractor show that raises money for local charities and features an auction on Saturday by HJ Pugh & Co.  This year's special feature is  '100 Years of Ford & Fordsons' this is an Indoor Static Tractor Show that raises money for local charities and features an auction on Saturday by HJ Pugh & Co.
Enquiries: Nick Bryne 01749 860514 or Mike Mitchell 07976 535762. www.somersettetractorshow.com
 
Tractor World on 25th and 26th February I hope with insulated halls this year.
 
The Model F's hundredth anniversary will be a prominent feature at many events this year and the Club is planning a feature at Tractor World at Malvern in February and at a special display at the Dorset Steam Fair in August.   If you are interested in bringing your 'F's to either event please give me a call on 01787 277316 or drop me an email to fordsonclub@gmail.com.
 
The Club has been invited to the 2017 Newby Hall Tractor Fest to be held 10th - 12th June. The theme is to be "All things Ford"; tractors will obviously be a large part of the display and the Club has been asked for our support.  We have had a happy relationship with the rally having held two Expos there over the years and Roger has had continuing strong support more recently - another date for your diary.
 
Andrew Green from Devon writes:- here in Devon we are in the middle of the very busy show season but I am already planning ahead for our Autumn and Winter evening meetings. I have booked our usual venue at Whiddon Down Village Hall for November 2nd, December 7th, then January 25th and finally 1st March 2017. Please write these dates in your diary now. I am still working on the program, suggestions are always very welcome!
 
Next year is the Centenary of the Fordson tractor and it would be good to try and celebrate this in the South West, perhaps even with an FFA event. This is food for thought at this stage but please do come back to me if you have any bright ideas. Andrew Green - andrew@chilverton.co.uk.
 

 

Finally:

During the season there is no time to get onto the shed, there are rallies to go to, important sales to attend and once you are retired, like me, perhaps a little light hay making just to keep one's hand in - but do leave the bale pitching to those who are younger.  There are also numerous tiresome things that must be done to keep the peace like lawn mowing and weddings to attend but fortunately there seem to be rather less of these and, I'm afraid, that as the years pass more and more funerals when it is time to bid old and dear friends a final goodbye.
The only time I get to see the inside of mine is when getting a tractor out or putting one back when going to or returning from a rally apart from when any running repairs are needed and then it is often quicker to just take a different one than effect the repair. But that's all about to change as it's "Shed Time" from Newark to Tractor World, actually that's only three short months, with Christmas thoughtlessly plonked right in the middle of it, not much time for a
major project.