We arrived at the rally on Friday afternoon to set up the FFA stand and to mark out the ploughing plots.
When I noticed the ploughing field was still full of peas. . . . . . . So off to find Tony the rally organiser who made contact with the farmer to find out the latest, the farmers reply was don’t panic I will be cutting them later today, the peas are still 18.5% giving you about 20-30 acres to play on.
Approx 3pm Ken Bailey arrived, once he was sorted out we started putting FFA stand together( banners .flags etc etc ) once the stand was all sorted on to marking out the ploughing plots, 26 in total which is
ime consuming itself.
18.30 Arrived so it was time for the BBQ, Myself & Ken tucked into burgers, sausages, chicken side salad & 2 cans of fosters each ! (They went down well). After the BBQ we had a walk around the rally site and spoke to other stallholders. 11pm it was time to hit the sack.
Early Saturday morning we opened the FFA stand ready for the day, while I was manning the stand Ken decided to go down to the field to start some ploughing, by then the exhibitors had arrived and public were starting to appear. More ploughmen decided to join Ken ploughing. The day in whole was a fairly quiet day for the public but more due for the Sunday.
Sunday arrived Brenda my wife manned the FFA stand whilst myself & Ken sorted the ploughmen & ploughing, by 10.30 the rally was in full swing, exhibitors were all ready for the day and the public were flowing through the gate.
On the main rally field there were a good selection of Stationery Engines, Classic cars, vintage bikes and various sizes of steam engines all running, trade stalls selling flowers, bric a brac and many other oddities, plus 2 live bands playing throughout the day at various times.
At 3pm it was time for the vintage tractor ring parade, so on with the FFA high vis for some PR, I was asked if I would undertake the commentary for the parade.
Once the parade of all the various tractors had been round the ring, I organised a forward & backwards `slow race’ for the tractors to take part in. the winner for both the `races’ was Paul Arlidge on a Massey Ferguson 165.
Around 4pm the rally was nearing its end and the public were slowly leaving the field. It was time for us to start taking down the stand and tidying up the ploughing area.
One of the organisers Tony Turner called me over to be awarded with the prize,
"The Dennis Livermore Memorial trophy" for the Ford & Fordson Association stand.
Judged by Shaun Livermore.
Conrad & Brenda recieving their award from Tony Turner for the FFA Stand
I would like to thank Tony Turner for inviting us,also ofcourse not forgetting Brenda my wife, and a special thanks to Ken Bailey for all his help throughout the weekend.
This was A & L Fundraisers Club 10th Annual Event - They are supporting the Thundersley Little Havens Children's Hospice (charity no. 1022119) and have raised £50,000 in seven years for this good cause.
Words & Photos - Conrad Hopkins