Fordson Tractor Club "Weekend Gathering" Barham, NSW. Australia

22nd - 23rd May 2010

Our Fordson Club gathering at Barham on the weekend 22nd & 23rd May 2010 was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.  It was wonderful to see so many people (75 Adults and 5 Children) from S. Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.  This has turned out to be our largest gathering of all time.  It was a very busy weekend in Barham as not only was it to host the ‘Fordson Club Gathering’ but also a ‘Country Music festival’, so the town was alive with people.  Friday afternoon saw many of the Fordson enthusiasts arriving, with a few gathering at one of the local hotels for the evening meal.
Saturday turned out to be fine and sunny.  As the time ticked away towards 1pm, people started to gather at the clock in the gardens by Main Street.  Our friends met up with each other and new members welcomed.  It was great to see our two club members John and Lorraine Wake who had driven down from Bunderberg in Queensland.
With everyone eager for the weekend to commence, we all headed towards Colin and Yvonne Lloyd's property on East Barham Road to see Colin’s ever increasing collection of old tractors, trucks & machinery, which included fifteen Fordson tractors.
In Colin’s collection there are several Fordson E27N petrol/kero on steel wheels and rubber tyres, Fordson with P6 Perkins, Super Major, as well as E27N with Muir Hill Loader, a County crawler (minus its engine) and a lot of farming implement, including a Malcolm Moore Rabbit Ripper.  
Apart from Fordson tractors there were Massey Harris tractors, Ferguson Loader, Hough loader, Marshall Crawler. Many old trucks, including a very tidy Austin Lodestar, F600 Ford, Jailbar Ford, Leyland 12C Comet and a 1418 Benz.  Club members wandered through the rows of machinery, picking out the various differences between the tractors.
Just after 2:15pm members and guests were invited to make their way down to the back of the house, where Yvonne and her helpers had a delicious Afternoon Tea spread out on trestles.  The sandwiches, savouries, cakes, scones and slices were all very tempting.  As we sat under pergola covered with grape vines in their autumn colours, the warm sun a cup of tea and a delicious slice of cake, very relaxing.  But all to soon it was time to move everyone across to the big shed to be seated for the business part of the afternoon.
Firstly, we had our General Meeting, at which the Club's new lapel badges were given to members.  The Annual General Meeting followed with the election of members to the board and the setting of membership fees for 2010/2011.  After the Meeting there was enough time to have another look around Colin's collection before heading back into town.
Saturday night at the Barham football club rooms came alive as everyone arrived there about 7pm. With a large wood fire going, it was very cosy inside. On one long table, Club photo albums were displayed for people to look through, as well as the binders of Fordson service letters, supplements, folders of sales brochures and many other manuals that had been donated to the Club.  Other members brought along memorabilia to look at. Dennis Greenwood displayed three carved wooden Fordson models, an E27N with a plough, a Fordson Dexta and a Doe Triple D.
Members and guests seated at the long tables were treated to an excellent meal of Roast Chicken or Roast lamb with vegetables, followed by fruit salad or hot steam pudding, both with ice cream.  After the meal the traditional raffle was held.  This is our only major fund raiser of the year and again we had over 70 prizes to be won.  A big thanks to all the members who brought along prizes for the raffle. Club president, Geoff Beattie, presented the Fordson Club plates to our hosts, Colin and Yvonne Lloyd, and Bruce Campbell.  A presentation was also made to Joanne and Richard Edwards, who were our hosts for the next day.  It was a wonderful evening with most people relaxing and enjoying friendly chat before saying their goodbyes for the night.
Sunday morning was a cold frosty start as we all gathered again at the football ground car park.
With everyone following, we all set off towards Kerang, about a 25 minute trip.  As we pulled up at Tim Scriven's Military collection, the first thing that everyone saw was Dennis Greenwood's Aussie Doe. Members couldn't get out of their cars quick enough to go over and give it the big inspection.
Dennis drove it around on the grassed area and some members were lucky enough to be allowed to drive it.  Dennis had coupled together a couple of Majors with a kit that was made by a foundry in Bendigo, Victoria.  This kit had previously been fitted to a pair of Nuffield tractors.  The conversion had not been completely finished yet, but Dennis promised us it would be.
Tim's collection included A Blitz F60L with a 1941 2 Pounder Anti Tank Gun, a 1943 M20 BSA 500cc motorcycle, a 1943
Bren Gun carrier manufactured in West Australia, a 1942 Dodge WC56 Command car, an M3 Half track, a 1943 Willy’s Jeep with 1945 trailer and a 1941 Stuart Light Tank.
It was a very interesting collection and Tim certainly got everyone’s attention when he started up the Stuart tank and drove it away in a haze of thick smoke.
Club President Geoff Beattie thanked Tim for allowing us
to see his collection and presented him with a Fordson Club Plate.
We then returned to Barham and drove out on the Moulamein Road to visit Joanne and Richard Edwards collection.  On arrival we were all invited to morning tea and again the spread of sandwiches, freshly baked scones with jam and cream were very tempting.  For the ladies there was a display of old china, old craft & knitting books, while Richard had books on earth moving machinery out for all to browse through.
Morning tea over, it was time for a play.  Firstly, Richard gave a demonstration with his Old Stone Crusher, which resulted in a neat pile of stones.  He then showed how his Jaques Dragline could load his Aveling-Barford Dumper with the stones that had been freshly crushed.
Looking around we saw a Caterpillar D6 Dozer, an old face shovel fitted with a Fordson Model N power unit and a Grader fitted to an International tractor.  The men finally made their way back to the lawns where the ladies were sitting around chatting.
The call of “time to move” got everyone moving again and it was back into Barham to the Border Flywheels Museum.  It is a very interesting museum with extensive collections on show, covering household articles and goods, stationary engines, tractors, trucks, vintage cars and machinery.  Based in the Old Brick Works it was an ideal location for a museum of this kind to be.  The Fordson tractors were lined up at the back of the museum and this included a Cork model and several E27Ns.
One tractor that created interest was an old Fordson which had been donated and was mounted on top of a large tree stump.
The Border Flywheelers Club ladies catered for a sit down lunch of BBQ meats with served salads followed by fruit salad and ice cream.  Local craft ladies also had a stall in the museum, which the ladies in our group supported well.
After lunch we had the drawing for the three Lucky Ticket prizes.  These were a gift pack of three Fordson Mugs donated by Rocklyn Ceramics, a Hino Truck gift bag donated by Bendigo truck center and a Fordson tractor cushion made and donated by Club Secretary, Dawn Milsom.  Club President Geoff Beattie then thanked The Border Flywheelers and presented their President Bruce Campbell with a Fordson club plate.  It was then time for everyone to have their last look around the museum and have a chat to friends before some members headed off home.  For the Club members who stayed in Barham for Sunday night there was a meal that evening at the Barham Club.
Thank you to our hosts over the weekend, for all the organising and catering.  it was very much appreciated.
During the Sunday afternoon a reporter from the local newspaper ‘The Bridge’ arrived to take some photos and interviews.  This resulted in a full front page featuring a very large colored photo under the heading ‘Fordson Fantastics’. Well, this group of ‘Fordson Fantastics’ certainly enjoyed themselves and look forward to meeting up again at our next ‘Fordson Club Gathering’.