In the Chair December 2021 - Issue 107 - Feb - March 2022


 
Buying a tractor is usually fairly straight forward as long as you know what to look for or, if you don't, take a pal who does. The decision of whether to buy or walk away usually boils down to, condition, asking price and , to use an old auctioneers expression "If it fills the eye",  but not in every case.  Registering a tractor that has a number plate but no V5C, should be fairly painless, first look on the DVLA web site to see if they have the record for it and if they do, complete a V62 and submit it with £25, simple?  
 
Apparently not for the owner of a very nice looking 4610 who took this route; but it did not end well, "Caveat emptor", a well-known Latin phrase meaning "Let the buyer beware" suddenly took on a very sinister twist.
 
Produced below are three extracts from the DVLA's response to his application:
 
According to our records an insurance company has notified us that it's been 'accident damaged' and classed as either category A or B.  This means that the vehicle is only suitable for scrap or spare parts.  It must not be driven on the road again.
 
The vehicle should have gone to an Authorised Treatment Facility (AFT) and destroyed, not sold to you.
 
You should take the vehicle to your nearest AFT for them to destroy it legitimately.
 
The prime reason for legislation regarding insurance "write offs" is to keep unroadworthy vehicles off the road, by preventing what the press often described as 'cut & shut' repairs re-entering service. One may question if this should be rigorously applied to tractors.  The owner subsequently found out that it had been fire damaged, and as the tractor looked the part and drove well wondered, despite the DVLA's letter if he could legitimise its use.
 
I contacted Ian Edmunds, DVLA Liaison Manager for the FBHVC for guidance and as usual received a quick and very comprehensive reply, the bones of which were that short of the Insurance Company concerned being prepared to revise their assessment, that he thought unlikely, there was little chance of the DVLA changing their position.  I passed this on to the owner, a salutary lesson to us all.
 

 
The 11th of July saw Cambridgeshire Vintage Tractor Clubs Charity Road. 
 
It took in thirteen villages on its thirty-three-mile tour around South Cambs.  Report from Ray Parcell, organiser of the Cambridgeshire Steam Rally, a good friend to the FFA.  Leaving the start 10.30 sharp with the village of Caldecott 10 mins away, I arrived leading the pack of 112 tractors and was met with a sea of people lining the pavements all the way through. This gave our street collectors a challenge from the word go and this was the case in all the villages we travelled through. I must make a special mention of Barrington which has the second largest village green in England, I estimate there were close to 700 people waiting for us whichmade it a carnival atmosphere, many were picnicing on the green.
 
I decided to make an unscheduled stop so many could get close to the tractors.  We duly arrived late at our lunch stop where everybody enjoyed their picnics. After lunch we drove to the top of Croydon Hill, the highest point in South Cambs, then took a three mile off road section to the villages of Longstowe and Bourn arriving at the finish just before 4 pm.
 
Our charity was Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, for those of you who do not know Addenbrookes Hospital is the largest one in East Anglia, the trust provides equipment that the NHS is unable to provide. The result of the run was beyond the clubs wildest dreams a total of £6,100 was collected.  Thanks to everybody who made the generous donations and to the drivers who took part. Fordsons were well represented with a good mix of models on show.
 

 
Dutch Ploughing Match:  11th September
Jans Stevens reports: 
 
We had our first Ford and Fordson team competition for two years in Nieuwe Pekela in the north of the Netherlands.
 
There were 23 participants, in 4 different classes. The atmosphere was very good, although the weather was a bit less kind.
 
Here are the results of the ploughing competition:
 
Trailed Plough
1st Menno De Graaf:Fordson F Ransomes Plough
2nd Roel Mennega:Fordson Dexta Dreesman Plough
 
3 Furrow Class
1st Jurrie Potze: Fordson Major 4 wieldrive with Dreesman plough
 
2nd Foppe Drent: Ford 3055 Lien Plough
3rd Jarich Hibma: Fordson Major FR Ransomes
 
Normal class
1st Co Looyenstein: Fordson Dexta with Ransomes ts 59
2nd Roelof Moed: Fordson Dexta with Platex
3rd Rienko Coburg: Fordson Dexta with Dreesman
 
Parallel Ploughing
1st Markus Wenning: Ford 5000 SOS with Krone plough
     2nd Cor Dam: Ford 3000 with Goudland
 
Wentelploegen
1st Jans Stevens: Power Major with Rumptstad TW30 Plough
 
2nd Jaap Dam: Ford 4000 with Kverneland
 

 
 
Kent Heritage Show: 10th October at the Kent County Showground.
 Rodney Gibson reports: 
 
An early start, Ernie and I arrived at show ground at seven o'clock.
 
A stewards meeting started the day and as we arrived back at the stand the sun was just appearing over the trees.  Throughout the day Bob Baseby and his brother Paul helped on the stand and escorting tractors into place. 
 
There was an excellent turn out of members tractors including, Peter Mitcham's 1958 Dexta, and his tea tent, most people know him as teapot Pete for this very reason!  James Chandler's 1969 4-wheel drive Ford 5000, Tim Fitches 1964 Super Major, Luke Burgess 1957 Power Major, Oliver Collier's 1964 Super Major, an early Dexta belonging to Dave Driver. Also, from Essex Ken Bailey's 2000 and the Princes' Pool Ferry Power Major.
 
I thank you all for your support and for helping to bring our stand to life & see you all again in 2022
 

 
 
British Ploughing Championships held 9th - 10th October.
Phil Gibson reports:
 
Nestled in a bowl surrounded by the picturesque hills of Northumberland and the borders of Scotland, I attended the 70th British Ploughing Championships at Mindrum Mill, this was hosted by farmer Ian Harvey and family. Not knowing what to expect after all the rain the previous weekend I was able to drive on the land with van and caravan as it was well drained soil.
 
Ian Harvey this year’s National host, the first time the host has competed!
 
The trade stand area was well set out in an oval with Horse and High Cut ploughing surrounded by, I thought more than normal and very varied trade stands.  We had a large area for our club stand, just as well as members were joining us all weekend with their tractors and ploughs.
 
An interesting selection of tractors at the Nationals
 
Exhibits were very varied from two County's owned by our host and club member Ian Harvey, Roy Cowgill who was helping me with the stand brought his Ford 5610 narrow, a local member Peter Park drove his unusual yellow Major Industrial to display, Billy Marley brought two very interesting tractors, a County 1474 and a reverse drive articulated Ford Versatile 276 with this one attracting a lot of interest.
 
Robert Ingham and Darren Easter fierce but friendly rivalry as it should be.
 
The Nairn family from Kelso supported us very well with brothers Thomas and Robert bringing along a E27N with hydraulic plough and a diesel conversion Fordson N with trailed plough; they were also going to plough in our FFA class at the match on the Sunday, this was good to see as we desperately need to encourage youngsters in our sport.
 
Thomas Nairn with his E27N Major and mounted plough.
 
What surprised me was the distances some members and public had driven to the event from Sussex, Somerset, all over Scotland and the Shetland Isles, obviously we have been shut up at home for too long.
 
The main ploughing commenced a few fields away from us on the Saturday but with frequent trailer transport if needed. After lunch and just as the ploughmen were coming to the end of their plots the heavens opened making it very sticky to finish off.  Sunday was bright and dry with the ploughing all around us and on a hillside which was good for us to see from the stand with ever changing patchwork of yellow stubble to soil in a few hours.
 
Our club match had eight entrants, but on the Saturday morning I was told of the sad death a few days earlier of member Geoffrey Dibb who would have been ploughing in our class, our condolences go out to his family.
Our ploughmen were up to the task of good work at a National competition with some close scores at the end, but what a grand sight to see the Nairn brothers ploughing with vintage equipment, although not placed their time will come.
 
Our champion for this year was Darren Easter
with 266 points.......Well Done Darren.
 
2nd place went to Peter Gilson with 238 points and 3rd place went to John Lewis with 236 points, very close.
 
Our thanks must go to member Peter Park who offered to Steward our class, and to all the new members that joined our club and to various people who helped over the weekend, but the main thanks must go to Ian Harvey; it is a massive commitment to make land available for this event and he now has 200 acres of rigs and furrows to contend with! An interesting fact that came from the Society of Ploughmen was that Ian was the first host to plough at a Championship.  Roll on next year when the championships come a bit nearer to me at Chatsworth Park on 8th and 9th October.
 

 
Ian West from Canada.
For the last issue Ian sent a fascinating wide-ranging piece on the Canadian scene.
 
I always look forward to his contributions as I know many of you do and was particularly interested in the crop insurance aspects he mentioned as for the average arable farmer that option, at a sensible cost, has never, to my knowledge, been available in the UK, but we do not suffer from the same Canadian weather extremes.
 
Ian's reply:  Happy to share some insights into our way of life out here.  Yes, in a year of turmoil weather wise, we're fortunate to have the Government's backing in a limited form through our Crop Insurance programme. Essentially how it works, is based on an individual farmer's production history, individually indexed over a minimum of seven years. Thereafter one can elect coverage from 60 to 80% of your established yield histories. During one's phase in period, up to the 7-year benchmark, Township Area averages are used with an increasing emphasis of the producer's production numbers as the years pass. To all intents, the programme is self-policing in that premium discounts or penalties apply based on claims history.  With today's land, machinery and building costs all financial institutions DEMAND farmers are enrolled to protect their (Banks!) interests. The main insurer here is partly subsidized by both our Provincial and Federal Governments as I mentioned previously. More seasoned producers sometimes opt for private insurers, but coverage through this avenue is limited to hailstorms without a production shortfall otherwise. During the years between 2009 and '14 I worked as a Crop Insurance assessor in addition to running the farm which I thoroughly enjoyed apart from the final year when an increasing emphasis was placed on modern technology with a diminishing level of good old fashioned common sense approach. (Sound familiar??)  I'm sure I'm right in saying that here in Canada we're certainly nowhere close to the European level of Agricultural subsidies or the USA for that matter. I know at one point a number of years ago, some 80% of the total EEC Budget was directed towards agriculture which over time may have been reduced. Here our token Government support for a limited amount of last resort lending and some insurance programmes-that's our level of support.
Anyway, just another titbit for your interest!
 

 
Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show
13th - 14th November. Phil Gibson liaised with the showground and directed our return to the show he reports:
 
A splendid area welcomes visitors outside the marquee at Newark
 
  What a spectacular weekend to be back at the Newark tractor show with visitors and exhibits from all around the UK . Our club was asked to exhibit in the feature marquee with the carry-over of the E27N anniversary, the Ford and Fordson derivatives as well as the 50 years of the Ford 7000. Our members did the club proud with the variety of exhibits from those in 'working clothes' up to concours condition, from a 1933 Fordson N to a New Holland T7 Blue power, a Ford 1210 to the massive Ford FW60 with 10 furrow reversible plough, an industrial section with a New Holland Tele handler to Fordson Major cranes and winches, a Whitlock digger and a rare 1940 Muir Hill dumper. Commercials were represented with a restoration of a Ford D series lorry, a Ford Cargo living van and two very rare County 4WD Transit conversions. One member turned up with a trailer that had been converted to a people carrier for road runs with proper coach type seats and seat belts and the sides being closed or open and it was painted in the colours of the Fordson Dexta towing it.
 
On both days I think I can safely say we have never been so busy, at times struggling to keep hot water coming for the refreshments and with up to four people on the merchandise stand; the membership table was also extremely busy with 41 new members joining our club and many renewals. Thanks to all of you and I hope we can meet up at a few more events next year in your areas.
 
Taking a closer look at some of the exhibits for the smaller unusual things that I found interesting were a power steering set up on David Thomas's E27N with the oil pump driven from the dynamo, not original but certainly looked it.
 
Arthur Musk had an extra lever on the left of the rear axle casing of his E27N, this turned out to be the Darlington diff lock engagement lever a very rare attachment.
 
John Haywood had carried out a few modifications to his E27N with the fitment of a Ford Powerstar engine and different parts from I thought 58 other machines, but a very professional job. If you drive a double clutch Dexta the pedal operation can be awkward to operate, on this one Paul Thundercliffe had made and fitted a much more driver friendly pedal arrangement.
 
The Yellow Fordson Major crane tractor had been made by old Ford dealer Friskneys of Lincolnshire for duties around their yard. New Holland dealer Burdens had supported us with a New Holland T4, a T6, a T7 and a Tele handler these tractors certainly showed where tractors have progressed to. The massive FW60 and plough is not just a show tractor but is used, what a job cleaning and greasing after working. It was good to see six of the iconic Ford 7000's with some still in use.
 
Congratulations must go to Peter Bainbridge who brought his restored yellow Ford 3000 Highway and his County 754 and won a trophy for the best Derivative with the County.
 
I apologise to those of you that have not had a direct mention or photo but many thanks for supporting your club.
 
Pat's view: 
This year's Newark was a very different show, there were far fewer traders' stalls of all types and large areas of green to be seen in the centre, as grass areas normally covered by exhibits were left exposed.  Saturday's auction and the Sort Out held on Sunday were on the hard standing where the "Features marquee" usually sits; that had been moved to alongside the road that runs between the blue and red gates. However, the George Stevenson and other permanent buildings were much as usual.
 
One has to wonder if this is the new 'normality' but I was surprised by the level of pessimism expressed by the 'prophets of doom'. Of course, there are many unanswered questions, will the missing traders reappear or have many gone for good, what effect are the increased fuel costs having and is the understandable nervousness about Covid just a temporary blip, or here to stay?  All will be revealed next year but, being an optimist, I agree with the majority who think that life will adapt and continue, as it always has, perhaps a bit differently but there's nothing new in that.
 
For the first time at the show and certainly from where I was standing, all movement and talking ceased during the two-minute silence at eleven, a refreshing mark of respect and as it should be.
 
The Club had an excellent show with fifty-seven members joining, forty-one for the first time and very good merchandise sales: the tea and coffee stall was busy throughout the show.  The Annual General Meeting that should have taken place at Spring Tractor World was held on the Saturday evening after the show closed. Reports and accounts for 2021 will be posted on the website for approval at the next AGM. The meeting decided that as it is only six months away the next AGM would be held in 2023.
 
Spring Tractor World will be later in 2022 on 21st and 22nd May and mostly outside more details later.