From The Chair: For Issue 80 - August/September 2017

That's my tractor, was the greeting I received when arriving at the Norfolk Show Ground Back in April. 
I was not unduly alarmed as I knew Will and he didn't look too threatening and as it turned out was just interested to see the old girl again after a gap of some forty odd years. But that is not always the case particularly when a tractor has at some point been stolen.
I remember an incident a few years ago when a quite heated exchange took place between an exhibitor and an aggrieved man who was claiming to be the rightful owner.  That tractor is still in the exhibitor's possession but often the 'former' owner will reclaim it leaving 'new owner' heavily out of pocket and tractor less. 
This should be a salutary lesson to us all to ensure that when we buy a tractor, it is actually the sellers to sell.  Interestingly the law is not totally clear about stolen goods and just because you have purchased something in good faith and paid a reasonable price, does not mean that it will remain in your possession.
It may well be reclaimed by the true owner, however, even if you are allowed to keep it, my understanding is that you can never sell it because to do so would amount to your breaking the law by "handling" stolen goods. As always do heed the warning;
Caveat emptor - "Let the buyer beware".
Anyway, back to my tractor. David, Will's brother, had been given an E27N by his wife as a surprise birthday present, now there are not many of us with a wife as understanding as that, are there?  After a few years ownership it was traded in, part exchange,  back in the eighties.  I don't know where it went then until I saw it advertised and bought it together with a "spares" tractor some sixteen or so years ago. However, it was then still in Norfolk so probably not very far.  From memory I paid about £800 for the pair, took it to shows and used it for jobs such as hay making every year up until a couple of years ago when I decided that I'd had enough of shifting bales and sold the baler.  The spares tractor had a high top gearbox that I put in my P6.

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs: 
The Ford & Fordson Association are members of the Federation and their regular Newsletter is available for you to download and read on our website - I thoroughly commend it to members.  Not only does it feature interesting articles but often contains reports on changes in the law that affect us all.  The latest edition, "Issue No.3 2017" can be viewed and downloaded by Clicking on FBHVC members logo.
I would draw your attention firstly to an article headed 'Compulsory insurance under the EU Motor Insurance Directive', this has the terrible acronym (VUNK)'.  Regardless of the outcome of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations it appears that our government intends to enforce this decision of the European Court of Justice.  It will apply to ALL motor vehicles whether or not they are used on the highway and regardless if they ever actually move.  Just as an example of how it may affect you - do you have a ride on lawn mower?  Think about it!
Other topics of interest to many of you are mostly to do with the DVLA and these are summarised and are as follows. Probably the two most important points to members here are that:
a) Under the Finance Act vehicles manufactured up to 31st December 1976 are now subject to a nil rate of "VED" (vehicle excise duty) another acronym shocker, but this is not quite as straight forward as it appears.  Until this year the DVLA would accept the date of manufacture as the date of first registration.  Now they will only accept the date it was first registered, even if it had languished in some dealer's show room for many months prior to sale.
b) The 'get vehicle information page' where members can check if a vehicle is recorded on the DVLA computer has been changed and you are no longer required to enter the vehicle make, just the registration mark.  The affect of this is that as no chassis number is given you cannot be at all sure that the registration number was, for example, issued to a Fordson or another make and type of vehicle entirely.
Two other important and often misunderstood DVLA matters raised in this newsletter are:-  Vehicle identity and I quote Ian Edmunds of the FBHVC:
' The unique individual identity of a vehicle is defined by the serial number allocated to it in the manufacturing process and the registration is issued to that serial number.  To be clear, by serial number I mean chassis number, or frame number for motorcycles or 17 character VIN for vehicles towards the end of our period.
From this it follows that if the serial number is lost or changed for any reason during the life or restoration of the vehicle the original identity is also lost and thus the registration is no longer valid. Repairers and restorers should bear this in mind when doing their work as should prospective purchasers before parting with their money!" .
The other matter concerns dating vehicles.  Again I quote Ian Edmunds ".When applying to the DVLA for an age-related registration (first registration in DVLA terms) a simple statement of manufacture date, whether it is a Heritage Certificate or an extract from a manufacturers records or a copy from Glass's Check Book is not sufficient by itself.".
I mention both these last two topics as a warning, firstly to restorers not to get carried away and remove or partially obliterate chassis numbers and to be very careful to preserve VIN plates if fitted and, secondly for those applying for an age related registration to ensure that the tractor is complete and is 'kosher'.  I have recently come across examples of vehicles that have failed on one or other of these counts, but the rules governing registrations must be followed.

From around the Country:
Eastern Counties Vintage Show was held on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April at the Norfolk showground.  Why these dates were chosen is a complete mystery to me, as the Saturday also heralded the first of Cheffins vintage sales at Sutton and two other popular events were also staged over the same weekend; all of which certainly had an adverse effect both on the gate and the number of tractors entered.  You can't be in two places at once and if it happens again I shall seriously think where I want to go.
That said this year we had a whole shed to ourselves with a wonderful display of Ford and Fordson tractors, the extra space allowed more room to properly appreciate the exhibits.
Stuart Bailey's beautifully restored E27N stood out and was subsequently chosen as the judges favourite.
On the Sunday we were treated to the 'unveiling' at eleven o'clock of Roy Pratt's Fordson MOM that has the serial number forty with an engine which was cast on 27th October 1917.
The tractor has been undergoing restoration for several years and was not yet quite complete in time for the show; it was shown coupled to an Oliver number seven plough and looked absolutely superb.
I have a notion that Roy's choice of colour will cause much controversy but that is for others to decide.  However it does raise several general questions about restorations because opinions 'on what is right' vary so widely.  For example, should modifications made during a vehicles working life be retained, they are certainly part of its history and in 'antique speak' contribute to its provenance, or should it be returned to an original 'as new' condition?  If the latter is the restorer's aim what actually was the  'as new' condition?  There are likely to be just as many opinions on that.  It boils down to personal preference, it is after all, the owner who pays the piper and he must call the tune. 
There was a strong showing of pre 1930 tractors,a good display of classic cars in the main hall and a greatly increased commercial vehicle section.
The Club prizewinners were:
Best restored:Roy Pratt's Fordson MOM
Best unrestored:Jon Adcock's Fordson Super Dexta
Judges Favourite:Stuart Bailey's Fordson E27N        


Stradsett Park Vintage Rally

This event was held on Sunday 30th and Monday 1st May.  Gordon Carson and his team put on a wonderful show of Fordson and Ford tractors.  Because this is the anniversary year they were grouped together in age order. I always think this is by far the best way to organise a display both because it is visually very impressive for those with a general interest and, for the enthusiast, shows how the machines developed and were improved over the years and allows detailed comparison of the changes within a single model range without having to walk miles.
The Club stands were moved to a better position than last year and with all the Ford and Fordson tractors immediately in front of us what more could we ask.
The rest of the show was again up to its usual excellent standard.  The special feature this year, always a highlight of the show, was spreaders and sprayers; there really was something for everyone and if you don't know the show you should make a note that next year it will be held on 6th and 7th May.

Andrew Green from Devon writes:
It was with great pleasure, in mid-May, that we welcomed Pat and Sue Pawsey to our County Show, very ably supported by Ken Bailey, to help us mark our Centenary event.
They arrived with the rain but we assured them that it was only liquid sunshine
and nothing to worry about! However, the weather did not seem to spoil what turned out to be a most enjoyable Show with a very impressive display of Ford and Fordson tractors from the "F" to Standards, to Majors and Dextas right on up to the late 1980's FNHs and incorporating several Countys and a very fine Doe Triple D,
a very long blue line!
The F & F fraternity really produced something rather special - well done and thank you to you all and a big thanks to the FFA big cheeses for coming down; we hope you all enjoyed yourselves!
Our next special event will be at the Mid Devon Show on 22nd July which will be combined with a main ring parade this year.
Soon after this is the Okehampton Show on 10th August where I hope we shall also have a commemorative event and then don't forget Honiton Hill Rally on August 27th and 28th with a huge range of attractions but especially celebrating 100 years of Ford and Fordson tractors, all models including conversions and industrial machines.
The Devon working weekend and ploughing match is being held over the weekend of 9th and 10th September by kind invitation of the Bradworthy Ploughing Association. There are many other events countywide, far too many to mention. Well that's all for now and make the most of the summer and have fun; I hope to see you around somewhere.
Please keep in touch: Andrew Green

St Albans Steam & Country Show 
This event was hed on June 3rd and 4th
John Worley, Area Representative for Hertfordshire writes:
This year's show was again blessed with mild and sunny weather. There were 53 vintage tractors, with 13 being Ford or Fordson. There were Super Dexters, Majors, Power Majors, Standard, County, Ford 3000 and 4000 present.
The tractor that stood out was a County Crawler 1952 from Fleet Hampshire, owned by Rod Garrett from Watton-at-Stone.
I have attended this event over a number of years and it is surprising how the entries vary each year.
While chatting to exhibitors regarding the renewal of driving licences at 70 years of age, it was apparent how the regulations for renewal and the cost of medicals to gain classifications for towing were affecting these enthusiasts. I also look forward to seeing some of you at
Dacorum's show at Potten End on 29th and 30th of July.

Tractor Fest 2017
Was held on 10th and 11th June at Newby hall Nr Ripon in North Yorkshire,  Keith Broomhall reports:
This year's event was certainly to be remembered, the theme of the show was a celebration of 100 years of Fordson and Ford tractors from the launch of the model F in 1917 to its successor the New Holland tractor of today.
The FFA stand was set up amid a sea of Ford and Fordson tractors, in fact a fantastic display of 107 tractors.  Every model was represented as well as numerous conversions based on Ford or Fordson skid units.  There was even a fully restored Broomwade trailed compressor powered by a Fordson E1A engine.
In the line up was Alan Nicholson's very impressive entry of a complete 1000 series range starting with the 2000 up to the turbocharged 'pocket rocket' 7000 all excellently restored and most with a local history.  The hundredth year certainly brought the tractors out.
Club prizes were awarded:
Best in Show: Muir - Hill 101 of Alan Nicholson
Best Unrestored: Ford 9N of Edwin Hughes
Judges one to take home: Super Dexta of Harry Berryman
The show committee must be congratulated for staging a great event and also special thanks to Roger Ingham our Yorkshire man for all his hard work and to Ken, Jane and of course Margaret and Derek.

A brief reminder of events where the Club will be present
First for ploughmen:
Gerard Schoenmakers - the Dutch Annual Ploughing Match this year on Saturday 2nd September by kind permission of Mr Jan van der Spoel at Vorenkampsweg 9488 TG Zeijerveld, for details contact Gerard at
or phone 0031 6 29503792.
The Yeovil Ploughing Match and National will be held on Saturday 30th September at Stone Farm, Stone Lane, Yeovil. For further details contact Fred Anthony 07768 377612 or James Poole 07815 118279.
The Fairford, Faringdon, Filkins and Burford Ploughing Society's Annual Match will be held at Southrop, Lechlade, Gloustershire, GL7 3EA on Saturday 30th September. Contact Bob Jeffrey on 01451833636 or or Megan Saunders
Southern Area FFA Ploughing Match is on 7th and 8th October at Hall Farm, Fornham St. Martin, for details contact Ken Bailey 07702 202311 or Henry Castle 01824 728422.
The Northern Area FFA Ploughing Championship will be on the 15th October, to be held at Northwold Farm, Worlaby by kind permission of the Godfrey family.  For more information and entry forms contact Martin Peacock on 07566 211011 or speak to Roger on 01937 531532.
The 67th British Ploughing Championships are on 14th and 15th October at Bishops Lydeard, near Taunton, Somerset, by kind permission of Ken Coles and family. For further details contact Fred Anthony 07768 377612 or James Poole 07815 118279.
For the rest - Shows and rallies still to come:
The Cambridgeshire Steam Rally - now held on the new site at Stow-Cum-Quy 22nd and 23rd July
Dacorum Steam & Country Fair - held on 29th and 30th July at Potten End, Nr Hemel Hempstead. 
Welland Steam & Country Rally - from 28th to 30th July at Woodside Farm, Welland.
Starting Handle Club's Summer Show 12th and 13th August at Marsham, Norfolk
Keith on 01379 677866 for more information.
Biddenden Tractorfest and Country Fair - 19th and 20th August, Beach Lane, Biddenden
Yesterday's Farming 19th and 20th August, Illminster, Somerset. Special feature Ford and Fordsons, Contact: 07754 593545 or 
The Great Dorset Steam Fair on 24th to 28th August: This year we get two bites of the Cherry, we shall have a splendid line up of Fordson F's and across the road will be a selection of Ford and Fordson tractors that will, I hope, cover all interests. Do come and see us.
A working weekend on 2nd and 3rd September will be held at Rix Farm Langham, Nr Colchester CO4 5NJ.  Bring your plough and practice or an implement and put your tractor to work.
Autumn Tractor World - will be on 7th and 8th October on the Newbury Show Ground.  It will be the second year for this event and the special features are 100 years of Ford and Fordson Tractors, all makes of farm machinery from the 1970's and all types of County and Roadless 4 wheel drive conversions.
Newark Vintage Tractor Show - will be held on 11th and 12th November at the Newark Show Ground.  This year's features are One Hundred Years of Ford and Fordson and perhaps of not quite so much interest to members The All British Auto Culto.

I hope that I haven't bored you by mentioning progress in my shed before, or rather lack of it from time to time, I'm afraid once again all projects have again ground to a halt.  Of course it is now at the height of the rally season so one does not expect to get too much done. This year for the first time someone else prepared my lorry for test and that's the first time anyone else has laid a spanner on it since I bought it.  Something will have to give and I think it's time that someone else took on the chairmanship with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to take the Club forward.