Firstly I must apologise that an old advertising page appeared in error in the last issue, quite how this happened I really don't know, it wasn't even the page from the previous issue. Just to be quite clear we are not having a Club display at the Great Dorset Steam Fair this year and the British Ploughing Championships will be at Orton-on-the Hill in Warwickshire on 13 and 14 October.
I apologise to those members who called me asking to enter tractors for Dorset but I confess I hadn't got round to reading the magazine and only found the mistake when one of them drew my attention to it.
DVLA & VOSA Matters:
Confusion about driving licences mentioned in the last two issues continues. I must say that when I wrote about my experience of being pulled over by VOSA, on my way to the Gt Dorset Steam Fair last year, I didn't realise the size of the problem.
I hope that the remarks in the last issue have clarified the situation somewhat, but, before going any further, I must stress that the views I express are my own and that if you are in any doubt, you should seek proper professional advice.
I do get quite a number of 'phone calls from both members and others: registration enquiries make up the bulk of them but a significant number are about vehicle licensing, insurance, driving licences and related issues. (I would be grateful if people would call me in the evening between say 7 and 8 p.m. if possible).
However the DVLA and VOSA announcements never seem to be out of the news at the moment. Most of the recent guidance from the Department for Transport (DfT) concerns MOT testing Vehicles of Historic Interest, and here's another nice little acronym to add to the ever-growing list (VHI).
The guidance states as from 20th May 2018 a VHI, that is defined a vehicle first registered over forty years ago and has NOT been substantially changed, will be exempt from periodic testing. Large Goods Vehicles (maximum laden weight over 3.5 tonnes) and buses (with 8 or more seats) used commercially will not be exempt.
There is not space to detail what is considered a substantial change in this note but it is the responsibility of the keeper to both make a declaration that the vehicle qualifies as a VHI and that it meets the necessary criteria when applying to renew the vehicle's tax.
As far as commercial vehicles :
There really are two main points that may affect members. The first is the withdrawal of the existing concession that exempts recovery vehicles from annual inspection. I have always thought this nonsense, I have owned a 1989 Ford Cargo, built as a recovery vehicle, for nearly twenty years and have always submitted it for annual test.
I have no wish to put my, or anyone else's life at risk and do not believe that the exemption ever applied for any truck that is used to take tractors or anything else to shows, rallies or the like. The concession clearly stated that it only applied for use recovering broken down vehicles.
It would certainly have made for an interesting conversation had I been playing the exempt card and towing a caravan when stopped on my way to Dorset last year!
Incidentally, just as an example of how unsafe some of these vehicles were, when I started looking for a recovery type lorry the owners always stressed that they were MOT exempt as a major selling point. Nearly all the ones I looked at were in use, mostly for transporting tractors or cars to shows and meets rather than genuine recovery work and several were so obviously unsafe or rotten that I wouldn't even get in the cab let alone take a test drive in it.
The second is in the wording concerning commercial use; the guidance is clear and applies to both buses and commercial vehicles. The position affecting pre 1960 commercially used vehicles remains unchanged as long as they have not been substantially changed. Buses and large goods vehicles over forty years will be exempt from 20th May 2018 providing they have not been substantially changed and are used unladen.
Other changes will mean that some classes of vehicles previously exempt from annual testing will now require testing mostly recovery vehicles, mentioned earlier, and engineering plant that includes cranes and the like but is unlikely to affect members to any great extent.
The Federation of British Vehicle Clubs sum this all up rather neatly- to quote:
Major points of note are:
a.The process is one of self-declaration.
b.Owners will only be required to declare their vehicle to be a VHI if they wish to be exempted from an annual MOT Test.
c.All vehicles will still be able to be tested if their owners wish
d.The criteria are generic and permit changes made, less than 30 years prior to the declaration, which improve efficiency, safety, preservation or environmental performance.
e.Those vehicles registered on a Q plate, as kits or built up classics are not entitled to be declared as VHIs until forty years after they were registered.
f.For motorcycles only the criteria of Q plates, kits and built up classics prevent declaration as a VHI.
The Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency:
"DVSA" yet another acronym from yet another government agency. While writing this in early February an email arrived from the DVSA: politicians keep telling us that red tape will be cut, regulations reduced and quangos (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation) abolished. The list of what they are going to do is unending but the reverse appears to be truth, at least it is from where I am sitting.
Anyway the DVSA have announced that as from the 5th March, which is I am afraid before you read this warning, traffic examiners will start to issue on the spot fines for drivers hours offences committed that day of up to £300 per infringement and be able to issue fines for up to five offences over the previous twenty eight days to a maximum of £1500. So be warned and if likely to be affected take the trouble to check all the offences covered; for more information go to Drivers' hours: changes to fines for commercial drivers - GOV.UK
From around the Country:
Isle of Wight Classic Tractors Annual Charity Road Run:
On 27th December 2017 David Lemonius reports: the day dawned with north westerly gales and on some higher ground driving sleet or snow. However by the start time of the Run at 10.30am the tractors had assembled and the rain had thankfully stopped. There was a good collection of Fordson/Ford/New Holland, John Deere, International and McCormick, David Brown, JCB, MF and T20s.
The guys with cabs were all feeling quite smug and obviously spared a thought for those without cabs!
The route took us up Carisbrooke High Street turning south to run under Carisbrooke Castle out to the Whitecroft area turning down Sandy Lane to join up briefly with Blackwater Shute. A good off-road run down Birchmore Lane to join up with the highway again at Pagham. A short run down through Rookley at which point most of the fleet seemed to take a wrong turn with a little bit of confusion ensuing. We continued south past the Chequers Inn to Leechmore Cross and turned up through North Appleford for another off-road run to Cridmore Farm where we stopped for a short break. Carrying on towards Berry Shute and thence to Chale Lane and Pyle Shute running up through Atherfield Green back to Shorwell. The fleet then dispersed in the vicinity of Cheverton Farm no doubt quite pleased to get home and thaw out.
Some 32 tractors and their drivers took part in this popular run and we are happy to be able to donate £250 to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and a further £250 to the Alzheimer's Café, Newport.
The organisers would like to thank all those who took part in the run, the Eight Bells Pub Carisbrooke for the use of their car park, the Police and the landowners over whose ground we passed. The date for this year's run is set provisionally at Thursday 27th December 2018 with the Working Day set for Saturday March 10th.
Somerset Vintage & Classic Tractor Show: Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January. Amongst the Shepton Mallet rain at the first show of the year there was a good selection of Fordson and Ford tractors following the centenary theme last year. The early end was well supported with Nick Bryne's 1927 'F' winning first in the Veteran class and a 1931 Irish 'N' owned by Matt Bryne, both restorations only
finished last year.
Next was a nice original older restoration land utility 1934 tractor owned by Malcolm Trott who also had a 1939 harvest gold tractor in similar condition on display. It wasn't all restored tractors at the show, Simon Hobbs, known for original tractors had his very original 1944 'N' which has a nice local Dorset reg.
Jake Hooper of Shaftesbury had his Fordson standard with 4D engine conversion and Lambourn cab exhibited, which he uses in a lot of ploughing matches, including previous National Ploughing matches. E27Ns did well in the Vintage class with a TVO model recently bought by Oliver Bown coming 3rd and a Perkins P6 powered one owned by Graham Farmer, both of these tractors were quite high spec having full lighting, hydraulic lift and pto and in very nice condition. Robin Hatcher exhibited a Ford on the Ferguson Club stand in the form of a 1951 8N.
The E1A range was also well supported with a good selection of tractors, including Tom Bryne's Roadless J17 crawler which is now nearing completion after a very long restoration from a poor state. Oliver Bown also had his 1963 New Performance Super Major with Roadless 4wd, this is another tractor that has received a very high class of restoration with a lot of genuine parts where possible.
Anthony Dibble brought his 1963 Dexta well matched with trip buckrake.
Keith Selway had his very early Pre-Force Ford 3000 Super Dexta in original condition and also in original condition was his cabbed Force 5000, and in the same styling was Mike Mitchell's recently finished 7000. Roadless tractors are always well supported at this show, highlights including Mike Sheppard's well restored Ploughmaster 75 and Mike Mitchell's S-Series 980 which was originally an equal wheeled tractor when new and was converted by Roadless when sold.
Mike's tractors brought up the newer end of the range with his TW-15 and recently purchased New Holland 7840.
The H J Pugh auction on the Saturday is getting bigger every year and had some good spares even including some cabs, weights and everything else. There was a nice older restoration orange 'N' and an 'off farm' condition Pre-Force 5000 with Duncan cab among the Ford and Fordson tractors.
This year's show raised over £8,000 for local charities including: £4,000 to the SURE (Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment), £1,500 to Yeovil Heartbeat and £1,00 each to the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and Yeovil Freewheelers.
I am indebted to Matt Bryne for this excellent report and photographs. I had intended to be at the show, which we first attended last year, but unfortunately was unable to make it.
Road Run on Sunday 1st April:
A sponsored Road Run will be held from Goodrich Park, Palgrave IP22 1BA starting at 10.30 in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. There promises to be a good contingent of Ford and Fordson tractors taking part; for details contact Robert Pratt on 07789 995851.
Heritage & Transport Show - Saturday 7th April - Kent Showground, Detling, Nr Maidstone, ME14 3JF
Eastern Counties Tractor & Vintage Spectacular
21st and 22nd April Once again there will be a wide range of exhibits including vintage and classic tractors, vintage, veteran and classic cars, vintage and classic commercials, stationery engines, miniature steam engines and a heavy horse display.
We plan to have a special feature celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Dexta but all Ford and Fordson tractors are welcome. For entry forms go to www.easterncountiesvintageshow.co.uk/
For Ford and Fordson enquiries please contact Keith Broomhall on 07831 130005 and, for general enquiries, Mike Curtis on 07753 182065/01508 550293.
FFA Working Day - 1st & 2nd 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. Entries will be limited to 35 tractors so don/t delay, contact Ken Bailey on 07702202311 or Roger Starling on 07860745249 entry £10 proceeds to Essex Air Ambulance.
Southern Area FFA Ploughing Match
is on 6th and 7th October by kind invitation of Henry Castle of Friends of Ferguson at Hall Farm, Fornham St. Martin, for details contact Ken Bailey 07702 202311 or Henry Castle 01824 728422. Entry forms may be downloaded from our website.
British Ploughing Championships
13th and 14th October at Orton-on-the Hill, Nr Atherstone Warwickshire CV9 3ED. In the last two years the Club has successfully held our Championships at this prestigious event. We have been allocated plots again this year that are open to ploughmen that have previously qualified. Will interested entrants please contact Jane Broomhall on 01379 677886 or 07884 115089 for further details. I should warn members that numbers will again be limited.
Tractor Shows and Rallies for the coming year, are listed below, it is still early days and final decisions as to the shows that the Club will have a stand are still being finalised. We simply do not have enough committee members to attend all the shows we are invited to.
I do bring this problem to your attention on a very regular basis and to put simply it is your Club and if you want a presence at your favourite show then sometimes you must do something about it yourself.
Some members do absolutely splendid work and we are very grateful to them for their support and will do what we can to assist them.
But just look at the list below take July for example there is an event every weekend and of course lots more not listed here - we just can't have a stand at every one. (Those rallies where a stand is already planned are marked FFA in the listing but it is not yet set in stone, updates will be available on the website and in forthcoming issues of the magazine.)
Some shows & Rallies for 2018:
7th Kent Heritage Transport Show, Detling FFA
21st - 22nd Eastern Counties Vintage Show, Norwich FFA
6th - 7th Stradsett Vintage Rally, Nr Downham Market. FFA
12th - 13th Saffron Walden crank up, Newport, Nr Saffron Walden Essex
17th, 18th & 19th Devon County Show. Contact Andrew Green on 01363 83791 FFA
26th, 27th & 28th Strumpshaw Hall Steam Rally, Nr Norwich
27th - 28th Carrington Steam and Heritage Show, Boston, Lincs
2nd - 3rd Woolpit Steam Rally, Stowmarket
2nd - 3rd Tinkers Park Steam Rally, Hadlow Down, Uckfield, East Sussex
2nd - 3rd Grantham Steam and Country show, Colsterworth
9th - 10th Aldham Old Time Rally, Whites Colne, Essex
9th - 10th Tractor Fest, Newby Hall, Ripon, FFA
16th - 17th Journey Through The Ages, Palgrave, Nr Diss FFA
7th - 8th Hollowell Steam and Heavy Horse Show, Hollowell, Northampton
7th - 8th F.M.P.S. Melford Rally, FFA
14th - 15th Cambridgeshire Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally, Stow- Cum- Quy, Nr Newmarket FFA
20th, 21st & 22nd Weeting Steam Engine Rally and Country Show, Weeting, Nr Brandon.
27th, 28th & 29th Welland Steam Rally, Nr Upton - upon - Severn FFA
28th - 29th Kedington Steam and Vintage Show, Kedington, Haverhill, Suffolk
28th - 29th Dacorum steam and Country Fair, Hemel Hempstead FFA (John Worley)
3rd, 4th, 5th Gloucestershire Vintage and Country Extravaganza, South Cerney Airfield, Nr Cirencester
4th - 5th Weald of Kent Steam Rally, Woodchurch, FFA
11th - 12th Starting Handle Summer Show, Marsham, Norwich FFA
18th - 19th Lincolnshire Steam and Vintage rally, Lincoln show ground
26th - 27th Shrewsbury Steam Rally, Onslow Park, Shrewsbury
23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th & 27th Great Dorset Steam Fair FFA
1st - 2nd Working Day at Langham airfield FFA
8th - 9th Haddenham Steam Rally, Nr Ely FFA
14th, 15th& 16th. Bedfordshire Steam and Country Fair
15th - 16th Grand Henham Steam Rally
6th-7th Tractor World, Newbury FFA Ian to book FFA stand. Ian and Lin attending
6th-7th FFA Southern area ploughing match
13th -14th British Ploughing Championships, Austrey, Nr Atherstone, Warks, CV9 3ED
10th - 11th Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show, FFA
Life is full of little surprises, unfortunately not all of them pleasant, but one the other day was. A lad I used to work with, but we lost touch when he left years ago, happened upon the magazine and there was a photo of yours truly on the Club pages. He was a fitter and machine man and a good one at that anyway to cut a long story short he gave me a call and as a result, as he hails from Norfolk, we plan to meet up at a rally this year. It must be well over twenty years since I last saw him and I'm looking forward to meeting him again. As I keep saying its not really about the tractors it's the people and the crack that matters.
I have made no secret of my intention to relinquish my roll as Chairman of the Club, and a rally or event does not pass by without my being asked, usually several times about it. I have enjoyed my time but I'm afraid my answer is yes I do mean to retire from the Chair but have no intention of putting unnecessary pressure on the committee. I am happy to remain on the committee if re-elected at the AGM at Malvern in February and plan to continue to assist members to register their tractors with the DVLA. I will do whatever I can to support the new chairman or woman, for example I am quite prepared to continue to help with the Club pages for a while if requested.
At the Club's AGM at the Yorkshire Museum of Framing in October 2013 members present adopted a revised constitution. One of the important changes was to the chairman's term of office and election. The chairman is elected by the committee at the first committee meeting after the AGM and remains in post until the first meeting following the next AGM. In short the chair is held for a year and the incumbent can stand for re-election if they so choose. Previously the chairman had been elected for a fixed three year term at the AGM, but could stand for re-election when the term expired they wished.