From the Chair Dec 2019 - Jan 2020 for
Judging from the comments I've been hearing from you round the shows, the improvements our editor Chris Graham has been making to the layout and content of the magazine are meeting with your approval. It certainly has a fresher feel about it and from what he tells me there are more refinements to come.
With that in mind and with a little nudge from Chris we thought that the Club's 'Advertisement Page' layout was well past its sell by date and needed a major rethink, its purpose is to promote the Club and inform members. So, this month we are reminding readers that to be a Club member, the magazine subscription must be paid directly to us. This is still causing confusion, which I believe is because readers have been renewing their subscription by standing order directly payable to Kelsey, probably mandated before the Club became independent, just as I used to pay mine. These days with so many other things going on it's easy to forget and they just never got around to changing it.
We are also moving the panel that contains committee details from our main pages to free up space for more news. At the same time, we are introducing a panel that details Club Representatives and these will run in alternate issues, starting with the committee this time. Lastly, we are featuring forthcoming Club events not promoted elsewhere and selected merchandise. Keep an eye on it in future and please let us know what you think.
From Around the Country:
The Dutch FFA Ploughing Match was held on Saturday 31stAugust at the farm of FFA member Johan Hogeboom at Eeserveen. The soil was sand with chopped straw on top and very dry and burying the straw was the biggest problem. The organisers introduced a new class for three-furrow mounted.
Two-furrow mounted 1 Co Looyestein, Dexta
2 Henny Mennega, Dexta
3 Gerard Schoenmakers, Roadless Super Major
Three-furrow mounted 1 Jurrie Potze, Major L4
2 Foppe Drent,3055
3 Andre Hendriks,5000
Parallel 1 Cor Dam, 3000
2 Marcus Wenning, 5000
Reversable Jaap Dam,4000
Hans Boss's restored pre force 5000 a lovely tractor.
The organisers were Jans Stevens and Foppe Drent
Our thanks go to the landowner Mr. Johan Hogeboom and to Mrs Greet Drent for running the catering. It was a wonderful day and we hope to see you all next year.
Dorset Steam Fair 2019:
For the first time for many years I missed Dorset, so I am indebted to Matt Bryne for his take on this year's show. Matt, with commendable modesty, failed to mention that he won the Stanley Pond trophy for his beautifully restored 1931 Fordson and Ransomes cultivator/seed drill seen in the working area this year.
As many of you will know the Bryne family are true enthusiasts each doing their own thing, our congratulations to Matt for his achievement.
This year at Dorset there were, as always, a lot of Fordson and Ford tractors working on the site and they seem to be a favourite for people to use for hauling their exhibits to shows and shunting steam engines around the site.
Early morning at Dorset's working field before a hot working day
A regular and one I always find an interesting tractor is a Perkins P6 engined E27N, owned by Alan Sparkes, fitted with a large Automower rear winch. It has side chassis frames running the length of the tractor and then a substantial front weight in front of the radiator.
Within the show there was a nice line up of Fordsons on the granfers day display and a Matbro Mantis in a display of clay pipe laying. There was a very nice "hedgerow" E27N on the forest and farm area and also a Super Major based super 6 which, in its working life, had had an issue with a front hub and was then fitted with a 2wd axle. Also, there were various 10 and 40 series tractors on water bowser duties keeping the dust down.
In the working tractors section, there were 2 model F tractors, Richard Carey's 1922 which was seen running a sawbench and Jason Craddock's 1923, also my 1931 Irish N. There were 2 waterwashers, an original condition 1936 tractor owned by Martin Tully, and Mikey Carey's 1937, which was his grandad's tractor and was exhibited at the second GDSF 50 years ago and has been in preservation with the family all those years. The Ridges family always bring some interesting tractors and this year their original condition 1942 full track standard crawler and also original 1945 E27N were a lovely pair of tractors to see working, as were the 1942 N and early restoration 1945 E27N from the Cox and Turner collection. There was a very nice selection of P6 engined E27Ns in the section including Graham Spark's Roadless Model E full track crawler, as always, a nice tractor to hear and see working. The Super Major based Doe triple D with Fritzmier cab, belonging to Jake Hooper, has been a regular visitor to the show on and off for a long time and it was good to see it doing what it was built for.
A highlight for me was seeing 4 Roadless 6/4 tractors in one place on the static roadless commemorative display, two of which came over from Ireland for the show, the well restored green and yellow model and a very nice original condition blue-grey one. Both belonged to Malcolm Cooke who also exhibited his Roadless 120 which was the last tractor built by the company before they were taken over by Jewells; this particular tractor was supplied new to BT and has been restored in its original yellow livery. This display also had a good variety of Roadless Majors and Dextas along with a Selene 4WD Major and Dexta showing the origins of the 4wd side of the company. There was a nice selection of tractors on the 90 years of County display, ranging from a full track TVO E27N crawler belonging to Rob Jenkins and James Hardstaff's four drive skid steer which led the display ahead of the many equal wheeled Ford conversions, including a 1454 which was locally supplied by Dorset tractors along with most other main models from County's history of Ford tractor conversions.
Farming Yesteryear Rally
6th September at Scone Place, Perthshire, Roy Cowgill writes:
Bill, Jane and Robert Ironside came down to help out at the Scone Rally where we had a very varied stand with no two exhibits the same (in fact we had 4 Fordson N's all with different wheels) two Roadless Super Majors one 1962 and a new performance 1964. We also had a New Holland T5.115 Centenary (Bronze No. 31 out of 100 built), a petrol NP Dexta, a 1959 Dexta which has completed two charity runs from John O Groats to Lands End with a coastal trip round Scotland raising nearly £25,000 for cancer research. With 17 tractors on the stand we had the bonus of picking up second prize for the best stand. With ten new members signed up and quite a lot of merchandise sold we can count it as a great success.
Vintage Enthusiasts Autumn Working Weekend
On the 7th and 8th of September. The Vintage Enthusiasts held the 9th annual Autumn Working Weekend at Brixworth in Northamptonshire.
With the weather set fair a perfect weekend was in store. The dry hard ground provided challenging conditions for the ground engaging machinery which was pulled along by mainly Blue tractors.
180 acres of ground was made available to us, by kind permission of the Brixworth Farming Company, to plough and work but, sadly, due to the fortnight's wet weather in July/August some 20 exhibitors were absent due to work getting in the way of play!! Those that managed to get there made a good show of working all the available land.
There were other attractions in the form of a licenced bar and food, bric-a-brac stall, tombola, jewellery, cakes and strawberries and cream on sale, as well as a massive raffle.
Grev Bray - master woodcarver- put on a great show, producing many and varied carved items.
The Power Pullers and the Peak Vale Tractor Pullers put on a brilliant display with many and varied blue machines hooking on to the "Stinger" - the Peak Vale sledge.
The main aim of the weekend, apart from everyone having a good time, was to raise funds for the Air Ambulance and this year we again managed around £8,000, taking our 9-year total to £40,000. Our thanks for this report from Michael and Lynn Alcock. prime organisers of this very enjoyable event.
Wendy Gibson Kents FFA "Ma Larkin"
is Stepping Down
After eight years Wendy has decided to retire from her role as committee member responsible for FFA merchandise sales, allowing her to pursue her many interests outside of the tractor world and to spend more time with her extended family.
Our sincere thanks to you, Wendy, for your years of commitment in this, often, challenging role.
Andrew Green from Devon writes:
Summer has gone, the Show season is over and working days are done. Autumn is with us and thoughts now turn to the workshop and sorting out those niggling problems and perhaps more major projects for the winter. Speaking of projects, some of you will know that I have been looking for parts to complete the rebuild of a Ford 4000 tractor. I would just like to say that I can really recommend Ron Greet from South Devon for the supply of new, used and reconditioned spares to fit most makes. Their support and back-up have proved to be most efficient and helpful (other breakers are available!).
69th British National Ploughing Championships, Lincolnshire, 12th and 13th October - Jane Broomhall reports:
Following a perfect Saturday for participants, exhibitors and spectators alike, our 'drowned' ploughmen and stewards persisted in their task on Sunday. For the second time in recent years the Championships were hampered by wet weather and, whilst the ploughing went ahead, there were few spectators other than family members and officials on day two.
Nine ploughmen competed in the FFA class - Pete Gilson, Geoff Sleightholm, Terence Stinson, Brian Gilbey, John Lewis, Derek Springett, Ray Thompson, Geoffrey Dibb and Harry Williams, travelling from Essex, Yorkshire, North and Mid-Wales and Oxfordshire. John Lewis took the trophy with 273 points, with Harry Williams and Geoff Sleightholm in second and third places respectively.
John Lewis FFA Champion after at the end of a wet day.
Participating tractors ranged from 1940's Fordson N's to Dexta's Super Dexta, Fordson Major and Ford 3000's.
We are grateful to two of our Lincolnshire based members who were kind enough to exhibit their tractors on the FFA stand. Richard Mason's Ploughmaster 6/4 and 5004 Northrop, and Mark Coupland's Ford 4000 and Fordson Super Major, created considerable interest. Ken Bailey also exhibited his Ford 2000, travelling from Essex with marquee and stand equipment for the weekend.
Thank you to the Society of Ploughmen for allowing the FFA's participation and to everyone for your support of this prestigious event.
J J Wright and Sons Ltd. Ford Main Dealers, for 60 Years. is a hard cover book of 128 pages measuring 305 x 215mm written by F G Milk & B J K Dye. priced at £15. Fred Milk started with the company in 1959 joining the agricultural service department as an apprentice and later migrating to sales in 1971. Brian Dye served his apprenticeship with a Nuffield dealer before joining Wright's agricultural team at about the same time.
It charts the fortunes of JJ Wright and Son Ltd from Joseph Wright's career from 1881 starting as a blacksmith, through bicycle repairs and manufacture, his move into automobiles and founding the business in East Dereham in 1899 through to its eventual demise. The book concentrates on the agricultural department based in London Road and is packed with photographs and interesting period ephemera, together with anecdotes of an agricultural engineer's daily life, from the period of Fred and Brian's time, when a service engineer was sent to a broken down machine on farm and they were expected to diagnose the fault and be able to repair it there and then, not leaving until it was back at work. Not as today when the engineer often just plugs in a computer and then fits whatever replacement assembly that it tells him to; it was a time now long gone.
This book will appeal to anyone interested in how agricultural engineering businesses of yesteryear were founded, developed, operated and unfortunately in most cases died. Wrights was a diverse company with full foundry and machine shop capabilities, undertaking work for the government and other manufacturing concerns, together with commercial vehicle and car sales and servicing, It is full of interesting information; I was looking forward to reading this and was not disappointed, as they say a good read and has my vote.
As another year draws to its close, I'm personally very glad that periodicals such as this are one of the
few havens, during these troubled times, that you can open without fear of having some politician's views rammed down your throat.
There are now just a few ploughing matches, road runs and crank ups left to look forward to. Let's hope that the winter is neither too bleak nor long, thankfully we don't seem to get as much frost and snow as I remember when a boy. I think snow is a poor barometer of a severe winter as snow clearance certainly in East Anglia used to be a very local affair, also there was less traffic, villages were far more self-sufficient and there were no salt lorries; keeping roads open was not the priority that it has become today. Probably the better evidence of change is the lack of ice thick enough to skate on in recent years, we seemed to skate on the pond or local gravel pits most years when I was a child.
The Club's first major event will again be Tractor World at Malvern and we look forward to seeing as many of you as can come. I don't know if Mark has plans to move us again, but suspect it will depend on the number of entries and other features and plans. I thought that Mark's last-minute move from our usual place last year made for a much better display, but the quality of that is entirely down to what you our members bring.
It's time to start thinking about which events you will be going to next year. If you would like the Club to be at your favourite show give your local representative or a committee member a call, they may be able to support it or if they can't why not have a go yourself, we will do what we can to help you. I know I keep saying this but, as no one can be in two places at once, it really is the only alternative.