From the Chair April / May 2020 for Issue 96
2020 is now well underway, as January is such a dark month is my least favourite, but now the mornings are noticeably lighter, the evenings always begin pulling out first and the weather has been very mild so far, this winter. A false spring is causing early growth and there were reports in January of birds nesting, not that I've seen any, but there is plenty of time for a cold snap yet. Whatever your views on climate change there can be no denial that the seasons are certainly not as they were. The show season has begun with a very successful start at the Bath and West, and the East Anglian long-time farming fixture of the Doe Show, reports on both follow.
I'm glad to report that when applying for an age related registration mark there is no longer any need to send the applicant's actual photo card driving licence, as a photo copy of it is now sufficient. Incidentally the identity requirements are different if applying to either retain an existing mark or for a business and companies.
The DVLA requires that the individual applying must prove both their name and their address; two documents are still necessary. The first part is to confirm the applicant's name, they may submit either a photo copy of their photocard driving licence, or alternatively either their passport, or birth certificate, or marriage certificate or decree nisi or absolute are also acceptably, however in the latter examples original documents must be sent.
In the second part, to confirm the applicant's address, their current year's council tax bill is acceptable, alternatively a utility bill, or bank statement or medical card/letter these latter alternatives must all be issued within three months of the application, form the second list photo copies are not acceptable.
Historic Vehicles: The rules regarding historic vehicle are causing some confusion. A forty year rolling exemption was introduced back in 2014, from 1 April each year vehicles manufactured before 1 January forty years ago become eligible for historic tax class. See 'Taxing historic vehicles' (INF34) for more information. The effect of this means that as from 1st April 2020 any qualifying vehicle manufactured prior to 1st January 1980 will become eligible. However, for the vehicle to be eligible its V5C must clearly show that it was either made or first registered before that date. Tractors used for their original purpose are not affected, as any vehicle used commercially does not qualify. You may think this makes no difference as both taxation classes have a nil V.E.D rate (vehicle excise tax) this is not the case as vehicles taxed as 'Agricultural Machines' and used for that purpose benefit from the concessionary use of rebated fuel (red diesel) whereas vehicles taxed as 'Historic Vehicles' do not and must only use Derv (white diesel).
Book Review: International Harvester Tractors by Jonathan Whitlam who with his publisher Amberly is building quite a series of these 96 page soft backed volumes. It follows the same format as the previous four titles reviewed measuring 234mm x 165mm with 96 pages and is profusely illustrated with matt colour mostly half page illustrations, priced at £14-99.
This is an ambitious project covering, as it does, in a single slim volume over a century from International Harvester's inception in 1902 when five American harvesting machinery manufactures joined together. As the title suggests it concentrates on the company's tractor interests and charts the early development of theses to the introduction of the Farmall and on through the establishment of overseas manufacturing facilities. There is particular emphasis of the British built models from the Bradford and Doncaster plants, to their eventual closure. Along the way the acquisition and eventual fate of other iconic bands that were bought, sold or incorporated including Case, Steiger and Versatile, responsible for the mighty 'Quadtrac'. The involvement of Tenneco and their sale of Case IH to Fiat that in turn led to the formation of Case New Holland as it is today.
This is a huge subject and necessarily covered with a very broad-brush approach, it is packed with facts you certainly need to concentrate while reading it. The lack of an index is unfortunate but that aside this is an excellent introduction to an important group of tractors, another worthy addition to your book shelf.
From Around the Country:
FFA members triumph in National Championships
Roger Ingham reports: David Thomlinson of Swan Farm, Escrick near York swept the board in this year's British Championships, winning the overall championship in the classic class with his immaculate Ford 3000 and Ransome plough and only just missing the outright championship award . To follow that success he travelled to the Scottish Championships and won the Six Nations Classic Championship, a tremendous achievement for him. David, an arable farmer, has been ploughing competitively with great success for a number of years now and on this form will take some beating.
Another FFA member, Ray Alderson, a well known champion ploughman, also a farmer from Bolam in the County of Durham won the European Ploughing Championship at the Scottish Championships. Ray is a former British trailer plough champion and only just missed winning this year's final. Congratulations to both members for their splendid success this year, I am sure both of them will be fiercly competing for honours at next year's round of championships and we wish them every success.
The Isle of Wight Classic Tractors Charity Road Run:
Saturday 11th January, from David Lemonius. The day dawned with sunshine but soon turned to cloud with light spots of rain. An amazing collection totalling 53 of tractors both old and new together with 3 Unimogs filled up the car park of the Eight Bells in Carisbrooke. John Stallard brought along his recently acquired Roadless 118K, Jack Redfern in his Massey Ferguson 7722 which had been sprayed black! Ralph Cook brought along his faithful old Dutra D4K. There was a good showing of John Deeres - in fact it looked like a takeover early on! And of course there was the usual gathering of Fordson Majors, Dextas, 5000s, 4000s, Nuffields, Masseys and Ford New Hollands. A crowd of interested public gathered to send the tractors on their way by which time it was raining
The route took the participants out along the Bowcombe Road turning off up through Bowcombe Farm to Garstons at Gatcombe, then onto Cridmore where a brief stop was made. After Cridmore it was an off road run through to North Grounds at Appleford and continuing along the road to Chale Green, Atherfield Green, Shorwell and Brighstone. Turning up Strawberry Lane to Lynch Lane and then running off road through Westover Farm to the main Freshwater road thence along to Chessel, Brook and along the Military Road to Compton Farm where we were entertained by Anna Smith and her band of helpers who provided delicious cakes and savouries. We are most grateful to them all.
This run was dedicated to the memory of John "Butch" Butcher who was a co-organiser with Isle of Wight Classic Tractors since its inception some 10 years ago. Butch sadly died back in the summer of 2019 and we are donating £475.00 to the Isle of Wight Hospice. A further £475.00 will be donated to the Newport Alzheimer's Café who do a great job in caring for those affected.
Our grateful thanks to our Sponsors "Needles Pleasure Cruises" enabling us to give all our donations to worthy causes. Our thanks too to the Eight Bells at Carisbrooke, the Landowners and Farmers over whose land we pass and of course to the Isle of Wight Police who give us advice on our route. Not forgetting all the participants and the onlookers who helped to swell the funds!
The Somerset Vintage & Classic Tractor Show: 25th -26th January
The first large event of the new year, Phil Gibson writes: It turned out to be a very busy weekend and it's great to be back out again to meet old friends and make new ones. The event is organised by FFA members Nick Bryne and Mike Mitchell and friends with all proceeds being given to charities.
Ian and Lin Prince had travelled from Essex to help me on the stand as did Ken Bailey from Suffolk, both bringing tractors to add to the excellent turnout from local members and friends. Most models were represented with 3 lovely Fordson F`s , 2, E27N`s which was good to see as it is the 75th anniversary of 1st production and FFA will be featuring these at various events around the country so if you can book one in at an event near you for our displays it would be most appreciated. Various other models were on the stand in the hall including a bright yellow major with a well fitted Perkins V8.540 engine up to a Roadless 980 and a Doe with some larger Ford tractors outside.
Saturday is always the busy day with the HJ Pugh auction and many traders there for the day, Sunday was quieter but in the top hall there was a model show which was well worth looking at. On Sunday afternoon a junior member Mikey Brent won 1st prize in the under 16 class with his Dexta that he shares with FFA member (Grampy) Keith Selway, what a great way to end what was a most enjoyable weekend
Thanks to everyone who exhibited, renewed their membership or joined the FFA for the 1st time, we hope to see you next year, happy tractoring for the coming year.
Doe Show's, Sixtieth Anniversary
Held on the 4th - 6th February, Lin Prince reports: This all came about after meeting Graham Parker Sales Director at last year's show. FFA member Peter Nutley showed him some pictures of his Land Army display. Graham thought it would make a good feature in the entrance marquee for the 60th show along with two sixty year old tractors. FFA then became involved in helping Peter with the display and supplying one of the tractors, Ken Bailey's Fordson Dexta and Ransomes plough the other was supplied by Doe's a Fordson Power Major.
Ernest Doe's is a large agricultural equipment supplier covering East Anglia and the South East. Dealing in New Holland and Case tractors and combines. There was a large array of new and second hand machinery to be viewed. The star of the show was unveiled at 11am on Tuesday a special edition diamond white New Holland T7.210 to commemorate 60years of the show. There was a display of tractors sold by Doe's over the last 60 years including a Ford FW 60. Also in the working field were five Triple Ds and two static examples.
Peter's display provided much interest for both young and old and FFA gained seven new members. We would like to thank Graham Parker and Karl Last for the invitation and their help.
Held 23rd and 24th February Pat Pawsey reports: this year's show came close to being cancelled due to the severe flooding along the rivers Seven and Wye. Exhibitors arriving were faced by road closures and saw vast expanses of water where sheep should have been grazing or crops growing. The suffering of the owners of flooded houses and business must be terrible and will continue for many months after the water has gone.
By the opening day most roads were passable, it is the Club's first major show of the year and although more space would have allowed a better display, as the tractors were rather too tightly packed together to allow them to be seen as we would have liked there were some very interesting and rare examples on show. It is the seventy fifth anniversary of the Fordson Major E27N and of the fifty tractors on the Club's stand there was a splendid array of nineteen of them.
The tractor of the show, for me, was the full tracked Roadless fitted with a Perkins P6 engine, one of some twenty-four built and of these it is believed that only six were originally fitted with Perkins P6 engines and that only one of those now survives. This splendid example started life with a T.V.O. engine but is no less impressive for that, we are indebted to Phil Mostyn for bringing it to the show by kind permission of Frank Lythgoe who has some splendid tractors.
Phil bought seven E27N's to the show four from Frank's collection and three others belonging to himself his son Giles and Hammy a friend.
The Club's prizes were award to:
Best in Show: Tim Pearman - County FC 1174
Best unrestored: Lawrence Fisher - Fordson Major E1A with loader
Judges Favourite: Billy Wood - Ford Cargo tractor unit, V8 Cummings.
The stand was busy on both days and our Annual General Meeting was held for the sixth year running in the Friesian Hall on Sunday, reports of which will be posted on the web site in due course. Despite the weather the show was well attended and was a brilliant start to the season.
Andrew Green from Devon writes
We have had a really miserable winter down here in Devon. It just seems to
have been a long wet and mild season but the strange thing is that we have not had any flooded rivers as we are near by the Taw river of Tarka the Otter fame and the Tarka railway line, which shows that no great amounts of rain fell at any one time. For us farmers, it has been a real struggle to get much or any winter corn planted. As I write, the sun is out and the birds are sounding happy. I hope they know something we humans don't and that Spring will be here soon! Moving on, days are lengthening which means that our thoughts turn to the Show season, so in this respect I should ask
you to note the date of our County Show at Westpoint from 21st to 23rd May. Also I would like to mention my local village of Coldridge which has its biennial fete, vintage rally, flower festival and dog show on 27th June so please put both of these dates in your diaries now.
On a personal note, one tractor that always catches my eye when it is exhibited is the Ford 960, 38hp, 5 speed, petrol, owned by our friend and colleague Maurice Retallick. It was bought new in 1955 in Jackson Michigan and used on the farmer's own 120 acre vegetable unit.