The Ford & Fordson Association is successful club and because of this, event organisers, and members
ask us to attend their shows. Taking a stand, the merchandise, providing teas and coffee and manning it
not to mention organising any display does not happen by magic. The trouble is that too few are
prepared to help and most of those that do are getting on in years.
Talking to other clubs and societies they have the same problem, which is the ever increasing average
age of committee members and helpers, means that they no longer have the energy or strength that
they used to possess. They still enjoying what they do but feel able to do rather less of it, of course,
one can't help getting older, speaking personally I have yet to find any benefit though.
On the other hand, the young are not to blame as they have families to bring up and their careers to
build. Looking back, I recall cash was tight and my priorities and interests have changed over the years. There was never quite enough time and although the world has changed dramatically there are still only twenty four hours in a day.
I make no apology for raising this problem again but, this is your Club, and make no mistake, its future is entirely in your hands. If you want the Club to have a stand, at as many shows as in recent years,
members will have to step up and help, they will find the experience rewarding and fun. The trick is
simple enough people make light work of any job so please contact your local representative or any committee member. Otherwise the Club's stand will be at les events, or as your mother told you 'Many
hands make light work'.
John Worley & Charlie reporting on Whitwell Show 26th - 27th June
The show this year turned out to be the most successful ever with entries from all over the south
of England. On both days large attendances were seen, I think it was the public's first chance to attend
an event. There were over 600 exhibits including tractors, classic cars and steam engines this show is rapidly becoming the largest and best in Hertfordshire, that's due to Richard Hill and his team. Over 170 tractors attended which included a large proportion of Ford and Fordson, one of the pictures included is
a Fordson Standard with a hay turner owned nick and Mike Hill.
Over £8000 was raised for the local garden Hospice of Letchworth. My thanks to Richard Hill and team for
the photos and for an excellent show.
Charlie has contributed to previous issues, a different perspective; I visited the Whitwell Steam and
Country Fair now held at Codicote, Hertfordshire. The weather forecast was iffy, but the day was
overcast, dry and mild. I am normally a regular exhibitor at this friendly well run rally, but not this year
for personal reason.
My first surprise on arrival was having to join a traffic queue on the road waiting to enter the site. Sunday
is usually a busier day so a larger holding area is needed. On looking around I was amazed at the size
of the exhibitor's area. The rally has been gaining strength as the years passed, but this was a leap
forward. I expect driven by being the first event in the area for so long. The car park was evidence of
public relief at an outing.
The free high quality programme lists 135 tractors, with some 40 Ford and Fordson. Exhibits ranged from
lawn tractors, a Ford 1210, a Doe 130 to a modern monster in the farm equipment section. All the
usual exhibit sections were very well populated except for the stationary engines being only half those listed. Sunday will probably see more exhibits
Younger visitors were well catered for by a fairground, model steam train rides provided by the North
London Society of Model Engineers and last but not least a pair of donkeys being kept busy giving rides.
The one disappointment was the very limited food section. I heard a one hour queuing time stated.
There was of course the real ale bar, that aside, I found it a most excellent day out, all for £7
Andrew Green - reporting on the Devon County Show
Devon County Show was held on the 2nd to 4th of July. I think it was successful, quite different, but
there was a good atmosphere and quite a buzz about it. Let's hope the organisers will see a favourable return for all their hard work and efforts in staging the event. There were about 50 tractors exhibited
which made for a pretty good display and quite a reasonable showing of Blue tractors.
I was particularly drawn to David Guppy's County 4004, Den Marks' Super Major and
Maurice Retallick's American Ford 960. Nick Gilbert, the tractor steward and FFA member has told me to mention there was quite a rare pre-force Ford 3000, Super Dexta which was also narrow with Select-O-speed transmission. Also to be seen was a most unusual exhibit which was a Stanhay fruit
box shifter built in 1967. Only 2 of these were ever made and it used a Landover 6 cylinder, 2.6 litre
petrol engine & transmission and I guess you could say it was like a gantry which could carry up to 6
boxes at a time underneath its body from the field back to farm. It was, unbelievably capable of speeds
up to 45mph! It was really good to be out and about again, long may it continue. Organisers are planning
for the next Show to be held in May 2022, fingers crossed of course!
Over the last few issues, I have been recounting some of my family's farming experiences with Ford & Fordson tractors and equipment. Last time I was enthusing about the pre- force 1000 series and early
Force series which quite neatly moved us from the 1960s into the Seventies. This was the decade of
strikes involving the miners, postal workers and dustmen and rampant inflation around 25% per annum,
the 3 day working week and the Ford Cortina and Escort cars. You may recall in 1971 how on D Day, or Decimalisation Day how petrol changed from 6 shillings and threepence to 32 pence per gallon, yes a
gallon!! During this time, the Ford Force range proved to be very successful being market leaders for
many years. I mentioned last time how the Ford 7000 tractor came into being and became the mainstay
in the quest for more power and how it has become an increasingly desirable collectors tractor. In 1973,
one optional extra on the Force range which became available on the larger tractors was the development
of Dual power which was a clutch-less on the move high low lever which doubled up the number of
gears available to the operator. This was a huge advantage to be able to go 22% slower if you hit a
hard patch without having to change gears and then to be able to flick back up again when the workload eased. Dual power also gave you engine braking in every gear unlike some of the competition's tractors!
I should perhaps mention County tractors as I know there are many readers of our magazine who are
great fans of the range. As you will all well know, these were Ford engine and transmission skid units that were adapted and fitted with 4WD conversions. I will be quite honest and say that I personally have little knowledge and experience of Countys but they always give me a warm glow when I see one at work!
I should say that one of my brothers had quite a few on his farm in North Oxfordshire where his steep
banks and heavy land were well suited to the role of these 4 wheel drive beauties. There were other
similar conversions carried out by others including Roadless, the Doe triple D which was a dual drive articulated machine, Matbro, Northrop, and of course Muir Hill but Countys were far and away the
biggest manufacturer who converted well over 35 thousand units which were exported to many countries across the world. There were other Ford based skid units that were used in numerous industrial
conversions all over the world, far too many to mention. In the early 1980s the introduction of 4WD by
Fords to their tractor models was the beginning of the end for the specialist 4WD firms.
Moving on, in 1976, it became a legal requirement for all new tractors to be fitted with a safety cab that
met the 90 decibel noise limit inside the cab. These new cabs became known as Q cabs and were a huge leap forward in operator comfort and safety with proper lighting and ventilation systems. In the fullness
of time, air conditioning was provided but it was into the 80s before being offered as original equipment
. It could be pretty unbearably hot inside these cabs in the height of summer, so the windows were
all opened wide and of course in came the dust and dirt!! It does make you appreciate today's controlled environment cabs.
In the mid 70s, I also branched out on my own with the acquisition of the tenancy of a small farm in mid Oxfordshire and I was also working for my new near neighbours doing some contract work. It was quite exciting when the first new large tractor arrived on the farm in early 1981, a Ford 7600E 2WD with the
E denoting the economy version basically without Load Monitor. This represented a saving of some
£900 off list price, a sum definitely not to be trifled with and as my old dad used to say that we were
only poor old tenant farmers! You might well be wondering how on earth these big sums could be afforded anyway and it was impossible without finance which spread the cost over say 3 years or more if you so wished. I did have a second hand early 7600 which went in part exchange which helped the deal.
In early 1982, the farm next door, across the valley came up for tender and I was pleased that I was successful. This was a heavy land farm, on banks and 4WD was now essential.
So the 7600E was then fitted with a Schindler front axle which came through the dealership of
Curtis & Horn Ltd based in Oxford but supplied from a firm called Farm Tractor Drives based in Derbyshire which was run by Arthur Battelle, father of Nick, our FFA president.
Well, this Swiss made imported axle transformed this tractor and made
it a very useful workhorse and very capable of coping with the challenges
of the new farm. We also added a double front weight tray which would carry up to 20 wafer weights which significantly improved traction. This was one
of those tractors which I wished I had kept but unfortunately it had to be traded in to offset the high capital cost of its replacement. As I have said before this is the reality for most of us but I hope someone is still using and enjoying it!
I think this is a good moment to stop for the time being but I will finish up
by wishing you a great summer
and I really hope that we shall be able to get out and about, have some
fun and catch up with old friends. But as I always say, please stay safe,
take care, use your common sense and look after yourselves and
The Eighth Stebbing Vintage Tractor Run Sunday 20th June:
From long time member Dick Hughes. With a certain amount of trepidation
a date was set. We were inundated with entries all looking to get out
after the lockdown & we limited the numbers to 65. As has become the norm,
we start & finish at Brazenhead Farm, Little Bardfield courtesy of David Hunt.
A good mix of makes & models including over 20 Ford & Fordsons took part. Of particular interest was Michael Moore's Mini D with his wife in a dickie seat mounted on the back. We mark the route out with
little flags the day before which are collected up by Ken & Max in a
pickup as back markers. We plan some short cuts for the slower tractors that can't keep up on the road sections. However, the slow coaches managed to take a wrong turning & by the time they were back on track the markers had been picked up!
We plan variations to the route every year to include off road sections,
with permission from local landowners. This year was no exception with
five separate farmers accommodating us.
We did leave some mud on the road after one such foray, but we haven't had any complaints. The journey took us through Stebbing, Felsted, & Little Leighs with a comfort stop at Great Saling Village Hall. The last leg went across the fields to Great Bardfield & back to the start, a distance of 30 miles. For the first time
the event was publicised in advance on social media. This resulted in hordes of spectators turning out
along the way which added significantly to the pleasure for all concerned.
Through sponsorship & street collections we raise money for charity most recently for Essex & Herts.
Air Ambulance. As icing on the cake, when we got back to the farm getting ready to go home, we
were treated to a 'fly over' by the Air Ambulance helicopter as a thank you for our efforts. The ending
for a very enjoyable day.
As I write we have raised a staggering £10500 our best yet & the grand total since we started the
event is now over £47,000.Dick Hughes is joint organiser with David Hunt & Mac Beanland.
Combined ages 234 years!
The 17th Annual 'Pink Ladies' Tractor Road Run
Took place on Sunday 4th July with 110 participants and record crowds through Harleston town and the surrounding countryside. An emotional day for all concerned and, hopefully, large sums of money raised towards our target of £1Million for Cancer Research. By our treasurer Jane Broomhall, who is a regular participant.
Gerard Schoenmakers' Roadless Ploughmaster 6/2:
Gerard has finished the project which surely must be described as a labour of love and very fine she
looks too, a real credit to him and his friends' skill and dedication. You will recall that this two wheel
drive Roadless model was never sold either in the UK or on mainland Europe and that only thirty two were made that were exported to Mexico.
Gerard reports that the tractor took over a year to build, and several technical problems had to be solved
on the way such as the sump, the flywheel and the frame. After a lot of hard work, it was painted
then came the big moment - the start up and drive out of the shed, only it didn't happen! She fired
up straight away but there was no drive so the tractor was split, and the trouble was found to be that
the clutch release bearing did not have enough clarence the shaft was ground and it all works fine now.
On the morning of 14th July came the 'icing on the cake' Gerard and his pal Jurrie applied the bonnet stickers to complete the job. Gerard would like to thank Jurrie Potze for all the help and Johan Tempelman for the technical advice. He is waiting a full set of wheel weights awaiting shipment from the UK.
He is looking forward to 11 Sept to take her to the Dutch FFA ploughing match in Nieuwe Pekela in the
north east of the Netherlands.
Coast to Coast and Back:
From Phil Gibson, 25 years ago Dave Harrison started the coast to coast tractor run from his farm on
the banks of the Mersey near Liverpool to Whitby and back again. This is no ordinary run as takes 6 days with about 600 miles covered. Held in June with the longest day taking in the delights of the Yorkshire
Dales and the North York Moors with many miles off road sometimes on tracks which are challenging even
to tractors, a good seat cushion is a must for me.
Dave has few rules, no cabs allowed, if you break down you are put on a bar and taken to the night stop
to make repairs, I was in need of a tow a few years ago, my 3000 Select-O-Speed decided to try to
select 2 gears at once. One rule above all is to wait for the man behind you at junctions, critical with
only our leader knowing where we are going plus a very good set of waterproofs, even in June the
weather can change very quickly on the high moors I use a insulated one piece suit.
The run starts on a Sunday morning at 4.30 a m, its 3-4 hrs to a breakfast. Then through the Trough
of Bowland or by other routes through the Yorkshire Dales sometimes Northerly to overlook Morecambe
Bay before we turn East to head back down to the Pubs and B&Bs around the Masham area for our night
stop with the North York Moors to be tackled next.
We run on white diesel to save any problem from the boys in blue and have 3 planned fuel stops on
the journey, some fuel is carried in a trailer together with a tools and some spares. This year I needed
one of the spares. a rear tube as we had to keep pumping it up throughout the 2nd day, at the night
stop we fitted a new one, it had chafed on a gaiter inside the tyre. Various repairs have been done at
night stops from head gaskets to water pumps and dynamos.
We follow our leader each day not knowing which road or track we are taking. On the moors you really
are on your own, quite often not being able to see any farms or villages as far as the eye can see, this
is a wonderful part of our country and we are very lucky to have the opportunity to drive these tracks.
To enable us to travel off road Dave obtains permission from farmers or forestry owners, sometimes on
the moorland a game keeper will lead us as grouse have recently hatched or areas of moor have been
burnt to enable new heather to emerge.
Days 2-5 are around the North York Moors travelling to within sight of Teesside in the North and
Scarborough in the South. One day we drove on an old railway cinder track to Boggle Hole, which lead
to the beach at Robin Hoods bay and through the sea if it is not to deep, about halfway up my front
wheels. On the beach we sample ice cream made locally by a fellow road runner and Farmer from Whitby,
ice cream Mike.
The sea was incoming and by the time we went towards the jetty it was around 3 feet deep and quite
rough and came just over my gearbox, a new trophy for my workshop is a large piece of seaweed from
my front axle.
Two local drivers had joined us for the day on Grey Fergies and needless to say they got
wet, but it was sunny and warm with time to dry out before our next stop at Whitby.The Harbour Master allows us to park on the Pier and around the Bandstand for around 3 hours before driving onto the beach. Then 3 miles or so to Sandsend, but not this year with the sea in.
The run raises money for charity, this year the Air Ambulance, with donation boxes on some tractors,
Whitby is always good for the charity and this year especially so. Some of the lads end up at the
popular Magpie Cafe for sit down Fish and Chips, I wander into town where there is a jewellery shop
with everything hand made from silver with Whitby Jet, I buy a small 'peace' offering each year to my
wife as her birthday is a week later, it helps with gaining permission for next year's run!
The only other regular stop is at Goathland of Heartbeat fame where Scripps garage is still preserved
as it was in the programme, a very nice tea and scone is always the order of the day. We stop for 3
nights at the Fox and Hounds pub at Ainthorpe, that I recommend and are able to park on the green in
front of the pub. We eat have the odd drink and with much banter and great evenings.The majority
of the 25 or so tractors are Ford or Fergy from everyday farmyard to concours, some modified with
larger engines which is good for towing any broken down tractors and drivers from all walks of life.
The last day is back to Liverpool via the Dales with the last few hours through the towns at rush hour,
time to concentrate concentration.
Dave has Fords in his collection but always likes to do the run on his Massey 185 Multi Power, without
Dave's work planning the next run would not happen. This year we presented him with a table lamp
made by the famous Mouse Man factory in Yorkshire in recognition of all his hard work. Thanks Dave!
British National Ploughing Championships - 9th and 10th October, at Mindrum, Northumberland We have
ten members ploughing on the 10th and the FFA stand will be supported by Roy Cowgill and Phil Gibson