Technology is all around us nowadays, whether we like it or not; even the humble television remote has become so complicated it demands a degree to make it work! I bought my fi rst computer – a so-called ‘Super Brain’ – back in the 1970s, and used it to manage farm records.
In those days, you had to fi nd someone to write the program to make it work, and that meant that you had
to start by explaining exactly what was needed to someone with no knowledge of farming. Things have moved on hugely since then, of course, and computers are now quicker, cheaper and far more reliable. What’s more, they can be used to run an almost limitless range of programs for virtually any purpose, all of which are available straight off the shelf. Well, that’s the theory. Just over a month ago, my current machine started to
misbehave, so I called a pal who’s helped with my computer problems for many years. In the past, if either installing a new machine or reinstalling the operating system – apart from having the whole system backed up on a hard disk – I’ve always also backed-up fi les separately, just in case. This time, though, I didn’t bother, and I’m sure you can guess the rest! I learned a salutary lesson, and many documents have been permanently lost.
I wrote to Ian Edmunds, at the Federation of British Vehicle Clubs, regarding the problems members have had, only to discover that the poor man has also experienced a computer ‘meltdown’; is it catching, like Covid? However, he thinks that the registration-related steps already taken are appropriate, and represent all that
can be done at the moment. Interestingly, he commented on the DVLA’s changing attitude, and will continue to make representations on our behalf, as below.
‘I’m aware of the sometimes unusual numbering system used on tractors, and it is perhaps inevitable that DVLA will sometimes have trouble with tractors as they are, in this respect, different to
anything else they deal with. Additionally, it appears that over the past few years, the DVLA has started to apply much stricter interpretations of its policy. In some instances, we consider its stance to be unreasonable, and continue to make that point.’
Pat Pawsey, FFA chairman
A snowy Malvern greeted us this year for Tractor World, which took place on March 11th-12th at the Three Counties Showground. It was certainly picturesque but very cold all weekend, especially up in the hills behind the showground.
The sale, always an important part of the show, was probably the largest I’ve seen at Malvern, and the parts traders gave visitors every chance of fi nding that long-searched-for spare part, tool or piece of equipment.
As I was organising the display on the
FFA’s show stand, it was good that quite a few of our members had contacted me to ask about which of their multiple tractors I’d like them to bring? It’s always great to have some fl exibility with model choice, so that I can keep the show stand display looking fresh and interesting for visitors each year.
I was a little apprehensive about our allotted space, as the large marquee wasn’t erected this year, but we had most of the area in the marquee between the two permanent buildings plus a
Tim Pearman’s American-spec Ford 3910 and 2810 models that were the centre of a lot of interest at Tractor World.
Johnathan and Nick Boaz’s three-cylinder Tricycle E1A and (left) Model F, the latter with a mid-mounted Athens disc plough.
The Marsh family’s New Holland 7740 next to the splendid Ford 7810 that Phil converted.
large area outside the entrance, and that worked well. But we could have done with it being a little wider!
Four of the display tractors were very different. Tim Pearman brought a 47hp Ford 3910 and a 34hp 2810 4WD, both of which were late-1980s American specification. They were certainly unusual, and attracted plenty of attention over the two days – lots of visitors commented that they’d never seen an example of either model before. However, what really stood out for me was that both tractors featured large, trumpet housings with oil-immersed brakes, unlike our smaller Fords. What’s more, I also noticed they had T-bar-type handbrake levers of the type being fitted to UK-spec models back in the mid-1960s.
Two others that are certainly worthy of a mention here were the Fordson Major and a Fordson F owned by Nick and Jonathan Boaz. However, the 1956 Major, on its journey across to the marquee, didn’t sound normal, then I discovered that it was fitted with a three-cylinder Perkins engine when normally you see converted Majors with larger, six-cylinder engines installed. In this case, though, the installation was certainly well engineered, like a factory-fit, with the bonnet
shortened by five inches. Nick has also fitted a Roadless three-wheel row crop conversion, taken from a worn-out tractor;
an excellent restoration.
Jonathan’s Model F came with the recent addition of a rare, Athens two
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