From the Chair:Issue 82

December 2017 & Jan 2018

Chickens come home to roost and when mentioning roadside vehicle checks in the last issue, little did I imagine that by the time my comments appeared in print, I would be pulled over for one.  I can't really complain after all the last time I was stopped must be over thirty years ago, so perhaps a check was overdue?

I was on my way to Great Dorset on the Sunday afternoon before the show opened, travelling from Salisbury about six miles from the show ground with a friend following, when we were both directed into a layby. On this occasion tachographs were hardly mentioned, the bee in this particular VOSA official's bonnet was driving licences, specifically those bearing the C1E entitlement.  The police were very fair and more interested in stolen caravans; indeed one was recovered while we were being detained.


The upshot was that Ken was made to leave his caravan, although he is entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to a combined weight of eight and a quarter tons and on this occasion his total vehicles weight was under seven and a half tons.  Nevertheless we were eventually allowed to continue to the show ground where I left my caravan and then returned to fetch Ken's.  No great harm done save a delay of well over an hour and the consequent inconvenience of having to put awnings up in the rain as the weather had deteriorated.

Mr VOSA really was not clear as to the meaning of the symbols on the back of the licence as he told me that because my licence has C1E on it that I did not have the appropriate entitlement although it also has CE clearly printed on it and had only just been renewed following my annual medical.

The fundamental question here is what one's entitlement actually is ???

  The classes of both vehicles and weights of vehicle trailer combinations you are legally licenced to drive depend on when you passed your test and on your medical fitness. For the older amongst us, who passed their test say in the sixties, in the heady days before the introduction of HGV licences let alone a separate HGV test; at a time when to legally drive any lorry you only needed to pass your driving test in a car and then, at twenty-one, the world became your oyster.  HGV licences came later, issued in a smart black gold embossed hard backed booklet but no further test was required providing the "grand father's rights" exemption could be met, indeed I had a class 2 licence as a result and only acquired my group 1 qualification in the early eighties, now known as CE.  If a test was taken back then what can now be driven?

  The right to upgrade to the old class 1, 2 or 3 HGV licence has long expired but my understanding is that the entitlement to drive a vehicle and trailer up to the combined weight of 8.25 tons, with no specific limit as to the trailer's weight, remains but this was not Mr VOSA's contention. He merely inspected the vehicle's ministry plate giving the gross weight of the towing vehicle and the MVW on the caravan's drawbar added the two together and as these were 7.5 tons and 1.4 tons pronounced judgement making 8.9 tons. The C1E licence, according to him, only permits a trailer weight of up to 750 kgs whatever the actual weight of the towing vehicle.  This does seem a nonsense when one can legally tow the same caravan behind a car but not behind a small lorry even if the combined weight of the two does not exceed 8.25 tons.

This problem needs to be sorted as it affects several members and I have written to Ian Edmunds of the Federation of British Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs who has in the past given guidance on DVLA matters for definitive advice on this issue.  As space precludes its inclusion here the text of the letter may be seen on our Website, I will report the outcome as soon as it is to hand.

'Whitlock Brothers', is a new book just published that gives a detailed account of the family's, farms, forage works, foundry and factory at Great Yeldham, written by Adrian Corder-Birch with the help and assistance given by surviving members of the Whitlock family.  Great Yeldham is a village close to where I live and I knew many former Whitlock employees who were drawn from a wide local area and have owned both Whitlock diggers and the later Hy-Mac machines myself.

Whitlocks built a range of farm and earth moving machinery but are best remembered for the first hydraulically operated tractor mounted excavators called "Dinkum Diggers".  Many of their products were powered by Ford components and they were leading wheeled excavator loader manufacturers for many years.  Whitlock Bros was founded in 1899, incorporated in 1941 and became part of London and Midland Industries in 1967 where it was allowed to operate autonomously.  They were sold to Powell Duffryn in 1972, which explains the later Hy-Mac connection.  It is well written and will be of great interest to those interested in Whitlock machines, diggers and Ford powered machinery alike.

It is priced at £14.95 plus postage of £2.90, cheques payable to A Corder-Birch, Rustlings, How Drive, Halstead, Essex, CO9 2QL:

From around the Country:

Dacorum Steam & County Fayre - 29th & 30th July 2017, from John Worley the Hertfordshire FFA representative: This is the 11th show and during those years £150,000 has been raised for the hospice of St Francis. The show was opened by David Brodala, Commercial Director of the Hospice. In the tractor section there was an entry of 50 which included 23 Ford or Fordson these included Ford Country, Ford 4000 & 754, Majors, Power Majors, Ford 3000, Dexta, Ford 2000 & Fordson N.

Dick Trott aboard his Northrop "The Beast" ta Dacorum

My thanks go out to the Ford & Fordson Club for supplying a number of banners; these were placed around the Tractor Section.

I was approached by a number of people/exhibitors asking about the Club, let us hope we gain a couple of new members. The Tractor Section turned out to help on the Sunday when, due to rain, it was impossible to get the heavy steamers into the parade ring.

Ford & Fordson exhibitors were asked to put on an extra display and in their usual manner saved the day.

It does seem that if you have a Club attendance enthusiasm is forthcoming, so to our Club officers and helpers sometimes what you do might not seem appreciated but it is.

The Weald of Kent Steam Rally:

5th and 6th August. Report from Lyn and Ian Prince:

Firstly we must say thank you to John Vowell for organising an FFA stand at this event. He started off with his own two tractors either side of his tent and by show opening on Saturday morning they had been joined by about 8 more tractors making a good display. Several of these were narrow tractors that would have worked in Kent in orchards and on hop farms.

This is a predominantly steam show as the title suggests with over 100 engines both large and small but there was also a good display of exhibits in other sections, tractors, commercials, military, horticultural, cars, living vans, classic caravans, stationary engines, wood sawing and traditional fairground etc.

This show has a very large arena, tractors and commercials paraded in the mornings, afternoons were for steam demonstrations, games, public steering and a grand parade at

4:30pm. In between all this there was also a display on both days by the Tigers Free Fall Parachute Display Team.

The rally is held on a private airfield with a grass runway through the middle of the site. Private planes landed on the Friday and remained on site for the public to view during the weekend, at 8 am Sunday morning one of these planes took off and we were all treated to a flying display whilst eating our breakfast.

This show is well worth a visit especially if you like to see full size steam engines moving around.

Starting Handle Rally 

Held at Marsham - 12th and 13th August: report from Keith Broomhall:

Since the last magazine we have attended two shows. The first was a local show held at Marsham in north Norfolk. Due to the centenary celebration the Ford & Fordson display was much larger than usual. The highlight of the Sunday was the Ford and Fordson ring parade; the stewards must be applauded for ensuring the tractors went in in date order, amazing!  The Marsham show is always an enjoyable weekend and is thoroughly recommended for the whole family.

The second show was Onslow Park held on 26th and 27th August in Shropshire where Jane and I deputised for Derek and Margaret Badham, who attended the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Our visit to Onslow was a first, even though we are both originally from Shropshire. The FFA stand was adjacent to the working area, which was certainly a spectacle. All makes and ages of tractors were working and the area must have been ploughed then rolled many times over the two days. The weather was sunshine all the way and brought out immense crowds from the surrounding Midlands. This really is a great show.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 

24th to 28th August - at this year's show the Club presented a special display featuring the Fordson F celebrating the centenary  of Henry Ford's launch of probably the most important milestone in the development of the agricultural tractor that's influence can clearly be seen a hundred years later.  Unfortunately an example of a Hercules engined model eluded us but we had some very rare examples on display and, all credit to our members, very good they looked too!

This is our third display here in recent years and this year's weather was, for a change, benign that happily confounded the critics, it was neither a 'dust bowl' nor a morass of mud, certainly a very pleasant change.  Actually there were really two displays, our F's and Kelsey's time line of Ford and Fordson tractors on the other side of the road.  Many of these were also owned by Club members but, I gather, due to the late receipt entry forms and later passes, there was a delay in notifying entrants resulting in too many empty pegs -a great pity, as there were some really interesting examples on display.

This year, for a change Glen Cass, who runs a vehicle restoration company and is an expert on heavy horses some of which he was successfully showing at the fair, judged the Club's exhibits, the winners were:-

Best in Show: Nick Bryne circa 1927

Best Unrestored: Philip Ireland circa 1927

Judges Favourite: Harris Bros circa 1924 Trackson D

Mark Harris and his Wehr Grader, the judges favourite at Gt Dorset

Dutch FFA Ploughing 2017:

Saturday 2nd September: report from Gerard Schoenmakers.

This year we were in Zeijerveld  (Drenthe) the field was seven hectares of wheat stubble and was ideal for ploughing. Twenty-five ploughmen came, the weather was great it was a lovely day.

When the ploughmen arrived our ladies welcomed them with coffee and cake - a good start to any day's ploughing.  After I had given them their instructions they went to their plots and were given the signal to start the opening furrow.  The judges went round and the ploughman came for lunch and a very good lunch it was too; they all enjoyed it.  After lunch everyone went back to their plots to continue ploughing it was a great sight to see so many Ford/Fordsons ploughing together - only blue will do!

The ploughing was good and after they had finished their plots they cleaned the ploughs and tractors that were loaded ready for home.  The jury had a difficult job but they came with the result:

Mounted Class: 1st Co Looiensteyn, 2nd Dirk Vos& 3rd Rienko Koburg.

Trailer Class: 1st Menno de Graaf, 2nd Harm Bonder & 3rd Habe Vedder

We had a great day and the ploughmen were satisfied; we hope to see them all back in 2018.  Many thanks to the landowner Jan van der Spoel : contractor Henk Boutsema : our great help Piet Schoon and Jarich Hibma and of course the ladies Ineke and Djoeke for the catering.

Full Details & Photos of Dutch Ploughing 2017 Click here.

Pat's note: Gerard tells me that this is the last year that he will be organising the FFA Dutch ploughing match, this has, for many years been a very popular event and he has done a grand job but is now looking for someone to takeover next year.


Anyone interested should contact Gerard on

06 29503792 or

Email him: Gerard Schoenmakers

who will I'm sure give them all the help they need.

Haddenham Steam Rally:

9th & 10th September, this rally is always well attended by Club members, we do not have a Club stand at this rally but Ken Bailey helped Ray Purcell organise the tractor games in the ring.  One of the highlights of the show was unquestionably the recreation of a typical 'James Graven & Sons' show stand, this first rate recreation was put together by long time Club member Edwin Palmer and team.  Garvens were founded in 1860 by James Garven specialising in agricultural machinery, exports and steam.

In 1913 they began a long association with the Ford Motor Company from their Broad Street premises in Ely until selling the agricultural division to Earnest Doe in the eighties.  The display featured the ubiquitous marquee that was a feature on all their show stands together with Garvens own 'stand front name board' forming the entrance to the roped off area.  There were six new tractors all supplied  from their Ely depot, together with a fine display of period literature and memorabilia housed in the marquee.

Working Weekend: 2nd & 3rd September

Langham Airfield courtesy of Rix Farms.

  This turned out to be a popular event with hot sunny weather giving almost perfect ground conditions. Catering was provided by wives Paula Smart and Maureen Starling and very good it was too as I can personally vouch for.

Fourteen tractors attended all with ploughs and there was a brilliant atmosphere, perhaps partially because the weather was so good and perhaps  as everyone was very relaxed there being no competitive element involved. My personal combination was Adrian's splendid original Caterpillar R6 coupled to a Ransoms five furrow plough. 

Some £412 was raised in aid of the East Anglian & Herts Air Ambulance, cracking event particular thanks to the landowner and especially Roger Starling.

Southern Area Ploughing Match:

7th October at Fordham in conjunction with the Ferguson Club, our particular thanks to Henry Castle and Paula and Maureen for providing the catering facilities, all profits were donated to charity. 

The FFA winners were 1st Shaun Garrod Shaun being presented his trophey with Henry Castle and Don Sapsford

2nd Terry Stintson, 3rd Brian Gilby.

Looking Forward

Andrew Green from Devon writes:-

Our Centenary year has nearly disappeared and what a successful year it has been with many memorable and successful events to commemorate and celebrate our milestone which we hope will have been enjoyed by very many people. I know that we shall mark other anniversaries in the years to come but there is something very special about 100 years of Ford and Fordson tractors!

We are now starting our winter evening meetings at our usual venue of Whiddon Down Village Hall. Our next event on Thursday December 7th promises to be a most interesting evening when Ron Moyse, aka Bonzo is coming to talk to us about his early life selling Fordson tractors for both Whitlocks and then Fulford Trumps, sadly dealerships that are both long since gone. This promises to be a great night.

Moving on, our next two evenings in early 2018 are fixed for 24th January and then 28th February, both Wednesday's and details will be included in the next issue.

Well that's all for now but please do get in touch with any news or information to


Finally for anyone embarking on a restoration project for the first time here is a photograph of Nick Bryne's Irish Fordson F, which won the Club's, best in show award at Gt Dorset before cast his magic spell to show just what can be achieved with a lot of hard work!


I look forward to hearing from you

Tel:01787 277316 (Before 9pm)

               Mob:0797 74952739 (Before 9pm)

E-mail: Pat Pawsey

 or Ernie

Forthcoming Events/Looking forward to 2018:

Spring Tractor World 

Will be on 24th and 25th of February the traditional opening show of the season for most people, held on the Three Counties Showground.  The FFA will again hold its annual general meeting on the Sunday of the show.

All above shows dates with more details can be found on Our What's Going On section of the website.

Contributions to Club News for Website:

We need your contributions to feature on our website. It is your Club and members need to know what is happening in your part of the world.

Unless you tell us what you are up to in your area we can not advertise it on the website for you and for members to attend and enjoy the events

"Come on" tell us about it

   Email  - Ernie

 "Let us know what your'e up to and we will publicise it."

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Nick Battelle of Old 20 Parts has let us know that they also have their new 10 series catalogues available and due to their popularity at Malvern, Nick has made the Ford History Posters a stock item, only £6.00 + postage or email us your FFA membership number and receive 15% discount!


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2013 FFA Northern Ploughing Championships.

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Click logo above to view Railswood Tractors website

Contributions to Club News for Website:

We need your contributions to feature on our website. It is your Club and members need to know what is happening in your part of the world.

Unless you tell us what you are up to in your area we can not advertise it on the website for you and for members to attend and enjoy the events

"Come on" tell us about it

   Email  - Ernie

 "Let us know what your'e up to and we will publicise it."