Most of us have tools that we have, over the years, made or modifi ed to make repairing machines either easier or indeed possible. I’ve been following Ben Phillips’ Dexta engine rebuild in the last few issues, as I’ve rebuilt several of Perkins’ iconic ‘P’ Series engines (or their derivatives) over the years. I agree that adjusting the tappets on these engines – which have cam followers in the head – requires dexterity.
Jeffery Giblin, who contributed the piece on Roadless in the Aug/Sep ‘22 issue, ‘phoned me with the solution; as with many things, when suggested it suddenly becomes blindingly obvious!
Take a short section of steel and cut two slots to fit the spanner flats on a pair of followers, which are then used to lock the follower. Job done and now the adjustment becomes standard. I shall make myself one, but the trick is to put it where I can find it when required; putting it ‘somewhere safe’ just doesn’t work anymore!
DVLA: In the News section of Issue 2 of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Club’s magazine, Ian Edmunds reports on ‘Your Vehicle’, published by the DVLA. If you have a ‘Q’ plate, wish to retain a registration mark, import a vehicle or indeed register a vehicle, it explains the DVLA’s position, and will answer many questions.
It may all be found online, and there’s far too much information to cover here. But those affected should read it. For now I’ll just highlight a section about
A VIN (Vehicle Identity Number) must be displayed and is mandatory on new vehicles. It is the successor to the old ‘Chassis Plate’ or, as with many early tractors, the chassis number stamped on the machine. It’s important that the original plate isn’t removed – even if it’s been defaced – as it may prevent an age-related registration being assigned to a vehicle. So please be warned!
Anthony and Ray Stokes with their
superb County 654, which also won
Class 6 – Best Four-Wheel Drive
Tractor World – my favourite show – was held at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern, in Worcestershire, on May 21st-22nd and, due to the later date, it was warm! However, next year’s event will revert to its traditional, earlier date of March 11th-12th (back to warm, FFA clothing – on sale at Newark!).
Once again, the FFA was allocated a large stand area, which Phil Gibson organised wonderfully. There was something for all enthusiasts of Ford and Fordson tractors – a display of various. Model Fs, by Jonathan Boaz, all in very original condition, showed various types of this model. The rowcrop Fordson F winning the Most Original Tractor award.
Alex Kettlewell’s 3600, with mounted
concrete mixer, was a worthy winner of the
award for the Best Tractor and Implement.
The impressive, public entrance to the FFA’s display area at this year’s Tractor World show.
Jonathan Boaz’s row-crop Fordson F won the Best Unrestored Tractor award; a lovely tractor!
Keith proudly displays his auction purchase. (Suggestions for its use on a postcard, please!)
Paul Broome’s Silver Jubilee was the
winner of the ‘The tractor the judge
would like to take home’ award.
There were a number of very well renovated machines on show, but the award for the Best Restored exhibit went to Anthony and Ray Stokes, and their superb County 654 (they were also winners of Class 6). Another well-restored tractor, exhibited by Alex Ketttlewell, was a Ford 3600 that was shown complete with a concrete mixer, and won the Best Tractor and Implement Combination award. Finally, the award for the tractor the judges would like to take home, went to Paul Broome’s Ford Silver Jubilee.
One aspect of the display that particularly caught my eye, was the large tractors poking their noses out of the side of the marquee; anyone approaching the FFA stand couldn’t fail to see them, especially the imposing spectacle of Tim Pearman’s yellow Muir Hills
Our tea and hospitality section was very busy as usual, and gave members the opportunity to sit and have a chat. Merchandise sold well, too, making Margaret and Derek happy – always helpful that you can try clothing on before you buy! As well as Ford and Fordson, each of the national tractor clubs was well represented, along with many local tractor club stands. The Stradsett NVTEC Club made the long journey from my part of the. world – Norfolk – to exhibit and, as usual, Stuart Bailey’s TVO E27N was immaculate.
If your passion is commercial vehicles, there was a large display of trucks of all ages, mostly restored to superb condition. That reminds me, my 1988 Ford Cargo needs work! There was also a great array of trade stands, both in the halls and outside, providing the opportunity for visitors to purchase those long-searched-for parts for that on-going restoration.
Apart from the exhibts, another highlight of this event for me is always the H Pugh & Co auction; I do like a good sale! The tractor section alone had 98 entries, ranging from a concours David Brown Crop Master (which I doubt reached its reserve with a final bid around £4,500) to total basket cases. There were also implements being sold, plus spare parts and an interesting bygone sections, which pushed the overall lot total to 1,305.
I must confess to making one impulsive purchase – lot number 1017, a bull’s mask. I used to see one on a bull at my school friend’s dairy farm back in the early 1960s, so a little nostalgia. However, it brought a few comments from various people – not to mention my wife! – but only our committee member, Peter Mitchem, knew what it was. I have included a photograph above, if you’re curious!
Keith Broomhall, FFA membership secretary
Here we are again at the start of another farming year, albeit late here in central Alberta. The last of the snow in the yard and laneway was finally cleared by May 1st, but sheltered areas along the north side of the farm’s tree line are still wet and muddy – not conducive for an optimum seedbed. Personally, as of today (May 6th), I haven’t even started spring cultivations!
There’s only been minimal seeding of peas in Westlock County with points east,
particularly in neighbouring Provinces of Saskatchewan and down into Southern Manitoba, suffering with widespread flooding. The areas around Winnipeg along the Red River valley are particularly prone to flooding due to the meandering nature of the river as it traverses the very flat prairie, and which becomes overburdened from waters from the south in North Dakota.
There are predictions of late crop seeding running into June in the most
recent issue of The Western Producer farming weekly newspaper. Yet another stressor in the midst of a turbulent economy with record input costs from a scarcity of seed, fertiliser and fuel costs at record highs. Nonetheless, for all of these trials and tribulations, one shouldn’t complain considering what’s happening in Ukraine.
After almost a 30 month hiatus – at least on the vintage scene – there are signs of likely activity over the coming months with our local Westlock Vintage Club. Also, our Canadian Tractor Museum (located in Westlock town) has
What a treat there is in store for visitors to this museum; it would take a very long time to see all the interesting exhibits.
recently benefitted in three important ways. For a start a donation of more than 130 machinery items was received from one of the museum’s founders. An additional building has been completed, which now houses a number of stationary and small engines and, thirdly, the reconstruction of a vintage sawmill is nearing completion.
Also in the Edmonton area, Leduc West Vintage Society hosted a Tractor Pull event at the end of May, although there’s still no mention of its major, annual July show. In the Calgary area, Pioneer Acres (located in Irricana) is planning to run its main event on August 5th-7th and, in the meantime, the facilities and artefacts can be viewed via an online virtual tour, minus the crowds!
Now, back to the Canadian Tractor Museum; I thought readers might be interested in a brief history. In my opinion, it’s a world-class facility that showcases many pristine examples of yesteryears’ tractors and equipment. The facility was officially commissioned in 2002, and has amassed many items since then – typically on loan, donated or purchased by the board of directors.
In 2006, a unique weathervane was added, consisting of a 60ft steel tube with a 1942 Case Model D tractor sitting on top of a 55ft pointer riding on a huge bearing which allows the vane to swing in the slightest breeze. However, it turns
out that the bearing isn’t maintenancefree, and must be greased periodically. A ladder inside the vertical tube provides access for this job. I suspect the structure is one of a kind. It’s been featured in many travel brochures and certainly provides a landmark in the town.
Four examples of the Ford and Fordson brand are prominently displayed among the many other exhibits. These include a pair of E27Ns; one gasoline-powered and the other fitted with a P6 Perkins diesel engine. The petrol version was purchased new in 1948 by William Densmore who, with two other family members, drove the tractor upwards of 170km from the Edmonton dealership to their farm in the Innisfree area, east of the city. I can’t imagine making such a trip in 1948, on what were probably mostly dirt or gravel roads. There’s no indication about the time of year, but I suspect it must have been made in spring-summer to make it possible at all.
The present owner is the grandson of the original purchaser, who acquired and restored the tractor about 17 years ago after rescuing it from an overgrown prairie wilderness where it had stood for decades. It’s in splendid condition now and is run during the annual show each June. The P6 Perkins-powered version was among the 130 items donated to the museum recently, and
had already been fully restored. I was indirectly involved in this restoration by sourcing components from Agriline, Cotswold Vintage Tractors and The Old 20 Parts Company. Ironically, while speaking to Richard Cole of Cotswold Vintage, I discovered that he’d been employed by a machinery dealership at one point in the Edmonton area, but had had to return to the UK due to family circumstances. Small world, eh?
The collection also features a Ford 8N that has been owned by the same family for over 70 years but, interestingly due to an engine swap, there’s been some controversy over the serial number. Both the 8N and the 1940, 9N exhibited next to it are currently on loan to the museum.
Finally I should conclude by telling you all that, in the space of a few days, Mother Nature has literally flipped a switch weather-wise, bringing much needed, warmer conditions that are more favourable for farm work. After 50 years of living in this part of the world, the dramatic climate and seasonal changes still never cease to amaze me. Now, as I look around the countryside, it’s all systems go, day and night, until the job is done. So, here’s hoping for an upbeat summer for all, near and far.
Ian West, FFA rep, Canada (
Oli Brown’s Roadless Super Major next to a Dupal-cabbed MF 35.
The Shillingstone Steam Rally returned after a three-year absence on May 20th-21st, hosted by the Three Okefords Preservation Society in Dorset. The event attracted well over 5,000 visitors who enjoyed the spectacle of more than 130 tractors on display.
Oli Brown was among the prizes, with his Fordson NP Super Major Roadless bagging the ‘Best Tractor’ award, and the Tractor Pull event provedto be as popular as ever with the large crowd. Every tractor in the line-up of 30 was a blue machine, but don’t mention the overall carbon footprint; it was a good thing that Extinction Rebellion wasn’t present!
Mike Welch, chairman of the Three Okefords society was delighted to have the Ford & Fordson Association represented at the rally; so much so that he joined the club there and then! Although this wasn’t a great surprise as he’d loaned us his Fordson Power Major to display on our stand.
This event will be a tough act to follow for tractor enthusiasts in Dorset, but bring on the forthcoming rallies at West Bay, Chickerell in Weymouth and Pilford, Wimborne!
John Maiden, FFA Dorset rep
The FFA’s stand at Shillingstone, with Mike Welch’s Power Major on show.
Ford & Fordson Association Sponsors