An E27N Major’s identity plate showing the tractor number as the engine number (although this one isn’t on a P6).
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) hasn’t announced any major changes affecting members recently. In fact, application processing times appear to be getting back to pre-Covid levels; all seems to be settling down nicely. It has been my practice to send an unsigned copy of the dating letter for applicants to keep in case the DVLA asked them any questions. Recently, though, several have sent the unsigned letter and retained the signed one, and that’s resulted in the application being rejected. To prevent this, I no longer send the copy letter. However, the DVLA is sending inspectors to verify more applications which, it says, is a measure to combat fraud. I don’t know whether this is to check if any import tax is due or, indeed,
if the vehicle has been imported, or just to check that the vehicle is actually what it’s purported to be. The problem is that neither the DVLA personnel dealing with a particular case, nor the inspector assigned to it, appear to know much about how tractors are identifi ed. For example, all Fordson tractors manufactured from 1917 didn’t carry what’s now called a Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) plate that is, until the advent of the Fordson Major E27N, when factoryfi tted with a Perkins P6 engine in 1948. Perkins used its own numbering/identity system that obviously didn’t match the Fordson tractor number. Previously, as was Ford’s practice for all vehicles, the engine number stamped on the block was also the vehicle’s chassis number. VIN plates
in this case the engine number and chassis number were the same on the identity plate when this E1A Major was built.
were also fi tted to the E27N‘s successor, the E1A, until about 1957, still bearing the tractor number. However, the plate clearly says ‘Engine No.’; logical in Ford thinking. Later E1A tractors had a plate fi tted without a number, and their tractor number again stamped only on the block. But the DVLA doesn’t understand this and is, therefore, claiming that an E1A – even if fi tted with such a plate – has no VIN number.
In another case, the team delegate involved has declined to accept a dating letter provided to one of our members, and asked that I send them a copy of the offi cial Ford record that I used to date this ’Y series’ tractor. This is despite the fact that, as I told her, I’d already sent a copy to the DVLA during its vetting process to confi rm that I possessed the necessary documents, in order to be accredited as the FFA’s approved representative. I have, of course, emailed copies of the requested documents to her in the hope that it will resolve the matter. This particular case has been on-going for some three months, which is quite unacceptable.
I shall draw Ian Edmunds of the Federation of British Vehicle Clubs attention to these and other concerns so that he can raise them in the appropriate quarters at the DVLA.
Pat Pawsey, FFA chairman
The Club’s Annual General Meeting was held at Tractor World. Covid restrictions meant that almost immediately following Tractor World in February 2020, all shows and events were cancelled, with few re-surfacing until the end of 2021. Certainly Newark 2021 was our main event of 2021, where we also held our AGM and reviewed the accounts for 2020.
Thankfully, our events schedule appears to be returning to a more normal routine, and we’ve already
enjoyed successful weekends at Somerset and Malvern this year. During the AGM at Tractor World, we reviewed the accounts for 2021 and 2022. Both years have seen growth in terms of FAA membership – an increase from 906 to 1,106 in the year to December 2021, and from 1,106 to 1,292 in the year to December 2022. In addition, we have member-only subscriptions totalling 30. It’s encouraging to know that membership extends throughout the UK, but also to Europe and the rest of the world. Also, it’s been pleasing to receive articles from all over the world for inclusion in this magazine.
While merchandise sales were much lower in 2020, they have recovered since then, with high levels of interest at shows and via the website during 2021 and 2022. Accounts for both 2021 and 2022 will be placed on the website for you to review. Your committee continues unaltered, and the details can also be seen on the revised website at: fordandfordson.co.uk
Thanks to you all for your continuing support, without which the club simply wouldn’t exist.
Jane Broomhall, FFA secretary/ treasurer
Nick, Pat and ‘Dexta’ with two of their award-winning tractors. They are wellknown to many, and staunch FFA supporters.
This event, which took place on January 28th-29th, delivered a very cold start to the show season at the Bath & West Showground, and was organised by Mike Mitchell and his family. The club stand was again to be found in the lower hall, surrounded by traders, tractors and, more importantly, lots of visitors to the event on both days. Saturday is traditionally auction day at this show while, on Sunday, there’s a Toy Fair, so
there’s always plenty to see and do. The show has always raised money for charity and, this year, made an impressive donation of £11,000 to the Air Ambulance and five other charities. This is always a very relaxed but wellrun event, with sensible marshals who always know what they’re doing without being overbearing.
The main theme this year was John Deere and, among the array of green
Mike Lawrence’s Chariot of Fire; a proven winner resting at home. It’s a truly fearsome beast!
machines, was FFA member Mike Lawrence’s tractor-puller Chariot of fire, which is powered by a 37-litre Rolls-Royce Griffon 58 engine that was originally fitted to a Shackleton Bomber. At 3,300rpm it produces 3,000hp, and the last set of spark plugs made for it by Smiths Industries cost £600. It’s a very interesting machine!
Most Ford and Fordson tractor variants were to be seen at the show, with quite a few owned by FFA members who picked up trophies. Nick and Pat Bryne, together with son Matthew, won rosettes and cups with four of their tractors; my favourite was Matthew’s Irish Long Wing Fordson N towing a Ransomes cultivator with a seed box on top – both of which were top-notch restorations.
MDTEMG AUTUMN AFTERNOON
A Thomas 95/100, produced by John Thomas of Banbury, with a Ford six-cylinder engine.
The Mid-Devon Tractor, Engine & Machinery Group (MDTEMG) celebrated its 40th anniversary on October 15th, 2022, against a backdrop of glorious weather. Held on a splendid site at Cleaveanger Farm in Coldridge, Devon, by kind permission of Paul and Mary Stanbury, several local FFA members were present at the event, together with the original founder members of the club. The MDTEMG has grown and now boasts almost 100 members. What’s more, it survived Covid unlike many similar clubs which, sadly, didn’t. Meetings are held on a monthly basis, except during the three summer months and there are also working days, gasups, road runs and club trips. The club is proud of its fund-raising activities, and many tens of thousands
An E1A Major KFD; it’s interesting to compare its size with the Dexta and F models alongside.
One of the later, narrow-wing Fordson Ns provides a splash of colour between a pair of Fs.
A pair of E27N P6 Majors. If you’d been there you could have decided which style of preservation was for you!
of pounds have been donated to a wide range of charities over the years. There are too many to mention here but one of there main recipients has been the Devon Air Ambulance, which has received more than £27,000 in donations which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is most impressive! On the day of the anniversary event, visitors enjoyed seeing old engines, farm vehicles, vintage tools and barn machinery plus, of course, an impressive turnout of members’ tractors of all colours. These included a pair of Fordson Fs in beautiful running order (a rare sight in itself), a superb Standard, a couple of E27Ns, a KFD Major, a narrow Super Dexta, a Pre-Force 3000 and, finally, a 95/100 Thomas, which was a delight to see. There was also a lovely display of impressive Ford and Fordson products covering 60 years or so of production. A speech from John Moore, our chairman, a formal toast and a slice of celebratory cake rounded-off what had been a perfect day.
Andrew Green, FFA Devon rep
IoW CHARITY ROAD RUN
A varied line-up of entrants on a stop during the run. What a splendid landscape for a road run.
The Isle of Wight Classic Tractors Charity Road Run took place on December 27th, 2022, and, following the record turn-out in 2021, I’m delighted to report that we managed to top that, with 72 tractors leaving the start site at Hale Manor.
The weather was kind, with even a little sunshine, although there was a fairly brisk breeze blowing – not unusual for the island! As there was such a varied range of tractors taking part – everything from 25hp little grey Fergies to giant, 300hp John Deeres – we allowed the smaller, classic tractors to set off first, followed by the bigger machines. As usual, the interesting route included a mixture of off- and on-road sections, and we are very grateful to the owners over whose land we crossed.
From Hale Common the convoy made its way across country to Merstone Lane, then crossed to Chequers Inn Lane and joined the Newport-to-Niton road. The tractors continued on to Cridmore Farm and Chillerton, then through Gatcombe to Bowcombe and along the road through Shorwell, Brighstone and Brook. Here we joined the Military Road and found our way to Compton
A Dexta leading the pack on a bright but chilly day on the Isle of Wight, with white cliffs behind.
Farm where we were refreshed by Anna Smith and her band of helpers. We’re grateful to everyone who helped us make this event possible, and I’m happy to report that the run raised £1,700 for charity. The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and The Friends
of St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, will each receive £850. Our thanks also go to Needles Pleasure Cruises Ltd which kindly covered our insurance costs.
David Lemonius, FFA Isle of Wight area rep
TRACTORS IN NEW ZEALAND
Greetings, once again, from Alberta in Western Canada. I note that 2023 is the year of the Rabbit in Chinese culture, which takes my mind back to when this was also the case in 1999 and we were all facing Y2K. The world was said to be in dire straits with global computer systems threatened by the arrival of the new millennium. Predictions suggested that everything was going to grind to a halt but, thankfully, such fears were unfounded. Now, here we are, almost a quarter of a century later, and our lives certainly aren’t any less complicated but overall, it’s been quite a ride!
In November, in celebration of a milestone birthday, my wife Linda and I travelled to New Zealand for a month’s holiday. This was our third trip to that country, and we opted to limit our travels to the South Island this time. In the lead-up to our trip we’d contacted a couple of vintage tractor clubs, and I’d particularly like to recognise The New
Zealand Vintage Machinery Club Inc here, which is based in the Canterbury region, on the outskirts of Christchurch. We were warmly welcomed by president Dave Reynolds and vice John Hutchison, and joined club members as they participated in one of their weekly work days, during which machinery was being reorganised throughout the museum and display areas, following a show the previous weekend. In addition, the club – with a reported membership of 300 throughout both islands – operates a vast resource library of technical manuals. In conversation with the librarian, John (ably assisted by Bev), I failed to stump them in terms of resource manuals for even the most remote models! I was told that clubs throughout the country can access this resource library for any related manuals; a most valuable service, no doubt. It was a pleasure to interact with such
This Lepoard-engined N is presumably one of Reginald Tildesley’s conversions, built in Welshpool. It really is splendid.
A Fordson All Round; lovely to see the closed-centre rear tyres, even if the fronts aren’t the part.
The 1910 Garret Compound Condensing Engine; magnificent is an understatement!
a vibrant and welcoming group, and we’d planned a second visit to attend an open-house, pre-Christmas get together. But, due to Linda being unwell at the time, we had to forego that pleasure. Before our return to Canada, however, we were invited to spend a day with the other vice president, Wayne Dyer, together with his wife (and the club’s secretary) Gill, during which we toured a fellow club member’s collection. The club, at the time of our visit, was facing a dilemma as its ground maintenance tractor, a Nuffield 4/65, had been pronounced ‘terminally ill’. However, I’m happy to report that the selection committee had narroweddown the replacement options to either a Ford 4000 or a 5000 so, hopefully, they’ve been successful in sourcing a suitable model. The next vintage club visited during our travels was the Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Museum, which is located about 140km south-west of Christchurch. Its collection boasts more
than 2,000 exhibits, including a 1929 Spartan Biplane, over 100 tractors (from 1912 onwards) and more than 50 vintage and veteran cars dating from 1907. There are also numerous farm machinery pieces, motorcycles and recreation specimens etc. The Ford and Fordson brands are well represented, with the display including a 1938 Fordson N All Around and an even rarer 1938 N powered by a Leopard diesel engine; believed to be the only one surviving from the 28 originally produced. The Leopard diesel version preceded the Perkins P6 models and was rated at 75hp; a significant powerhorse for its day! An extensive Ford and Fordson toy/model collection – including a Ford-powered JCB loader/digger and an Ernest Doe Super Major duo combination – was also featured. Incidentally, the museum is entirely volunteer-run, with a work roster for the 80 or so members who maintain the facilities and exhibits. It was particularly impressive to be presented with our
signatures in the guest book from our visit four years earlier. Well done guys! The second club that we’d been in contact with was the Thornbury Vintage Tractor & Implement Club, based in the greater Invercargill area, close to the south coast. It was founded in 1956 and has the distinction of being New Zealand’s oldest such organisation. The club’s prized 1910 Garret compound condensing superheated stationary steam engine is believed to be the only operational model in the world, with just two others believed to survive in the UK from a total of 213 originally built. Records indicate that this engine was imported in 1911, to power a seedcleaning plant in Invercargill. In 1930 it was purchased by Terrace Gold Mining Ltd. and used to operate a water pump for some time. It was then resold and ended up as a power source at a saw mill in 1938, but was retired by 1958 in favour of a diesel-powered unit. Next it was bought by an enthusiast owner in 1973 then, finally, it became Thornbury
The Scott Paul collection, sadly languishing. There look to be some very nice tractors within the slowly-deteriorating group.
A Ferguson 65 fitted with Howard Roto Pads, usually seen on Howard trenchers and the like.
Club property in 2016. In the six years since, it’s been brought carefully back to life by
club member and licensed boiler engineer, Linton Strang. As with the Canterbury club, Thornbury conducts a weekly work Bee where facilities
and equipment are worked on. The organisation has undertaken a major upgrade of the ‘history of agriculture and lifestyles’ section in the museum, which now benefits from striking graphic design and professional media involvement, thanks to input from club president, Fraser Pearce. We were privileged to have seen the 1910 Garret up and running in addition to another Garret traction engine, and enjoyed a comprehensive tour of the many activities and exhibits of a thriving club. Among the many tractors in the collection we saw an E1A Major, a County Super 4, a 1924 Fordson F and a 1937 Fordson N. Also, I spotted quite an interesting Massey Ferguson 65 equipped with Howard Roto Pads, which I was told had recently been transferred from a Ford 4000. The club is active on social media with regular postings on Facebook highlighting its many activities (which include hosting regional ploughing championships and various fundraisers). Congratulations all – most definitely a club worth visiting. Finally, on our way back north towards Christchurch, we drove through a town called Milton, and revisited the Ford and Fordson tractor collection owned by Scott Paul. There are about 20 tractors on show, ranging from a
Ford 7600 to an E27N but, although the machinery was protected by a metal roof, the sides were open. As a result, I noticed a marked deterioration in the exhibits compared with how they were back in 2018. I was unable to determine any history on the status of the collection as, apparently, Scott Paul no longer lives in Milton. In closing, New Zealand is a beautiful and scenic country boasting quite a range of terrain, from the majestic Southern Alps to the volcanic areas of the North Island. As such, it’s well worth considering as a relaxed holiday
destination. Driving is pleasurable with low traffic densities outside the urban centres, and traffic regulations are routinely enforced and adhered to. Ultra-modern farming practices are evident everywhere, with the main Canterbury Plains and Invercargill districts most notable on the South Island. Being in the Southern hemisphere, a trip down there in November-December is certainly a fitting treatment for in shortening one’s Canadian winter woes!
Ian West, FFA Canada rep
Nick Wright tells us that he’s searching for some early editions of this magazine. In particular he wants to buy copies of issues 3, 4, 5 and 6. If you’re able to help him, please give him a call on 07710 018958, or send an email to: n.wright57nick@ hotmail.co.uk
THE PERFECT CARD
Edward Lea’s grandchildren with his Fordson Dexta make a charming family group. It’s always good to start them young!
Ford & Fordson Association member Edward Lea has been in touch with the news that he used a photograph of his three grandsons on his Dexta as a
Christmas card. The Dexta was bought in 1958 by Thomas Lea, Edward’s father. They retired from farming in 1988, and the
tractor was then rebuilt by Edward. Now he’s delighted to report that interest in the tractor continues via his three grandchildren who are (left to right) Guy (6), James (11) and Dylan (9).
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