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HomeFarming News‘We need more young men and women getting into vintage tractors’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘We need more young men and women getting into vintage tractors’

Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show

There are less than 30 days to go until entries close for the forthcoming Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show, and organisers have planned several anniversary celebrations and rare machinery exhibitions for attendees to see.

But there are also so many stories behind the machines – so, what can visitors see and who can they expect to meet?

2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the Field Marshall Series II this year, so Ross Anderson, the brother of Field Marshall Club founder, Peter, is marking the occasion by bringing his first Field Marshall to the show.

“She’s a very special tractor, and she means a lot to us,” he says.

“Without this tractor, we could have become football hooligans or something, but instead, we spent our time repairing and recycling with her. Peter founded the Marshall Club, learnt to read, and write, wrote two books and was head of machinery at RHS Wisley for 18 years.”

And it is a chance for the young and old to get together, as Alex Kettlewell, 24, and his girlfriend, Jennie, can testify.

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“Vintage tractors have a massive social scene,” says Alex, who clocks up 2,000 miles a year, taking his 1979 Ford 3600 to rallies.

“So many of my old school friends just sit at home playing video games, but what I have achieved doing the tractors up is brilliant.”

“I would say do not be afraid to have a go – if you save up and buy one, it is a big, daunting project, but it is also a huge learning experience.”

Then, there is also Katie Birch, a 21-year-old, who inherited her love for vintage tractors from her grandad and plans to bring her Fergie TED20 to the show.

She would like to see more young women get involved with the sector, as she says she is often the only young female exhibitor.

“It is a shame; we need more young men and women getting into vintage tractors,” says Katie.

“You have got all this history right in front of you when you have a vintage tractor, and if you want to restore it, then you’ve got a nice project. They are also just really fun,” she says.

The Fordson New Major E1A

This year sees some significant celebrations, including 70 years of the Fordson New Major E1A (produced 1952 – 1958).

Launched at the Smithfield Show in December 1951, the E1A replaced the old E27N model and featured a choice of three new four-cylinder overhead valve engines in petrol, diesel or vaporising oil.

The Cropmaster or VAK1C by David Brown is celebrating 75 years. And it is time to wish a happy 50th to the Massey Ferguson MF1200.

This four-wheel drive articulated tractor mirrored the huge 1500 and 1800 models produced for the US, including its hard-nosed bonnet and integral cab.

The central pivot allowed for very tight turns on headlands while the Perkins 5.8-litre diesel engine produced 105hp, meaning this tractor was a true workhorse of its time.

There will also be celebrations of Nicholson’s of Newark machinery and Ruston stationary engines from Lincoln.

And the show has introduced three new classes for commercial vehicles: British commercials, non-UK commercials, and pre-1950 commercials, says Elizabeth Halsall, organiser of Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show.

“Classic commercials play an important part in our history and are much loved by many, so we are delighted to be expanding the classes we are offering,” she concludes.

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