Two young enthusiasts planning to attend the Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show this year are saying that vintage tractors are not just for the older gentlemen.
Alex Kettlewell, 24, from Davenham, Cheshire, has been into vintage tractors since childhood and says that it is a great hobby with a real community spirit. He has a 1979 Ford 3600, which he saved up to buy and renovate when he was 16, and a 1959 Fordson Power Major.
“Vintage tractors have a massive social scene,” he said. “Recently we went on the world’s largest vintage tractor road run for Cancer Research, from Liverpool to Whitby and back – it was 600 miles. We met loads of great people, that’s what I love about it.
“Young people think it’s not cool, but the teasing at school never phased me. So many of my old school friends just sit at home playing video games, but I encouraged a new friend into vintage tractors recently.
“The appeal for me is the sense of achievement. What I feel I’ve achieved doing the tractors up is brilliant. I’d say don’t be afraid to have a go – if you save up and buy one, it’s a big daunting project, but it’s also a huge learning experience.”
Alex used to spend every spare moment with his grandad, Alan Davies, and his vintage tractor. Now, he’s encouraged his girlfriend, Jennie Whittingham, 24, to take part.
“When we first met she wasn’t at all interested in tractors,” he said. “But as she spent more time with me and her dad who’s also into them, she got the bug. She loves the social side, and she has a 425 Nuffield which her dad built for her from spare parts in his workshop, and a 1954 Fordson E1A New Major.
“We drive our own tractors out together and have fun overtaking each other in fields. We also did the road run together.”
Katie Birch, 21, from Gainsborough, is another young person with a passion for vintage tractors, which she also inherited from her grandad. She now runs her grandad’s Fergie TED20, which she plans to keep true to how he maintained it and take it to rallies for the rest of the year.
She exhibited at the Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show at Newark Showground last year, as well as Newark County Show, but says that she is often the young woman showing at these events.
“It’s a shame, we need more young men and women getting into vintage tractors. You’ve 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’re also just really fun,” said Katie.
The Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show will be held on the 5th and 6th of November at the Newark Showground, and will celebrate a number of anniversaries:
- 70 Years of the new Fordson Major E1A (Produced 1952 – 1958)
- 75 Years of the David Brown Cropmaster
- 50 Years of Massey Ferguson 1200
- 75 Years of Series II Field Marshall
- A celebration of “Nicholson’s of Newark” machinery
- A celebration of Ruston engines from Lincoln
For information and tickets go to www.newarkvintagetractorshow.com