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Celebrate at Newark Vintage Tractor Show

VINTAGE enthusiasts will be in for a treat at this year’s Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show, with a number of important anniversary celebrations taking place.

Returning to Newark Showground on November 13-14, the two-day event brings together enthusiasts to see hundreds of vintage tractors, commercial vehicles, military and stationary engines from across the UK and Europe.

After an enforced year off due to Covid, this year’s celebrations promise to be particularly special, including 75 years of the Grey Fergie (TE20), 75 years of the Fordson E27N (carried forward from 2020), 60 years of the David Brown 990 and 50 years of the Ford 7000.

There will also be a special one-off celebration of the 25th anniversary of “Fordson 500”, which brought together 1,002 Fordson tractors dating from 1917 to 1966 at Newark Showground in June 1996. The Show is inviting participants from the original line-up to be part of this feature.

“There was a really electric atmosphere at the original event,” says Nicholas Kitchen, who was chairman of the Fordson 500 committee, exhibited six tractors and commentated on the parade. “There was great camaraderie and people still remember and talk about it with great affection.”

The original event – which attracted 20,000 visitors and raised £6,000 for charity – was the brainchild of the late Eric Ducksbury, then president of the Nottinghamshire group of the National Vintage Tractor Club.

“He thought it would be nice to get 50 Fordsons together in one place at one time, but that then grew to 500,” says Mr Kitchen. “In the end we had 1002, and won an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. I don’t think that will ever be beaten; it took over two years to organise!”

Organisers are hoping to attract 100 exhibits from the original event, and among them will be Mr Kitchen’s 1940 Fordson Model N, which he first drove when he was 12 and purchased in 1973.

“It’s got a special place in my affection – I’ve lots of memories and have had a lot of fun with it.”

Painted in the original harvest gold colour, the tractor has been used on a lot of publicity material as well as out in the field at ploughing matches and harvest.

“As a war time tractor, the Fordson was painted green in 1940-41 so it didn’t stand out in the field,” explains Mr Kitchen.

“Mine has been restored twice – the original Fordson 500 spurred a lot of people on to complete restorations. Collecting is like a disease, you just can’t give it up.”

Visitors can expect to see more than 1,000 vintage tractors, machinery and commercial vehicles alongside a wide range of trade stands selling vintage parts and equipment. On Saturday, November 13, there will be a live auction of vintage equipment, with an autojumble taking place on Sunday, November 14.

Visitors can also enjoy one of the county’s largest congregations for the annual Service of Remembrance held amidst the vintage tractors, as well as tractor and trailer rides and a display of remote-controlled trucks, tractors and diggers.

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