Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fun in Rural Wales

A good way to make a few bob is to buy a clapped out old farm tractor, give it a like of paint and call it 'vintage'. Over the years, I've sent plenty of them to the scrapyard. But suddenly they are worth money. Vintage tractor clubs have become very popular. This morning, I joined an old friend, Chris Rowlands to 'cut the ribbon' thus sending 100 vintage tractors away on an 8 hour drive around the minor roads of Montgomeryshire. It was a huge event, beginning with an open air service. The Vicar of Welshpool, Bill Rowell came along and said a prayer for the event and then blessed one of the tractors. There was a mobile organ on the farmyard in the middle of Castle Caereinion. Mrs Roberts, the organist is the only living person (apart from my mother) who has changed my nappy. In case you think this is some form of politician's perversion, I should explain that I was only two years old at the time. The Mayor of Welshpool was, resplendent in her chain of office. We all sang 'We plough the fields and scatter...' Don't know why. We usually sing this at harvest time. Anyway there were hundreds of spectators, and several tractors pulled trailers loaded up with passengers out for a ride. All monies raised went to the local Air Ambulance Service.

Like humans, these old tractors find too long a journey to be a bit of a strain. They don't all make it. I went up to the Cefn Coch Inn to welcome the convoy home, and this poor old girl didn't make it. She had to be loaded up onto the tractor 'ambulance'. For those lacking much knowledge about vintage tractors, this is usually called a 'little grey Fergie'. It was great fun being involved with 100 individuals who are very clearly completely mad. So much fun that I've asked a tractor 'restorer' to give me an estimate of what it would cost me to do up a 40 year old Massey Ferguson that I still have in my ownership. I'm hoping she and I may make our debut at Llanfair Caereinion Show in September, where's there's always a good display of vintage tractors. I've always found it impossible to see 100s of people doing something daft without wanting to join in. I suppose that's why I'm standing for Parliament.

5 comments:

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alanindyfed said...

Reminds me of the time I lived in Cornwall on my small farm at Godolphin Bridge and owned a Ferguson TVI tractor, ploughing the fields and then mowing down the weeds. "Plant a tree in '73." I heeded the call and planted several.

One wheel short said...

One wonders if an 18-wheeler would be enough to shift "the number of thieves, liars and tax fiddlers still in post (at Parliament)".

alanindyfed said...

I meant a TVO (tractor vaporising oil) - remember them?

Glyn Davies said...

Alan - I do remember them. My father owned a TVO Fergie on the farm, though the first tractor I remember, which I was too young to drive (and we started driving aged about 8 in those days) was a Fordson.