Vintage tractor enthusiast's prized collection goes under the hammer
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A lifetime's collection of vintage tractors and farming bygones amassed by a popular Norfolk farmer has been auctioned off to fellow heritage enthusiasts.
Hundreds gathered at Manor Farm in Aldborough, between Aylsham and Cromer, to bid for the collection owned by Billy Hammond, who died in July at the age of 94.
Mr Hammond was a former president of Holt and District Farmers Club and the Aylsham Show, during a long a distinguished farming career.
He was also known as a vintage machine enthusiast, and was always eager to share his passion with the public at events such as the Aylsham Show and Tunstead Trosh.
His heritage collection included classic John Deere, Allis Chalmers, Case and Ferguson tractors dating back to the 1930s, 1950s American Minneapolis Moline tractors, and a 1930s Belle City corn thresher.
Highlights of the sale included a 1958 Fordson Power Major tractor which sold for £6,200, a 1953 Field Marshall which sold for £9,800 and a 1936 John Deere Model B tractor which fetched £3,750.
And while the event attracted determined bidders from across the country, it also brought out many local people who were keen to see the collection for the last time before it was dispersed to new homes.
Mr Hammond's son Jack said: "It is a remarkable turnout. The weather has been perfect and it has brought out incredible crowds.
"There are some serious buyers here, but a lot of people have just come to enjoy seeing the collection.
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"Bringing the machines out of the shed on Monday was very emotional.
"But it is satisfying that the collection is going to fellow enthusiasts who would have known father. A lot of people have spoken to me today to say they knew him."
The 500-lot sale included 22 tractors from the Hammond collection, as well as old combines, threshers, ploughs and cultivation equipment.
Simon Evans, of auctioneers Arnold’s Keys - Ireland’s Agricultural, said: "We had superb attendance at the auction with in excess of 300 people, with many vintage tractor enthusiasts and collectors amongst the crowd.
"It was a delight to see such an interesting and varied collection find new homes where they will be appreciated.
"No doubt many of the tractors and implements will find themselves on the show circuit at the Royal Norfolk Show, Aylsham Show and other vintage rallies."