Rare farm items go under the hammer at Horham

After more than 35 years in the business, retiring farmer Brian Cooper is selling off his tractors and machinery and has some sage words of advice for future generations.

Many of Mr Cooper's agricultural vehicles will be going under the hammer at a sale at Lodge Farm in Horham, near Eye, on Saturday.

Mr Cooper, 65, and his wife Joyce are packing up their operation and moving to the coast, putting a collection of rare items up for grabs.

Mr Cooper said: 'These are tough times so I have got to let somebody else farm my land and sell my gear. I'm 65 and have been farming all my life, with a bit of engineering and building along the way.

'It's a very nice way of life but when it becomes very expensive and if you can't make a living out of it there's only one way to go – get very big or get out.'

'When it becomes an expensive hobby and you have to subsidise it there's not much point in continuing it.'

The star of Mr Cooper's auction and a lot that is expected to garner a lot of interest is a rare David Brown VTK1 116 threshing tractor with a winch and pulley. The VTK1 116, of which only 85 were made, was originally designed as an aircraft tug.

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Mr Cooper's tractor was first registered in 1946 by his uncle Herbert Hawes, who had a threshing contracting business in nearby Stradbroke.

The tractor passed to A G Cooper & Son of Stradbroke in 1953 and it was last used to winch a tractor out of a ditch in 1978. It was stored until 1999 when it was restored by one of Mr Cooper's neighbours, Peter Fisk, and visited local shows.

Although the tractor is the star of the auction, which includes cars and architectural salvage, on sale will be tractors and farm machinery from a lifetime of arable and pig farming. The sale will also raise money for the Royal British Legion and the charity's welfare work in Suffolk.

Mr Cooper said: 'I haven't got any family that wish to continue in farming when they can see the state things are in.'

The historic farm machinery on sale includes two genuine Smyth of Peasenhall seed drills, a Ferguson TE20 and a Fordson Major E 27 N alongside two Massey Ferguson 135 tractors, a Massey Ferguson 2680, a New Holland 8070 combine harvester, a New Holland TM 150 tractor, a CASE/Landquip sprayer and an MF150 Digger.

There is also a vintage car – a Ford Popular 100E – and an Austin Allegro to restore.

The sale, carried out by Lacy Scott & Knight, starts at 10.30am at Lodge Farm, Horham, on Saturday morning.

For a catalogue call 01284 748602, send an email to rbeaney@lsk.co.uk or visit www.lsk.co.uk

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