Vintage tractors show their class at ploughing match

Peter Dolman on his Renault tractor used originally in French vineyards. Picture: Peter Bird

Peter Dolman on his Renault tractor used originally in French vineyards. Picture: Peter Bird - Credit: Peter Bird

Vintage tractors that tilled the soil and planted the crops that helped feed the nation during and after the Second World War were on display near Fakenham on Sunday.

No fewer than 37 competitors entered this year's ploughing match on Keith Farm Partnership land, made trickier by heavy rain in the preceding days.

Many were traditional tractors such as Massey Fergusons, Fordsons or power units made by David Brown or British Leyland. But there were also more smaller machines such a Japanese Kubota and a French Renault originally used in French vineyards.

One winning machine, an International Cub entered by Fakenham's Dick Gold, was originally also used primarily in vineyards as well as by French smallholders. It had a very international pedigree. 'It was made in America and shipped to France in 1957,' said Mr Gold. He then brought it into this country.

The fascination in agricultural bygones passing from father to son was also evident when Wayne Brett-Reynolds won the vintage trailed section. His father, Brett, was co-founder of the now defunct Fakenham Farm Machinery Club which, 41 years ago, started the annual ploughing match which is run by the society today.

Society chairman Andrew Websdale said: 'We do it to promote the art and skill of ploughing. Modern methods don't needs those old skills. The interest in vintage tractors is increasing.'

At the end of the Second World war tractors typically ploughed two or three furrows at a time. Now as many as 12 can be cultivated at one pass by tractors guided by satellite navigation.

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Money raised by this year's event will go to Norfolk Bloodbikes. The charity provides a free 7pm to 7am out-of-hours service transporting blood and blood products within the NHS. They receive no state-funding and rely entirely on voluntary donations.

The full results were:

Vintage Mounted - Peter Carman

Vintage Trailed - Wayne Brett-Reynolds

Unmodified - Simon Bloomfield

Classic - Derek Mayes

Novice - Godfrey Duggan

Horticultural ride-on - Dick Gold

Horticultural walk behind - Ralph Burleigh

Ferguson class - Stuart Wright

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