MID Devon Tractor, Engine and Machinery Group held its first working day of the year at Swelthills Farm, Newbuildings, on Saturday, April 1.
On a classic April day of mostly sunshine, but with occasional brisk showers, members enjoyed the good working conditions in a large field that had kindly been made available to the club by the Cheriton family.
In all, around 30 vintage tractors took part, the majority using a variety of different types of vintage ploughs, while others worked with cultivators or trailed harrows.
With a club membership approaching 100 drawn from across Mid Devon and beyond, the day provided an ideal opportunity for members to get together in a relaxed atmosphere and to engage in non-competitive ploughing and other working.
Equally importantly, there was also plenty of time to catch up on news and put the world to rights over refreshments, in and around one of the club’s marquees where club Membership Secretary Tina and her husband Joe provided their customary excellent range of snacks and drinks.
Members were particularly pleased that Richard Cheriton, who had lent them the use of the field, was able to put in an appearance during the proceedings and see his field, which enjoys fine views over the surrounding glorious Mid Devon countryside, put to a colourful alternative use!
By late afternoon, members, their families and other spectators were able to wend their way home after a thoroughly enjoyable day.
The next chance to see these fine vintage machines, that are very much part of our own local agricultural heritage, will be at the 16th Annual Sunnymead "Gas-Up" which will be held at Thorverton on Sunday, May 7 from 10am to 4pm.
At the Gas-Up there will be a wide range of vintage tractors lined up in a static display and club members will also be demonstrating their working vintage small steam engines and machinery, typical of those used on farms locally before electricity became widespread.
A special feature will be a display of tractors celebrating the centenary this year of the first production in 1917 of Fordson tractors.
This will include examples representing the subsequent different Fordson models. The Gas-Up will also include a wide range of other attractions, with proceeds going to support local charities. For enquiries about the Gas-Up, contact Mike Lee on 01392 861449 (after 5.30pm).