Tractor Fest to honour revolutionary role of iconic Fords

Newby Hall's Tractor Fest returns on June 10-11.
Newby Hall's Tractor Fest returns on June 10-11.

Its remarkable opening ‘March of the Tractors’ is comprised of machines that span the decades, but this year’s Tractor Fest at Newby Hall near Ripon will celebrate the contribution of a specific manufacturer that helped to revolutionise farming at a crucial moment in history.

The two-day event, held on June 10-11, is the UK’s largest outdoor tractor festival and its theme this year is the legacy of Henry Ford.

Peter Plehov, treasurer of Blue Force.

Peter Plehov, treasurer of Blue Force.

The first commercially affordable machines, Ford tractors were imported into the UK in 1917 to help produce desperately needed food at a time when the manpower that would ordinarily be employed in farming was at war.

As with the car, Ford’s tractor revolutionised food production, numbering the days of ploughs pulled by horses and changing the world of farming forever.

More than 10,000 visitors are expected at Tractor Fest where a number of the 1,500 exhibits will be Fords.

Among the line up will be enthusiasts Philip Gibson and Peter Plehov, two members of the Loughborough-based Blue Force tractor club, with their New Holland T6 tractors.

The pair set off from Essex tomorrow on a 5,000-mile road run along Britain’s coastline to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ford tractor production and to raise £10,000 for charity.

The duo are due to appear at Tractor Fest just a week after their incredible journey around the British Isles comes to an end.

Mr Plehov said: “We were thrilled when we found out that Tractor Fest was celebrating the Legacy of Henry Ford, one of the true pioneers of agricultural machinery. We thought it only fitting that we should exhibit at the show and celebrate our achievement with other tractor enthusiasts.”

Richard Sturdy, chairman of the Yorkshire Vintage Association which organises the event, added: “Their journey is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of vintage tractors and Henry Ford’s legacy in helping to feed the world. We look forward to hearing about their experiences.”