Month of celebration of the tractor

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June is the month of the tractor, or so it seems across Yorkshire with two big events celebrating the trusty farming vehicles in the coming weeks.

First up, members of the East Riding’s Young Farmers’ Clubs, aged between 10 and 26, are joining forces with the local vintage tractor groups to take part in their sixth annual Charity Tractor Road Race.

Tractor enthusiasts revving up on the starting line at Laburnum Farm, near Beverley, at 10am next Sunday [June2] will be doing so to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

The nominated charities have particular relevance for farmers and the rural community. RABI is a grant-making charity that supports farmers facing hardship or distress and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a charity close to the heart of many people who live and work in less accessible rural areas who never know when they may need the fast response emergency service.

Previous events have raised more than £6,500 and John and Jenny Sleight were keen to host the event’s departure from their farm once again.

Mrs Sleight said: “If you see the tractors please support them with a friendly wave.”

Collectors will accompany the parade as it follows a 30-mile route through the East Riding, starting at Etton and passing through South Dalton, Middleton on the Wolds, North Dalton, Huggate, Warter, the outskirts of Nunburnholme, Londesborough, Market Weighton and Goodmanham before crossing the finishing line back at Laburnum Farm at 2.30pm.

Entries have already been received from across East Yorkshire including Driffield, Holme on Spalding Moor and Hornsea.

The weekend after, June 8-9, hundreds of vintage tractors, engines and working machinery of all shapes and sizes should make for an impressive sight, stationed at Newby Hall, the 18th century country house in Ripon.

For the first time in the tractor festival’s eight-year history, there will be a ‘March of the Tractors’ from Newby Hall to the centre of Ripon on the Saturday evening. Shops, cafes and restaurants will stay open to mark the occasion, and the tractors will be sent on their way back to Newby Hall by the Ripon Hornblower at 9pm. The following morning, the Dean of Ripon, the Very Reverend Keith Jukes will bless some tractors outside Ripon Cathedral.

Throughout the weekend, there will be 1,000 exhibits including 500 tractors and a wide range of vintage steel-wheeled tractors, dating from the earliest days of farm mechanisation. Among the more rare exhibits will be a Yuba Ball-Tread Crawler, one of only a few left in the world. There will also be a large display of Nuffield tractors, the iconic British brand manufactured by Morris Motors’ Wolseley division.

Entertainment will be provided by ‘dancing’ Doe Triple D articulated tractors, trailer rides for children, food stalls and trade stands.

Richard Sturdy, chairman of the Yorkshire Vintage Association which organises the event, said: “This year’s Tractor Fest looks set to be our biggest and best yet. We’ve got a great line-up of exhibits, from rare veteran engines right through to the more modern day tractors.”

Tickets are £9.50 adults, £8.50 seniors and £7.50 children. For more details, visit www.newbyhall.co.uk

Meanwhile, entry forms for the East Yorkshire Charity Tractor Road Race are available from Jenny Sleight on 01430 810281 or via email at jenbopeep@hotmail. com