Pioneering farm engine going under the hammer back home

The 1913 Fowler Class BB ploughing engine, which is set to go under the hammer at auction in Harrogate next Saturday.
The 1913 Fowler Class BB ploughing engine, which is set to go under the hammer at auction in Harrogate next Saturday.
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A HISTORIC ploughing engine that rolled off the production line of a leading Yorkshire manufacturer more than 100 years ago is returning to the county next month when it will go under the hammer.

The 1913 Fowler Class BB is thought to have been the first of its type built by John Fowler and Co Engineers, based in Leathley Road in Hunslet, near Leeds.

The engine is expected to fetch between £110,000-£120,000 as part of the Harrogate Vintage Sale, which takes place from 9am next Saturday (August 15).

Almost 1,000 lots will be up for auction, including collectable vintage and classic tractors, classic cars, motorcycles and other vehicles. There will also be a chance for collectors and enthusiasts to get their hands on various bygones, farm machinery, horticultural equipment and spares.

The sale, taking place at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate, is run by Cambridgeshire-based auctioneers Cheffins.

Auctioneer Oliver Godfrey said: “After coming off the production line in Leeds, the Fowler engine spent its entire working life at a steam contractors in Essex before it passed to KG Steward of Cockfield in Suffolk in 1964.

“A year later it was sent to Construction and Excavation Ltd of Tottenhall, Staffordshire, before it passed into the hands of JC Bamford of Rocaster, also in Staffs, and then to its current owner, Jeremy Walker of High Cogges, Oxfordshire.

“It has now undergone an extensive re-build, finished in the correct Fowler livery, and is ready to rally. Historically it’s seen as a very important engine and we’re delighted - after more than 100 years - that we’re able to bring it back home to Yorkshire.”

Also among the lots are more than 80 vintage tractors, headed by a 1936 Ferguson Brown Type A, of which 1,350 were built until it ceased production in 1939. It is expected to achieve a five-figure sum.

Other makes include a 1940 David Brown VAK1, a 1948 Field Marshall Series II, a 1957 Ferguson FE-35, a 1958 Allis Chalmers D-272 and a 1958 Fordson Power Major.

For more details visit www.cheffins.co.uk/vintage