Tractor swansong in the East Riding

It is hoped that other YFC members will step forward to keep the Etton tractor run going next year.
It is hoped that other YFC members will step forward to keep the Etton tractor run going next year.
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On an early summer’s day, the narrow, winding roads through the villages of the Yorkshire Wolds provide the perfect setting for a procession of up to 100 working and vintage tractors.

But a spectacle that has entertained locals and visitors alike for the last decade involves more organisation than meets the eye, which is why this year’s event at Etton could be the last.

Three members of the East Riding YFC are behind the run, which stretches over a 30-mile route that takes in the thatched cottages on the village green at Warter and the sweeping estate of Londesborough.

The last nine outings have raised more than £18,000 and this year’s will benefit the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

But Jenny Jenkinson, who is setting up the run with her parents, Wolds farmers Margaret and John Sleight, says the logistics mean that other YFC members will be asked to take it forward from next year.

She said: “There is a lot of work involved in arranging the tractor run – co-ordinating entries, checking the route and getting the necessary help from volunteers who help with marshalling, collecting and catering for the participants on the day.

“With this in mind, we have decided to hand over the organisation of the event to the members of East Riding YFC if they wish to continue with it from 2018 onwards.

“We will support and assist them if they wish to carry on.”

She added: “We would love to see record numbers and we are particularly keen to welcome previous participants to take part in our curtain call.”

Mrs Sleight, whose family has farmed at Etton for two generations, said the event had attracted between 50 and 100 tractors on previous outings, and had been the idea of her husband, whose four vintage models date from the 1940s to the 1960s.

“We’ve been organising it on behalf of the East Riding YFC, and they have come and helped on the day,” she said.

Mr Sleight said he was keen to host the event for a final time. “We have always had fantastic support from participants, helpers and spectators,” he said.

Its inspiration had been the annual Beadlam Tractor Run, between Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside, which, coincidentally, will take place tomorrow, again for the benefit of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Visitors to the Wolds are encouraged to support the tractors with a friendly wave and a contribution to one of the collection buckets that line the route.

The success of the tractor runs in the Wolds has spawned other similar events by individual clubs within the East Riding YFC federation.

FACTS

The 15th annual Beadlam Tractor Run will start tomorrow at Beadlam Grange Farm. Entry forms are at www.beadlamtractor.co.uk.

The Etton event on June 4 will pass through South Dalton, Middleton on the Wolds, North Dalton, Huggate, Warter, Nunburnholme, Londesborough, Market Weighton and Goodmanham, before completing the circle to Laburnum Farm at Etton.