1966 was quite a memorable year, England won the world cup,
‘The Sound Of Music’ won an Oscar for best film, Cassius Clay beat Henry Cooper,
Graham Hill won the Indy 500 at his first attempt The ‘Barclaycard’ was introduced for the first time and the ‘Rolling Stones’ were banned from 14 New York Hotels.
While all this was going on a small group of people sat in a farmhouse in Husbands Bosworth and decided to form a club for people who were interested, as they were in restoring and showing their Fordson tractors at the popular steam rallies that were prevalent in the sixties.
Henceforth the ‘Vintage Fordson owners club was founded, membership consisted of initially four people they were John Adams, Alan Condie Sid Taylor and George Leedham. Sadly John and George are no longer with us but Alan has gone on to become a very successful author, publishing many works on all aspects of tractor history, with particular focus on the Fordson Marque.
Sid is still an active member of our group and has developed a special interest in early case tractors which he restores to exemplary standards from within his garage at home.
In the early days the ‘tractor boys’ were very much looked down upon by the steam enthusiasts and merely tolerated at the rallies, but as the interest grew many people saw a cost effective way of enjoying a hobby, there were plenty of old tractors about which, (if you could persuade the farmer to part with it) could be bought fairly cheaply, a few nights over the winter with a wire brush and some paint and hey presto! You were off!
Also lurking around in barns and sheds were the little stationary engines used to power milking machines and other barn machinery before the widespread introduction of electricity. These became the magnet for another off shoot of people, the stationary engine enthusiasts, who were then appearing in ever increasing numbers at various events all over the country.
The ‘Vintage Fordson owners club’ was soon expanded to encompass all makes of tractor and eventually became the ‘National Vintage Tractor Club’ with groups in many areas of the country and with an increasing amount of members with interests in the stationary engines the club had a final name change to recognise this finally becoming known as the ‘National Vintage Tractor & Engine Club with a national membership approaching some 4000 members.
Most area groups have winter meetings with films, speakers, quiz nights etc and not always about our hobby! In the summer the members attend various events throughout the country with their prize exhibits and are always willing to talk to the spectators about them.
If you would like to find out a bit more about us please visit our club display at the shows, where you can see what is involved and maybe even join us!
Here’s to the next fifty years of the N.V.T.E.C.!