Century old engines join plough contest
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
STEAM enthusiasts are in for a treat later this month when two large traction engines go on display during an annual ploughing match.
The two 100-year-old John Fowler engines, which recently underwent a five year-long restoration, are to be the star attraction at this year’s Ewebank Ploughing Match, at Greta Bridge, on Sunday, September 29.
Also new to this year’s match is the introduction of a Ferguson T20 class, to go with the existing modified hydraulic, unmodified hydraulic and novice classes.
Organiser Peter Moss said: “There are quite a lot of people who have these little grey Fergies. Mine is from 1950 – it’s the same age as me. That’s why I bought it. My grandfather had one exactly the same.”
The event, which has been going for about ten years, attracts entries from as far afield as Otley, Cumbria and Newcastle, and also attracts a large number of spectators.
The two traction engines that will appear at the match belong to collector Stephen Kearton, from Boldron.
He said the engines were built in 1919 and sold as a pair, with one being a right hand engine and the other a left hand engine. Each would begin ploughing at opposite ends of the field.
He added that steam traction engines started to become popular in the late 1800s.
Mr Kearton said: “Where a horse can plough an acre a day, these could plough 20 acres a day.”
Explaining his passion for the machines, he said: “The main thing is when you put a fire in them – they just come alive.”
The ploughing match serves as a charity fundraiser with the proceeds being divided between Brignall Church and the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Last year each of the charities received about £300.
Refreshments are sold on the day.
For more information contact Mr Moss on 07831 119408.