Finch Foundry, Sticklepath
15th July, 2018

Photos by Peter Rice : Text by Michael Coleman.

On 15 July, the club returned to Finch Foundry at Sticklepath for a second 'Marvellous Machinery' day, hosted by the National Trust. On yet another very hot and sunny day in the record-breaking summer of 2018, members and friends arrived by tractor or towing engines or vintage tractors on trailers. With everything set-up, the working engines were fenced off in one area along with the displays of old tools, while the tractors were lined-up at right angles to them. National Trust members and other visitors were then free to walk around to view and to ask questions. Meanwhile, machinery owners were content to sit in the shade, unless called upon to talk to the spectators.

Worthy of note was the appearance among the engines of a 5 hp Crossley LL, which was to become a hundred years old a few days later on July 20th, 2018. Weighing half a ton, it had spent its working life on a farm in Wales, before being retired to the Devon countryside. Rather splendidly, there was also a tractor whose hundredth birthday had been just a couple of months earlier in May. This was a Fordson F, the 20hp model that launched the Fordson brand that became worldwide market leaders. Even more splendidly, the father of the Fordson tractor owner also celebrated his hundredth birthday in 2018!

Unfortunately, the event at Finch Foundry coincided with both the final of the World Cup football and the men's singles final at Wimbledon, which both probably contributed to the disappointingly low numbers of visitors. This was a pity as a lot of effort had been put into the day both by club members and our hosts, the National Trust staff and volunteers, to whom we are grateful for once again having us at such a beautiful and historically important location and for making us welcome.

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