2013 saw the re-naming of the YVA Show as “Tractor Fest” and this year’s event was the best yet, with wall-to-wall sunshine throughout the weekend. As usual, exhibitors came from far and wide and the display was exceptional.
The show as opened by the owner of Newby Hall Estate, Mr Richard Compton, standing in at the last minute for the Mayor of Ripon, Mick Stanley, who had been delayed by traffic, but who arrived in time to finish the opening and view many of the exhibits.
Features were the products of Morris Motors, including cars, trucks and the famous Nuffield tractors, which are now so popular with collectors. The Nuffield and Leyland Tractor Owners Club supported the show with a magnificent display of the poppy orange machines, including some rare variations which are seldom seen at shows and provided a real treat for enthusiasts of this iconic marque.
Crawlers were well represented and on show were some amazing machines, with a big Best 60 on show for the first time since its restoration and a rare Case L Roadless there for all to see.
Newby always features pre-1930 tractors and attracts rarities from all over the UK. This year was no exception and the range of old-time tractors on show was bigger than ever. A very early 2 cylinder MacDonald tractor, imported from its native Australia and looking more like a buggy than a tractor, delighted visitors as it was cranked into life by its enthusiastic young driver in preparation for the drive-through which has become a regular feature at Newby
The stationary engine display gets bigger and more varied with each passing year and for 2013 the feature was the famous range manufactured by Petter, with 25 different Petter engines on show. Almost 150 other barn engines ran for most of the weekend and provided a wonderful spectacle for visitors.
Cars, including a superb display of Morris products, are becoming a major attraction at Tractor Fest and the display of classics was impressive by any standards, as was the line-up of vintage commercial vehicles, with Morris products again present in profusion.
A completely new event was the “March of the Tractors” where 200 classics drove from Newby Hall to Ripon on the Saturday night and assembled in the historic market square, which had been closed to normal traffic for the evening. Drivers mingled with the public in the Square, having completed the route through a scenic water-splash on the journey, until the Ripon Hornblower, in full regalia, signalled the time to return to Newby by a loud blast on his horn.
Overall, we had an amazing weekend of vintage enjoyment under sunny skies and when the sun went down, the whole showground seemed to congregate at the bar and cider tent to listen to some outstanding country and western music and song. For 2014, it is single cylinder machines and it is hoped to assemble a record-breaking group of IHC Mogul tractors from the early part of the 20th century, together with the famous Gainsborough-manufactured Field Marshals and continental hot-bulb tractors. Barn engines, cars, lorries and a raft of new features will all be there at Tractor Fest 2014, which will be held on 7 & 8 June, so mark the date in your diary!