Chiltern Vintage Tractor Run Newsletter 2023

Chiltern Vintage Tractor Run Newsletter 

Supported by the Ferguson Club and in aid of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA)

As we move rapidly through 2023 well into the 21st Century, would Harry Ferguson ever dreamt that his little grey fergie and later red MF’s would still excite and amaze children, and even their parents. Our vintage tractors still today, when they are presented to the public, create smiles all round.

This was the biggest take away from the recent Chiltern Vintage Tractor Charity Run held on Sunday 21st May. It followed a successful plan that is now in its 17th year. The theme of the Kings Coronation meant that the red, white, and blue pennants, flags banners were adorned across the magnificent machinery. Even the drivers and many passengers were all decorated accordingly.

The morning started with traditional bacon rolls and hot drinks and amazing warm, sunny weather. The Hambleden Valley Church Priest (Rev. Sue Morton), could not raise a choir that morning but she did not have to worry. A massed volunteer choir consisting of the drivers and passengers more than made up for it as the tractor blessing was carried out.

Once the convoy of 70 tractors and trailers set off, the hum of all the old engines filled the air and was a relaxing beat to the steady “train” as it trundled away on its well-planned mostly off-road route.  A few early steep hills tested the old engines well and as you could guess a couple of them were overcome by fuel flow issues. We all know how these old fuel tanks can attract sediment and over the years the build-up can be obvious. Luckily it seemed that every other driver was a tractor mechanic. As soon as there were any signs of trouble, team spirit took over and many hands made light work of getting the engines running again.

Going through the local Buckinghamshire village of Lane End on an early Sunday morning brought many families out to wave and cheer as they chugged past. A charity collecting pot was soon filled. The Chiltern Vintage Tractor Run is very lucky to have many land owners and farmers fully supporting the event and allowing access to the most amazing countryside the Chiltern Hills has to offer.

The morning run through these Estates and farms was pure bliss except for a couple of tractors which decided they wanted to go no further. Unfortunately, these two tractors were filled up with diesel only the day before but from a tank that was clearly contaminated. There was no quick fix but to put them “on tow” to at least get to lunch. Lunch was by kind permission of Mr Mark Getty and his family at the remarkable Wormsley Estate.

Once at Wormsley we all lined up next to the most amazing private cricket pitch in the world and two local cricket teams were in full play. What better entertainment as we savoured a delicious BBQ and home made cakes laid on by the great caterng team. Some of the cricketers could not resist coming over to admire the vintage tractor lines and have a burger!

As part of the money raising, we always hold a raffle and provide “entertainment.” This year was no exception with a busy raffle and the real coronation took place. After a couple hours of fun, we all trundled in convoy back to the starting/finish field, where even more cakes and drinks were waiting.

The success of any charity fund raising event must be measured in the money collected. For this one fun day we are always overcome with the total amount through across the community and it is another record breaker this year with £10,319.53 total raised (Cumulative since the event started now £83,226.03 to the TVAA) – which is truly astonishing.

THANK YOU to everyone, but of course nothing would be possible without the support of the Land Owners and Volunteer Marshalling and Catering teams.