JOHN O’GROATS TO LANDS END VIA THE COLDRIDGE COLLECTION – DRIVING A LITTLE GREY FERGIE
Pete Burdass, a Yorkshire lad, now living in Perthshire, Scotland has just completed this incredible journey between the 4th and 15th June, driving his Ferguson TED 20, which he has totally rebuilt over the last two years. This tractor came off the production line at Banner Lane on 25th August 1949 and was first registered in the November of that year. The trip was in memory of his mother who died from Motor Neurone Disease a few years ago, on her 60th birthday, and to date he has raised an amazing amount, in the region of £25,000 to support the work of the MND Association. The journey required massive organisation. The route was planned to avoid really major roads (but he did go through the centre of Edinburgh), split up into daily 100-mile sections, over only 12 days, yet taking in significant Ferguson sites, such as the old Banner Lane factory and the Coldridge Collection. The all important back up was provided by a necessarily large team of seven relatives and friends including Pete’s brother Mike.
The tractor towed a specially adapted trailer containing all their kit plus a full range of spares and tools and displayed the adverts of sponsoring companies. As was to be expected the Little Fergie ran almost faultlessly. The only minor problems, a fractured original steel fuel pipe and a small bracket which needed welding. A thought – this little tractor is TVO – who stocks this fuel now?
He was met on the way by many supporters both of the Charity and the tractor world. ln Devon this was organised by the Mid Devon Tractor and Machinery group at Mole Avon in Crediton and from there he was accompanied to Coldridge by Member, Eddie Vigars on his 1951 TE 20. Arriving at the Collection, Pete hopped off his tractor and gave me an enormous bear hug (yes, he is a big man!). By this time, it was after five o’clock and still several miles to the night stop – so a good deal of chat was packed into the next hour. Also on hand was my friend, Club Member, Dr Mike Oakins – I refer to him as my head curator- a duty which he always carries out with style and enthusiasm; it was Mike who took the photographs.
Pete and his support team only had time for a quick look at the extensive collection, but he particularly wanted to see the doors and clocks that I had rescued from the Banner Lane Ferguson Headquarters and was especially interested to see the Salesman’s Demonstration Model devised by Harry himself.
This epic journey was completed successfully the next day. WELL DONE to PETE and HIS TEAM.
Mike Thorne, published in Journal No.106, Autumn 2023.