The countryside adventure that will unfold for next month’s Royal County of Berkshire Show promises to take visitors on a journey both backwards and forwards in time. You will be able to travel back via the magical machinery of old time farming, but you will also be able to take a ride on a modern tractor that is being guided by satellites.
Many old memories will be revived by a now much enlarged vintage area which will for the first time include its own display ring, allowing it to offer a greater degree of more moving as opposed to purely static displays. Machinery featured at the show on 20 and 21 September will include:
o An early 1900 rack-saw working display with four-foot blade slicing trees into planks and stakes. It will be powered by a 1940s Field Marshall tractor
o A 1930s threshing machine separating corn for milling
o A 1900 Clayton and Shuttleworth steam engine
o A selection of small stationary engines from the 1910 -1940 era driving a mix of farm items like water
pumps, corn grinding mills, and electricity generators
o A selection of tractors from 1940 to 1969 cutting, spreading, raking, and bailing hay/straw
o A 1955 combine harvester.
There will also be “climb aboard” vintage tractors for children to have their photos taken, plus a chance to talk to members of the National Vintage Tractor & Engine Club for the Thames Valley.
Vintage display organiser Dan Wood is excited by the potential for a much more dramatic display of magical vintage machinery this year. “You can’t beat the thump of some of the old engines and the thrill of seeing machinery from a bygone era powered by steam,” he displays. “I think show goers will love what we have in prospect this year.”
The satellite guided John Deere
tractor comes to the show courtesy of Great Shefford based dealer Farols and represents the very latest in high tech farming. In a normal working day its feeds from mapped data from individual fields, taking over the steering and achieving accuracy of cultivation, seeding and fertilizer application to within two centimetres.
At the show, it will have its own ring and will memorise a figure-of-eight route. With driver also in the cab to keep a watchful eye, it will offer show-goers with one of many opportunities to “have a go”.
“It will give people a real insight into modern agriculture,” says Farols sales manager Mark Denton. “While the car industry is only just talking about satellite guided cars, farming is actively using it to provide greater accuracy and reduce operator fatigue.”
With final preparations for this year’s show now at a high pitch, organisers are reporting a late rush of livestock entries and expect to have 2,000 animals competing. There is particular excitement in the show team about securing the Honda Bolddog Lings with their daredevil motorcycle acrobatics as the top-of-the-bill main ring attraction.
“It is going to be an incredible show,” says this year’s chairman, Rhona Tucker. “We always say that it is going to be difficult to beat what we did last year but I genuinely believe this one is going to be special. We are billing it as a countryside adventure – and that is how it is shaping up.”