The 2017 Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show celebrated all things Ford & Fordson this year, and as a result the feature marquee was full with a whole range of tractors and machinery. However, there was just one MoM tractor in attendance as far as I know and not a huge number of Model Fs. Model Ns were more plentiful and there was a good gathering of Dextas, and overall, a fair selection of different models. Some of the larger cabbed derivatives such as Muir Hill, Roadless, Northrop etc were by necessity parked outside but there wasn't the large displays of more industrial types such as the trenchers etc seen at previous gatherings.
The show did seem smaller in scope and there were some notable absentees of big names from within the main exhibition hall, and this space was not as full as it has been. Two or three large lorries had been brought inside this year, but apart from the Perkins engine display, I don't think a single stationary engine made it into that space this year, which is particularly sad. Following on from last year, the Eastwood pavilion continues to host the NVTEC displays with the Meirionnydd group to the fore with a cramped but atmospheric display that won best club stand, albeit not listed in the programme?
Behind them the East Anglia and Notts groups occupied the central space with a small presence from the Lincs group, and Yorkshire & Rutland groups off to the back and side. Over in the Sheldon hall, the room normally occupied by the Trent Valley Preservation Group had been dismantled and this really opened up the space for the John Deere owners and the Vale of Belvoir Machinery Club who replicated a period David Brown advert with real tractors. The TVPG then had their displays in the opposite corner formerly occupied by the Notts Group of the NVTEC.
The Crocker Halls were occupied by the rest of the clubs such as the VHGMC, International, Nuffield & Leyland, and Allis Chalmers. FOFH and David Brown still had their displays in the Stephenson building and of course, Massey Ferguson occupied their now standard own feature marquee with a good selection of tractors, combines, machinery and trailers. There continues to be a reasonable selection of commercial vehicles, and several hardy campers in their vintage and classic caravans, plus the Landrover owners using their Searle Carawagon and other conversions. Also outside, a selection of stationary engines were run daily plus there are more inside the Crocker halls on static display.
Various bygone displays can be found within the livestock buildings behind the Hallam pavilion, but I always feel these are well out of the way and probably not seen by all. The Saturday auction and Sunday car-boot-type sale are mainly geared towards machinery parts and spares, but elsewhere a reasonably diverse selection of general trade stands selling parts, tools, antiques and collectables, garden furniture and food are mainly found along the main avenue from side to side of the showground and within the lesser halls.
There were also a number of steam engines in steam around the site and some effort was made each day to demonstrate the threshing machine and baler which drew in a goodly number of watchers whilst in action, but only for a relatively short time each day. At least the weather was kind during the day with sunshine and good conditions, rain only coming overnight. Next year's dates are set as 10-11 November 2018, and it strikes me as particularly fitting that Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday with fall on 11/11/18, 100 years after the finish of WWI. I'm sure much of the WWI-era machinery and vehicles will be much in demand on such a momentous occasion but it would be good if the show can match the exhibits that were in attendance in 2014.