Tractors and everything Iron

My old Tractor-International B250
Now fully restored and back to work again, its just had six hours ploughing with a two furrow Fordson Elite plough, the drawbar of which is in the picture
The International B250, this was a diesel and it had a diff lock, this is the tractor that I drove from new and have been responsible for ever since. it got retired about twenty five years ago and put in the tin shed, the tin shed rotted away and the rain got down the exhaust pipe.It stood unused for the next twenty five years, and now it is fifty three years old, its been brought back to life.

My old tractor standing there, for years its not been started,
Drove it myself from new, and now almost departed,
Roof is now blown off the shed, and it’s rained in down its pipe,
The engines well stuck and rusted, on the inside full of gripe.

For fifty years that I have had it, while working never faltered,
Apart from rust and lack of paint, appearance never altered,
Got to save it now before, it rots and rusts away,
To pull it out and look at it, do it straightaway.

Some tyres flat and perished now, but they will hold some wind,
Enough to carry it to shed, where it can be re-tinned,
Off with bonnet wings and wheels can see it undressed now,
Get into heart of engine see, if can put it back to plough.

Water in two cylinder, have rusted pistons solid,
Sump comes off to loosen; big ends then are parted,
Hammering and thumping, to get the pistons out,
New set of liners n pistons now, cheque book its time to clout.

Got new shells for big ends, and set of gaskets too,
Back together now and see, what there is next to do,
Injector pump with lid off, is pushing up stuck springs,
With little bit of persuasion, knock down plunger fittings.

New injectors they are fitted , valves are well ground in,
On with lively battery, to turn it mid smoke and din,
Firing up it comes to life, from near scrap recovered,
Can concentrate efforts now, look better newly coloured.

Bought new wings and new nose cone, old ones full of dents,
Standing on its jack stands, it’s far from those events,
Gunk and solvents’ liberally, to wash the oil and dirt,
Lying on your back beneath, and get all on your shirt.

Ready for the primer now, and get in all the corners,
Always find some bits not cleaned, drips along the boarders,
Rub it down where paint has run, ready for its top coat,
Don’t want dust or flies or any damp, gloss I must promote.

Front and back wheels now back on, brand new shiny nuts,
New exhaust enamel black, tin pan seat to rest your butt,
Fit the loom and lights and switches, oil gauge and ammeter,
Needs new steering wheel and nut, to set it off the neater.

Out on road run we have booked, got a logbook too,
On red diesel it runs at home, some run on white a few,
Insurance and a tax disc now, new number plates as well,
Will miss my cosy heated cab, frozen Christmas tail to tell.



You can always tell who's car it is when you look at the dents on the corners of the cars in a car park. My old car has had its share over the years, if you don't back into somatt, somatt will back into you. It does not do a huge mileage and the engine and the engine compartment is starting to rust. The short bursts of life just about warms the engine, but does not dry the damp and so the rust begins.

When a car comes to our house, it will always be its last home, it will not be scrapped until it won't pass it MOT (road worthy test) without spending more money than what the car is worth.

Me Car is Getting Dented
Me car is getting dented, MOT it will not pass,
It’s getting old and weary, and near scrap right now alas,
One tyre is getting bald, and a brake pipe now all rust,
To drive it down the road at speed, to stop I wouldn’t trust.

Emissions choke ya breathing, and its tank is always low,
Fuel must be bypassing, the ignition spark plugs glow,
The engines far too big for two, and the price of its tax disc,
You’d think that it’s twelve seater, though it isn’t very brisk.

Its value hasn’t drop so much, depreciations near to nil,
But starting from a low price, repairs add up to a bill,
If it aint one thing going wrong, its something wearing out,
To go from A to B’s okay, it’s the A to Z don’t flout.

Countryman   (Owd Fred)


If you look further down this page there is a photograph of the ploughing match and all the vehicle and trailers, and it was in that field when all the old tractor puffed and pluthered into action with varying shades smoke as they all warm up and move off to the ploughing fields 

Staffs. Vintage Club - Seighford  5th April 2009

We had a vintage ploughing match, the weather it was fine,
The men had marked it out real well, the pegs all aligned,
Finger boards at every junction, bring the entrants in,
Parked on a patch of turf,  a catering van within.

Puffs and plumes of blue smoke, as tired old tractors start,
Backings off the trailers steady, every one take part,
Call to see Jack and Margaret, see what plot you’ve got,
Then across for a cup of tea, ten o’clock ploughing on the dot.

Off to find your numbered peg, line up the markers straight,
Clear off any straw or rubbish, to make your first scrape,
Judges walk round opening splits, and with a pencil sharp,
Mark the points up on the pad, not for us to carp,

Fine and even rough and bent, some were all perfection,
Everyone did the best they could, up to their satisfaction,
Finish crooked finish straight; look round all the plots you creep,
Some they falter some they’re fine, some they’re bloody deep.

Oil the plough and load it up, then off for a cup of tea,
Gathered round the catering van, judges are still busy,
Adding up the points we’ve gained, sorting out the classes,
Seeing who will win the cup, and see who needs new glasses.

A raffle held and tickets sold, money for good cause,
Added to the gate takings, and sponsors here because,
Going to Headway House, Headway charity, brain injuries,
Open five days every week, support victims and their families,

A donation goes to the village church, to help the vicar out,
To help the funds for its upkeep, for this we sometimes shout,
So thank you all for your support, and made it, a great day,
Pleased to see you here again, tho it happens to be on SUNDAY.


This picture taken in the spring of 2009 when we had a vintage ploughing match on the arable block of the farm. We marked out one hundred and twelve plots.
There over eighty vehicle with their ramps down, and another sixteen tractors driven here from local enthusiasts and farms. plus one STEAM engine if you look close (not ploughing)


Father once sent us, me and my brother , with an old single furrow horse plough, on the end of a chain behind a David Brown tractor to take an extra two furrows around the outside of the ploughed fields. Everything went well untill we got too close to a tree. The plough got stuck under the roots, the handles fled up in the air and tossed my brother over the hedge. Needless to say the plough came to a sad end

Extra Furrow Closer the Hedge

To plough is to turn the soil, produce a good seed bed,
Rotation breaks the cycle of weeds that’s what’s always said,
Three years grass it rests the ground, fertility builds back up,
Roots and cereals they benefit, n’ weeds seeds don’t build-up.

As a young chap keen n’ energetic, plough every inch the field,
Spread the muck out on the leys; turn it in produce the yield,
Kept the wildlife birds and bees, fields changed every year,
None of the mono cropping then, to strict rotation adhere.

In olden days it’s always said, for every child born to the land,
Ploughed extra furrow closer the hedge, field and yield expand,
None of these wildlife strips back then, crops grew up to the hedge,
But then the fields were smaller, a curse of the modern age.


The furrow press should have a three spout grain box on the back to drill the corn (wheat barley or oats) and a harrow dragged behind that to make it one of the first one pass  "cultivate and sow" operations back in 1946 

In action but pulled by the Agrotron at home

The Fordson Elite plough with furrow pless

This is our Deutz Agrotron used to drag the outfit around

The plough is a Fordson Elite three furrow plough, the other item on the trailor is a matching furrow press

Fordson E27N on its iron wheels loaded up to go one of the three automn ploughing matches held localy

The International B250 and the Fordson E27N on it set of rubber tyres, belong to me, here we were lined up in readyness for a charity vintage tracor road run May 2007
Every now and then ya get a rush of blood to the yed, and try to tidy up the workshop, so in all good faith I made and fixed up some bracket's to form a  wrack to hold useful metal. I am afraid to say I did not keep it up

I Made me sen a Bracket
I made me sen a bracket, to hang my useful metal on,
All the bits and pieces, that, can get lost and gone,
All along the back wall, it will look so neat and clean,
And keep my workshop tidy, then find a new routine.
But you know what its like, when your always in a rush,
Ya cut a bit of metal off and into the wrack you push,
Or sling the metal back inside, doesn’t reach the wrack,
It piles up inside the shed, till ya shins ya crack.
So the wrack its owldin nothin, don’t why I put it there,
Metal that I’m looking for, is under the pile somewhere,
Spreading out all around the floor, no room ta walk about,
A scrap ruck outsides what I want, of which can’t do without.


I think almost every farm has a scrap iron ruck, I have and it tends to build up around the workshop and some inside the workshop as well.
It always happens, when you think you will cash in some of the surplus scrap, that very bit your looking for had been set off on its way to China. (that is where some of ours has been going recently by ship)

The Scrap Ruck
I got a pile of scrap iron, and it builds up real fast,
And another round the corner, where I dropped it last,
I save it just in case, nothings ever chucked away,
Piles of it every where, It might come in one day.
Broken bits of tractor, and its off cut bits of steel,
Some is thick and some is thin, and some a bit of wheel,
Angle iron in six foot lengths, some point was a bed,
Other bits chucked into the rucks, some still painted red.

Nettles growing through it, and it makes a nesting site,
For rats and mice and vermin, who are only out at night,
Disturbed they run like mad, get away from you or me,
And where do they head for, their scrap ruck home with glee.
I’m looking for a bit of metal, the size ta mend a gate,
Seen some in the scrap ruck, but I can’t locate,
Remember when I chucked it, don’t know which pile it’s in,
Turn each pile over and see, praps neath that pile of tin.
It’s rusting in the winter, when the snow and rain soaks in,
It’s rusty and it’s flaking, and its no use for welding,
Don’t know why I saved it, cus the price of scraps sky high,
Have to have a clear out, home for rats and mice deny.  
Anyone who has machinery will know and will have experienced a breakdown at some point in their lives, and most will attempt to fix it themselves. I'm in that bracket.

I know some folk keep their spanners clean and clipped in sets and the bench clear of repairs that failed, well I'm not in that bracket.

And bits that fell of and failed to be welded back on are "filed" in a scrap ruck outside, tho some is just in piles around the floor of the workshop. I'm in that bracket

The welding, that's just enough to hold things together in very lumpy weld runs, some folk describe it as pigeon shit welding. I'm in that bracket as well.

I’ve got a Little Breakdown
I’ve got a little breakdown and its needs attention now,
Take it to the workshop, to bodge it up somehow,
Need to clear the work bench, with scrap its piled high,
Things that needed mending, I failed but had a try.
Spanners come in sets, they’re spread all round about,
The very one your wanting, one you conner do without,
Spend all morning searching, and you end up with a wrench,
Round the corner off the nut, then find its on the bench.
The metals rusty, flaking off, got it to weld somehow,
Clean the edge and got some gaps, must be done right now,
Spitter spatter stop and start, resembles pigeon shit,
Grind it off and fill the holes, and hope it wunna split.
Drill bits with the edge knocked off, the saw it that hit a nail,
Hammer’s got a headache, and it needs a brand new stale,
Screwdriver hit with hammer, when the chisel conna find,
And the spirit level lost its bubble, ta guess work I’m resigned.
Have a dam good clear up, and throw the rubbish out,
Then look for where you’ve chucked it, that little bit of spout,
Ventualy it all comes back, n’ builds up on the floor,
Praps a bigger workshop, cus I conna shut the door.
I’m really tidy in my mind, but sometimes I forget,
When I’m in a hurry, and black clouds and rain a threat,
Job is done, tools chucked in, the workshop miss the bench,
It happens all the while, but I stick with a big old wrench.
But on the whole I’m not alone, but people don’t admit,
They pretend to be so perfect, spanners back in tool box fit,
A breakdown always happens, when you least expect it could,
Then back to get the job done, as quick as ever should.
Countryman  (Owd Fred)

A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.
Spanish proverb.

No comments:

Post a Comment