Keith Billington Memorial Tractor Road Run Report by Barry Job

ractor road runs organised from Ellenhall Manor near Stafford are eagerly awaited by enthusiasts. The original runs were planned by the late Keith Billington, this run, the fourth, was held in his memory. Always run to benefit local communities and national charities, this year about £2,300 was raised for the local Ellenhall Church of Saint Mary and the Katharine House Hospice which offers care to people in the community affected by progressive illness. This was a terrific achievement for a small event. The event was well organised by John Heath and Mary Billington. Eighty tractors participated gathering on the hard standing around the Manor Farm due to the wet nature of the adjacent fields, the difficult task of marshalling so many tractors in a small space was successfully achieved by Dave Coombes and Roger Perry. What potentially would have been the most interesting tractor on the run; Peter Harvey’s 1953 Lanz ‘Bulldog’ single cylinder hot bulb tractor failed to start; so Peter brought along his 1948 ‘Grey Fergie’ instead; this being the oldest tractor participating. The products of the David Brown and International factories were especially popular with the usual smattering of Nuffields and Fordsons. What was particularly


noticeable was the number of large four wheel drive tractors, but some of these can be over 30 years old and with time, they will inevitably become more popular. The wet weather preceeding the run on Sunday 6th October continued for the run itself with light showers alternating with sunny periods, a heavy rain shower fortunately waited until the convoy was arriving back at the Manor.

After the usual safety briefing; the tractors were lead away

at 11 o’clock by John Heath, the 20 mile route was essentially a loop to the north, skirting the town of Eccleshall, then swinging west then south through Sugnall to arrive at the walled gardens tea room for the halfway stop where tea and cake was on offer. Suitably refreshed the convoy continued to head south through ‘The Offleys’, then east through the village of Woodseaves to arrive back at the start by mid afternoon. Here catering was generously provided by friends and supporters; a hot meal was followed by a choice of delicious desserts. The raffle was then drawn ending a very enjoyable day.

Thanks must go to all concerned for organising such a successful event.

Phil Jefferies' 1967 Massey Ferguson 135 was, as always, well turned out.

A friendly wave from John Heath leading the convoy away from Ellenhall Manor aboard his 1968 David Brown 990.

Michelle Justice was on the run driving her faithful 1958 Massey Ferguson 35.


Safely returned; Fiona Roberts arrives back at Ellenhall Manor aboard her 1967 David Brown 'Selectamatic' 770.

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