Charity Ploughing Marathon in

Aid of Parkinson's Scotland on Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March Report and photos by Paul Bardass


t was the spring of 2007 when Dougie McNicoll got a call from Chic Stewart regarding a Fordson tractor that was sitting ready to be scrapped at Jimmy Harts yard. Dougie decided to go along on his lunch break and have a look for himself and found a green Fordson N tractor looking a bit worse for wear. He decided to take his dad, also named Douglas back for a look a couple of days later and there they found the belly of the tractor, one front wheel and it was wearing just two rear wheel centres. The fuel tank was burst and rusted open, the radiator was seriously damaged after a very poor repair attempt, but the casting seemed to be ok.

After a few minutes of discussion Douglas and Jimmy struck a deal and a plan was made to collect the tractor that weekend. Saturday came and they began to load the tractor along with all the parts found onto the trailer. The tractor was lifted with a forklift and consequently tumbled off the forks and landed in a big heap on the trailer.

After getting home, both Dougie and his father spent the next five nights heating and quenching the starter handle and spraying it with lubricant to free it off after being seized for so many years. Eventually it became free and the next task was to free off the belt pulley in order to get the engine to do a full revolution. This was not too bad and only took about three nights to get moving enough.

Keen to see what the engine was like, and joking around Douglas said, “Let’s put some petrol in the bowl” and proceeded to do just that. They checked the sump and put some old oil in which was lying around in the workshop, they then removed the plugs to give them a quick brush up and clean and placed them back in and braced themselves. After three or four turns of the handle, and many years of lying dormant, the Fordson burst into life.

This was fantastic and after research into the tractor`s serial number, it was found to be a 1944 Fordson N built in green with narrow wings. It was also discovered that it was an Agricultural high geared spec machine that was able to reach speeds of around sixteen or seventeen miles per hour. Having brought life back to the engine, attention was turned to the running gear and this is where some old Fordson Dexta rims were utilized and made to suit the rear end. A second front wheel was sourced, fitted to the front axle, and what was a heap of scrap was now a rolling tractor.

The next course of action was to address the rusted through fuel tank which had to be replaced. The original one now sits as pride of place outside Dougie`s front door as one his wife`s flower planters. The radiator core had to be replaced and this was sourced from Cheffins of Sutton when Douglas was visiting a vintage sale. It was decided after searching for



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