Tractor buff keeps history alive

STEPPING BACK IN TIME: Back Ormond Road orchardist Andrew Teesdale on his 1918 Fordson tractor, which will be part of the Huff and Puff display in the Trades area of the Poverty Bay A and P Show this week. Pictures by Liam Clayton
TRACTOR HISTORY: Mr Teesdale just keeps on rolling them out.

TRACTOR enthusiast Andrew Teesdale will have a nearly-100-year-old “pride and joy” on display at the Poverty Bay A and P Spring Show this week.

Mr Teesdale’s 1918 Fordson machine will be part of the Huff and Puff engines display in the Trades area near Sideshow Alley.

“Fordson tractors were first made in l917 in the USA and 300 were made in the first batch,” he said.

“This was one of thousands made when the tractor went into full production in 1918, purchased by the British, French and American governments to help win the First World War.”

An advertisement in The Poverty Bay Herald in December 1918 read: “The Fordson Tractor has arrived”.

Bignell and Holmes Ford garage in Gisborne had them for sale for 325 pounds.

“It was quite remarkable that the first of the machines turned up in this area so soon after they went into production,” Mr Teesdale said. “Five-thousand of them were sold in the UK alone in that first year.”

In the first 10 years of production, 750,000 Fordson tractors were manufactured at Ford’s Detroit, Michigan plant in Destro.

“Ford’s initial aim was to get farmers off horses and on to tractors to boost the production of food for the war effort.”

He found the one he owns sitting abandoned and dilapidated under a tree on the Lake Waikaremoana road.

“That was 25 years ago and since then I have restored it. It has the manufacturing date 3 October, 1918 stamped on the chassis.

“It was in pretty good shape. It only needed a new set of rings and coat of paint, and she was pretty much good to go.”

Mr Teesdale estimates around 150 hours of work has gone into the restoration.

Getting it to the Showgrounds would be a bit of mission.

“We will load it on to a truck once we get it started, and that can be quite hard work because you’re got to hand crank it.

“But we will get her there for the public to see.”

The Fordson is one of 60 vintage tractors Mr Teesdale has in an extensive collection on his Back Ormond Road property.

TRACTOR enthusiast Andrew Teesdale will have a nearly-100-year-old “pride and joy” on display at the Poverty Bay A and P Spring Show this week.

Mr Teesdale’s 1918 Fordson machine will be part of the Huff and Puff engines display in the Trades area near Sideshow Alley.

“Fordson tractors were first made in l917 in the USA and 300 were made in the first batch,” he said.

“This was one of thousands made when the tractor went into full production in 1918, purchased by the British, French and American governments to help win the First World War.”

An advertisement in The Poverty Bay Herald in December 1918 read: “The Fordson Tractor has arrived”.

Bignell and Holmes Ford garage in Gisborne had them for sale for 325 pounds.

“It was quite remarkable that the first of the machines turned up in this area so soon after they went into production,” Mr Teesdale said. “Five-thousand of them were sold in the UK alone in that first year.”

In the first 10 years of production, 750,000 Fordson tractors were manufactured at Ford’s Detroit, Michigan plant in Destro.

“Ford’s initial aim was to get farmers off horses and on to tractors to boost the production of food for the war effort.”

He found the one he owns sitting abandoned and dilapidated under a tree on the Lake Waikaremoana road.

“That was 25 years ago and since then I have restored it. It has the manufacturing date 3 October, 1918 stamped on the chassis.

“It was in pretty good shape. It only needed a new set of rings and coat of paint, and she was pretty much good to go.”

Mr Teesdale estimates around 150 hours of work has gone into the restoration.

Getting it to the Showgrounds would be a bit of mission.

“We will load it on to a truck once we get it started, and that can be quite hard work because you’re got to hand crank it.

“But we will get her there for the public to see.”

The Fordson is one of 60 vintage tractors Mr Teesdale has in an extensive collection on his Back Ormond Road property.

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