A visual display of tractors celebrating decades of pulling power by tractor greats John Deere, Nuffield and Massey Ferguson helped showcase the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club's new purpose-built premises at the Ashburton A&P showgrounds.

In an impressive display, 49 tractors were on site during the Ashburton A&P show and enjoyed by young and old alike.

Club president John Hall said the shed had attracted a lot of interest, both during the build and at the A & P show.

It was yet to be officially opened, and a few minor fit outs were yet to be finished, but it was likely to happen in March.

Advertisement

''We are so happy with it all, now we've got a home,'' Mr Hall said.

Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club members (from left) Colin Cross, Maurice Millar, Les Nell, with John French, of the Plains Museum, and club member Murray Elliott, enjoying the club's new building, and tractor display, at the Ashburton A&P showgrounds.
Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club members (from left) Colin Cross, Maurice Millar, Les Nell, with John French, of the Plains Museum, and club member Murray Elliott, enjoying the club's new building, and tractor display, at the Ashburton A&P showgrounds.

The static tractor display highlighted the contribution of some tractor greats, celebrating significant milestones this year with 100 years of John Deere, 70 years of Nuffield and 60 years of Massey Ferguson.

But there were also other tractor brands such as Allis-Chalmers and International and a couple of rare tractors imported from the United States.

All the tractors ranged in era from early models, such as the 1929 John Deere D, owned by Les Nell, of Barrhill, to the ''classics'' of the 1960s and 1970s, through to newer models.

Mr Nell said there was not much left of the 1929 John Deere D when he found the remnants at tinwald - in fact, it was barely a frame.
But he knew it from an earlier time - when the Nell brothers, of Staveley, owned it in the 1940s.

He recognised the tractor from alterations done by his father.

Mr Nell has photos of the 25hp tractor from 1944 - when he was 4 - when it was used to pull flax, grown in the area for a mill at Methven.

The flax was pulled by its roots and tied in bundles, and some sent to Ireland for linen.

Advertisement

After Mr Nell tracked down the old machine, he set about finding parts from throughout the country and restoring it, which took about four years.

Southern Rural Life