Rural Past Times; what a show!

Posted by Chris Graham on 20th September 2023

Chris Graham reports from this year’s Rural Past Times show; an event that just keeps getting better and better!

Rural Past Times

There were plenty of interesting Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors at this year’s excellent Rural Past Times Vintage Working Weekend.

The 11th Rural Past Times Vintage Working Weekend took place on August 12th-13th at Horns Cross, in East Sussex, and seemed bigger and more successful than ever. Organiser Jonathan Playfoot, together with his dedicated and hard-working team, must be delighted with how things went at the event, which is developing into a real family attraction. 

Rural Past Times

A Ferguson TE-20 flexing its mechanical muscles in the event’s working field.

There were 106 assorted tractor exhibits listed in the free show programme but, judging by the number of additional machines I saw parked around the show ground – and parading in the main arena – there were many more than that in attendance. 

Rural Past Times

Fred Crouch and passengers head toward the main arena aboard his ‘working clothes’ 1970 Massey Ferguson 135 narrow.

The mid-morning tractor display in the ring was certainly an impressive sight, both in terms of the number of machines the organisers managed to get into the arena, and the precision with which they were all marshalled and parked. As always, Bernard Pike was on the microphone, providing his own unique style of entertaining, informative and amusing commentary.

Rural Past Times

One of the real eye-catchers at the show was Bill Thorburn’s 1956 TE-F 20 with complicated Rotaped tracks.

This show certainly offers plenty to keep visitors of all ages happy and engaged, whether your passion is for tractors, classic cars, motorcycles, military vehicles, historic commercials, traction engines, horticulture or traditional crafts. At the gentler end of the scale, there was also plenty to interest lovers of heavy horses, dogs and birds of prey. But, despite all the fascinating attractions, it was the tractors that occupied my attention, and here are some photographs of what I spotted at this highly recommended event.

Rural Past Times

Zac Kenward’s immaculate 1938 Massey Harris Pacemaker attracted plenty of attention and admiring glances as it paraded in the main arena.


Rural Past Times

Classic colours displayed by this Massey Harris, Ferguson and Massey Ferguson group.


Rural Past Times

This is Tracey Kenward’s Ferguson TE-20.


Two young enthusiasts enjoying a trip around the arena.


Show chairman Jonathan Playfoot deserves so much credit for creating this wonderful event. He and his dedicated team do an amazing job.


A pleasantly original-looking Massey Ferguson 35 heads back to its parking spot after parading in the arena, trailing a bit of blue smoke from its underslung exhaust.


Arena commentator Bernard Pike (left) discusses the intricacies of the Rotaped drive system fitted to Bill Thorburn’s TE-F 20.


Michael Burford’s 1974 MF 135 heads back towards the tractor lines at the top of the show field.


This Massey Ferguson Industrial – running on grass tyres – was one of a number of additional tractors attending but not listed in the programme; this show is becoming increasingly popular.


This 1949 Ferguson TE-A 20 was restored 20 years ago and is owned by Fred Crouch. It’s great to see young drivers getting involved!


This feature comes from the latest issue of Classic Massey & Ferguson Enthusiast, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE



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