Fergies to the fore in charity run

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THE ANGUS and Kincardine Ferguson Tractor Group is raising money for a number of good causes as they travel from coast to coast in vintage tractors from the 1950s - 1970s.

Twenty vintage tractors will travel over 360 miles as they go from Montrose to Oban and back over the course of four days.

The group is raising money for a variety of charities, all of which have a personal connection to members of the group.

They are supporting the RNLI lifeboats in Montrose and Oban after the death of one of their group members who tragically drowned in a boating accident on the West Coast of Scotland two years ago.

They are also supporting the Hyperbaric chamber in Dundee which is used to ease the symptoms of those who have MS, children’s charity The Archie Foundation and Spina Bifida.

The 20 tractors will be supported by two vehicles as they make the journey.

With a number of the tractors not having cabs, leaving the drivers open to the elements, the group is hoping for good weather when they do the run from May 25 - 28.

The group will leave from Montrose lifeboat station at 8am on May 25.

Chairman of the group, Hugh Black, explained that the tractors are well cared for and up to the long journey.

He said: “They are well maintained vehicles. Fuel is the biggest worry, in particular fuel blockages. But mechanically we will be very surprised if we have a mechanical break down.

“Punctures are a bit of a worry, too, we have had that problem before.”

The group has planned their route to avoid the main roads, and will be travelling in small groups to avoid disrupting the traffic.

If you would like to sponsor them on their journey, contact a member directly. Or you can contact Mr Black on 01561 377786 or treasurer Mike Robertson on 01356 625049.

Harry Ferguson’s tractors were remarkable for their time, just as he was a remarkable man.

An Irishman, Ferguson died in 1960 at the age of 75, having built and flown his own aeroplane, and developed the first four-wheel drive Formula One car, the Ferguson P99.

In addition, the Jensen Interceptor supercar had a four-wheel drive version, the Interceptor FF - Ferguson Formula.

But it was his innovative design for the tractor that Ferguson will be remembered for. At a time when the use of horses was in decline, and existing tractors were basically pulling machines, the versatility of the Ferguson tractor was like a breath of fresh air.

It incorporated hydraulics with a three-point lifting hitch at the rear.

The engine for the Ferguson tractors is also worthy of note.

It was developed for Ferguson by the Standard Motor Company, and was later used by them in their successful range of Standard Vanguard saloons, estates, vans and pick-ups.

The tractors also had a ‘universal spanner’ which could be used for virtually every task on the tractor - and which also incorporated a calibrated scale for dipping the fuel tank! These are now highly prized.