Stationary Engines and Farming Bygones at the Royal Bath and West Showground

Fordson N Roadless

Fordson N Roadless

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Wednesday the 23rd September dawned bright, clear and sunny which is only to be expected in our perverse climate, as the auctioneers, Palmer Snell, responsible for the organization and implementation of this sale, had taken great care to insure that the weather would not interfere. The venue was the extremely spacious and convenient No 1 Cattle Pavilion at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Attendance was excellent, as was amply demonstrated by the tremendous number of private cars, trailers, trucks and horse boxes, whose owners no doubt hoped to return home that evening with a coveted prize. Attendance included several from as far a field as Scotland and Southern Ireland. A wide range of items were offered for sale, all of which found ready buyers, although naturally in these hard times prices were not quite as high as they may have been in the last two years. Nevertheless, Palmer Snell and new clients were extremely pleased and impressed by the outcome and some notable prices included: 42' Cylinder Pitch Mower-$600.00; Petter Appletop 3 HP, 1929-$550.00; Amanco 3 HP Chore Boy (unrestored)-$650.00; Lister model D's ranging from $10.00-$100.00; Tractors Fordson Standard Model N Roadless Crawler -$800.00; McCormick 46 -$1500.00; McCormick W4-$1200.00; 1939 Case D.E.X. (restored)-$1600.00; Oliver 80 with winch, (restored)- $2300.00; Fordson Standards from $500.00-$600.00; Fordson E27 N Roadless (for restoration)-$550.00; Trailer ploughs (restored and unrestored) from $50.00-$250.00.

In these days when several sales have been somewhat adversely affected by both the general economic climate and the British weather, Palmer Snell arranged a sale that pleased both clients and purchasers. More importantly, we all spent a most enjoyable day; we met up with numerous old friends and made many new ones.

Palmer Snell places paramount importance in the organization of the sale from the venue, marketing and advertising down to the smallest detail such as having transport readily available at the sale site for immediate 'hire.' In-depth marketing no doubt contributed to the success of this sale as it did in 1979 when we achieved $16,500.00 for an unrestored 1917 Overtime (Waterloo Boy), and $6250.00 for a 1930 Case, Model C, which is believed to. be a world record!

Readers may be interested to know that this sale at the Royal Bath and West Showground has been arranged on a regular basis and further entries are always invited with entry forms available on request. Furthermore, Palmer Snell, being specialists in the sale and auction of items connected with our industrial and agricultural heritage, are most enthusiastic and anxious to arrange further sales throughout Great Britain.

Either Charles Dobles or David Chant at the following address would be delighted to offer assistance: Palmer Snell, 51 High Street, Wells, Somerset (0749) 73974.


C. H. Wendel, well known as the compiler of engine history, is embarked on a new project-a Gas Engine Encyclopedia.

Wendel has gathered data on 1,400 gas engine builders in the United States and Canada, plus Europe, and is seeking air from collectors in gathering further material. He would like to borrow catalogs, magazines, and other literature and will keep them safe and return them.

If you have something you think he can use, tell him so in a letter and he will respond if he needs it. You may also be able to help with histories of local companies, or photos of rare engines now in existence.

Wendel is the author of the Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors, and 150 Years of International Harvester, each still available at $24.95 postpaid. To get in touch with him write to:

C. H. Wendel, Old Iron Book Company, R.R. 1, Box 2S-A, Atkins, Iowa 52206, phone 319-446-7156.

This photo was sent to us by Don Dillon of 3651 U.S. Rt. 322, E. Wayne, Williams field, Ohio 44093. Don writes, 'This picture is one of Fred Hart, who is 96 years old. He is shown on a Huber steam traction engine with owner George Nicholas. Fred is blowing the whistle. He ran the steamer up and down the show field several times. Fred counts the days until show time, although he now attends only our show since he can't get around so good anymore. He is as enthusiastic a showgoer as there is. (The show was held this year on July 25 on Dillon's farm-the group does not have a name yet, but they collect both gas and steam engines!).

Dillon continues, 'I bought Fred's old buzz saw rig this summer and the evening before the show he called to tell me he would like to buzz wood on his old rig the next day. I told him I saw no reason why he couldn't. He said he had borrowed a wheelchair so he could get around the show. When we got the rig ready to buzz wood I asked him if he was ready and he said, 'No, I don't think so-I don't wany anybody to try to wheel my chair down across the rough field.' I told him I would fix it so he could get down there. I drove my tractor to where he sat, lowered the front loader bucket, while my wife Edythe got some cushions. He sat in the bucket and I raised him up enough so his feet were off the ground and took him to the buzz rig which was running. He buzzed wood for about 15 minutes then I took him back to his chair and some shade. He is one man in a million!'