John Moffitt's Ivel tractor fronts some of the machinery at the 2003 Ayrshire Rally held at Eglinton Country Park, Irvine, Scotland.
The 21st Rally of the Ayrshire Club in its 22nd year (our 2001 show was cancelled due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease) was a special occasion. After 21 years of exhibiting, we invited people who exhibited at our first rally in 1982 to bring their original exhibits from that year. Twenty-three members came along to participate in the special section devoted to their exhibits, which varied from a hot air engine to a threshing mill. All were presented with a salver (a silver tray) to mark the event.
The other big part of the show was a visit from the world's oldest known gas-driven tractor, the 1903 Ivel no. 131. John Moffitt, the owner of the tractor, has been displaying the Ivel all over England and Scotland in its 100th year to raise money for charity. John is well known in the vintage tractor movement for his collection of Ferguson tractors and equipment, some of which has been imported from the U.S. His goal is to raise $160,000 for the National Hospice Movement, and just recently we heard that John is very close to reaching his target. His next ports of call with the Ivel will be the National Plowing Matches in Ireland and England, and the Ivel's last event will be at a vintage tractor exhibition in November. On a related note, our club had a charity tractor road run of 90 tractors earlier in the year, raising $9,120. The check was presented to our local hospice.
John Caldwell and the Ivel at the Ayrshire Rally. Built in 1903 by Dan Albone in London, the Ivel is powered by an 18 HP horizontally opposed two-cylinder gas engine.
Other features of our rally were the 120 tractors on display, together with vintage cars, trucks and all kinds of farm machinery. Good weather brought out a record crowd of spectators, and every exhibitor was presented with a brass spanner to mark our 21st rally.
Contact engine enthusiast John CaIdwell at: Kelk Cottage, Crosshouse, Kilmamock KA2 OBG, Scotland, or e-mail: john.Caldwell@ukgateway.net