The Tractor Trials of 1919

| December/January 1988

Lismore County Water ford, Eire

A reprint from Old Farm Tractors with permission of author Major Revd. Philip A. Wright, M.B.E H on C.F. Queen Anne Cottage, Greensted Nr.Ongar, Essex, CM5 9LA

The organizers of the trials at South Carlton, Lincoln, really set out to help the farmer to make a choice, and they held a firm conviction that there was a tractor to suit every farm. They therefore tried to get every tractor of importance represented, even if made abroad, providing it was actually on the British market. Ploughing, cultivating, threshing, and hauling were included as tests, but naturally the purely motorized plough did not participate in belt work. In addition to the farmer judges (six in all) a consulting engineer was engaged to make exhaustive examination of the tractor's structural features. No prizes or medals were awarded as in the case of R.A.S.E. trials, as the organizers felt there was no such thing as a 'best' tractor, nor would there be in the foreseeable future. Tractor entrants were ordered to provide their own ploughs and cultivators, and steam-driven tractors were not excluded.

I think it best to list the entries in alphabetical order with a brief note of their qualities: Messrs. Alldays &. Onions, of Birmingham, had three similar models of their 30 HP Mark II tractor. She had four cylinders and the final drive was by chain. This four-wheel tractor had a gross weight of three tons, and was priced at ?630.

The Austin Company of Birmingham had by this time produced a four-wheel model of 25 HP with four cylinders, spur-wheel drive, weighing one ton eight cwt. laden. At ?300 this was an outstanding value. An uncle of mine (the late Arthur Honey wood) purchased one during the 1914-18 war, and my cousins were using it at Norton, Suffolk, until a very short time ago. There were two of these working at the trials, as well as a 30 HP model which demonstrated threshing and hauling. In the main, the Austin bore a really striking resemblance to many modern machines, and at these trials it was described as easy to handle and safe in operation.

The 28 HP Avery had four cylinders, spur-geared transmission and a belt pulley. She weighed three tons five cwt. and sold at ?500. She was entered by the firm of R.A. Lister & Co., Dursley, Gloucester.