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WHTIC Road Run – 27th June 2021
WHTIC Road Run – 27th June 2021
The weather forecast was terrible, and I was thinking to myself, “Do I really want to drive a Marshall in the pouring rain”? Hmmm…..As my years advance, I’m becoming a fair weather tractor driver – either that or I need a cab!
My wife talked sense into me –the first event since lockdown ended and a chance to play, so I set off, and fortunately, in the main the weather held off.

Due to my lack of speed I had agreed to meet the “pack”, in West Meon. I had a lovely 11 mile run from my home in Petersfield, up Stoner Hill and out through Froxfield and High Cross with quite a hairy crossing of the A32, before dropping down to the Alresford Road and swinging round to Woodlands Farm Grain Store, to await the others.

A fantastic turn out for the event with nearly 30 tractors (I guess), and thanks to James Knowles and Ian Vincent for arranging the run. We had a lovely drive out through the Hampshire countryside to a rendezvous point just past the Mulberry’s pub. I felt sorry for, and also grateful to Andy McLaren and Terry Morris for hanging back and making sure, we/ I didn’t get lost, and it also reaffirmed that Field Marshalls, even up geared Field Marshalls are just too slow for road runs! We eventually arrived at our rendezvous, and knowing that we were going to pass Diesel Dave’s, and then headed to the Longwood Estates pump house – I decided that I would be clever and alleviate the anguish of my chaperones, so I set off on what I thought would be a short cut to meet everyone else in Blackdown Lane, but ultimately it turned out to be a very long cut, and I was still miles behind everyone else. Claire and Kevin Whatley had waited for me, as I entered the lane only to find out that neither they, nor I knew where the pump house was. Fortunately, Dave’s better half was at home and pointed us in the right direction, and I eventually turned up somewhat later than everyone else to a round of applause!!

I am glad I made the effort and the trip, as it was very interesting to see the old Ruston Hornsby Engine, residing in its shed, where it had been since WW2, and still fully functional and capable of pumping water in the same way it did when it was installed some 75 years ago. From the road the unassuming brick building in the bottom of the valley provides little clues to what lies within.

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After lunch and a much needed cup of tea, (and a clean of my glasses due to oil being thrown out of the exhaust), we continued on, and as I couldn’t face driving the old girl all the way back to Petersfield, Ross Bartlett kindly offered the tractor a home for the week, and was then subjected to a slow chaperone to get me to his place without getting lost – a route that gave the opportunity for a good hill climb, and made the old Marshall bark!

Thanks to the committee for putting on little events like this, and to keep the vintage tractor movement alive – I look forward to the next road run, but feel I must get something faster.

Duncan Wilkins
Members waiting for the off…. At Bishops Waltham.
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Line up at outside the pump house.

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