Wednesday, 16 October 2019

David throws birthday party for his 60-year-old tractor

David throws birthday party for his 60-year-old tractor

THERE are many fans of vintage vehicles in this area but one man has taken his interest to another level.

David Keeley, from Whitchurch Hill, held a party to mark the 60th birthday of his Massey Ferguson tractor after researching its history and discovering the date when it was made.

Sixteen members of the village’s Sun Inn Tractor Society, which Mr Keeley founded shortly after being given the MF 65 Mk II in 2014, attended the event at his house.

He and his wife Michelle decorated their garden with bunting and led a chorus of Happy Birthday for the vehicle before presenting a cake they had baked in the shape of a tractor.

Guests enjoyed beer from the Loddon Brewery at Dunsden Green and a buffet supper and stayed chatting until the early hours.

Mr Keeley, who worked in telecommunications before retiring, received the tractor as a gift from his wife after they attended a tractor run at the Reformation pub in Gallowstree Common.

He had said it would be nice to own one so she decided to surprise him. The vehicle had no documentation so Mr Keeley contacted the Ferguson Club, which specialises in Massey-Ferguson equipment, and a representative examined it to find the chassis number.

They deduced the tractor had rolled off the company’s plant at Banner Lane in Coventry in July 1959 and from here he was able to register it with the DVLA, insure it and drive it on public roads.

Mr Keeley founded the society with a group of owners who meet regularly at the Sun Inn in Whitchurch Hill, where most of them live.

He regularly exhibits his pride and joy at the annual Woodcote and Stoke Row steam rallies. Mr Keeley said: “It all started when I told my wife ‘that looks fun’ at the tractor run and the rest is history.

“I looked into its background straight away because I wanted to get it on the road as soon as
possible.

“My grandchildren love it, as do many of the children in the village who cadge a lift. They’ll ask for a ride or just clamber on when it’s parked at the pub, which I don’t mind as they don’t do any damage.

“I’ve still only got the one, although this prompted several other villagers to get a tractor, which is how the society came together. It was really just an excuse to meet for dinners and trips to the pub.

“I was looking over the registration documents earlier this year when I realised it was turning 60 so I thought I’d organise a party. It was pretty silly but we all had fun.

“Many people around here enjoy tractors because they’re part of our history. You don’t have to drive very far to see them on driveways and you notice them a lot more once you’re an owner.

“It sometimes crosses my mind that I might want a little grey one for my wife to drive so we’re on the lookout.”

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