It’s always difficult to know where to start with the “thank yous” for Biddenden Tractorfest as there are so many people who give their time, expertise and support – so I suppose the best place to begin is a big thank you to each and every person who contributed to this year’s Biddenden Tractorfest.
We were delighted to welcome 14,500 visitors over the weekend, and we have been overwhelmed by the generously kind feedback we have received since. It was quite something to see the number of visitors waiting for the gates to open on both mornings, meaning the site was buzzing right from the very start, and we really are so grateful that you chose to spend your day, or whole weekend, with us.
Thanks too to all of our exhibitors, stand holders, those who gave demonstrations & put on interactive displays, and all who joined us with things to see and do at Biddenden Tractorfest. It’s not just the hard work put in over the weekend, but also the hours spent preparing vehicles, setting up stands and getting ready in the weeks and months before – time and effort that most certainly does not go unnoticed and we are very thankful for.
Our fantastic committee, who are all volunteers and give many hours into organising their sections and bringing them together on site to work perfectly hand in hand with one another.
Our section managers are as follows:
Tractors: Susan Thomas, John Kingsnorth & Lawrence Richards
Horticultural Machinery: Kevin Castle
Stationary Engines: Stephen DeCicco
Steam: Ashley & Sarah Pettitt
Classic Cars: Adrian Best & Ginnie Coles
Emergency Services: Jamin Beer
Animals: Helen Stow / Mount Lodge YFC
Music: Caroline Hopkins
Trade & Vice-Chair: Kim Reeves
Catering: Bill Stacey
We are also lucky to have additional volunteers join us across the weekend, many returning for their second year with us and others joining us for the first time in 2023. This includes Norman Searle, Cherry Cornelius, Liz Smith, KCAS Rural Scholar Alice Edmonds and the Kent Police Cadets. Mervyn & Angela Reeves & Kelly Clark (Merchandise tent), Bernard Pike (commentator), Andy Gardner (commentator), Alec Homewood, Emma & Mrs Homewood (tractor rides), Christina Tyler and L3 Agricultural Engineering student Ethan Jarvis-Barker of Hadlow College (tractor rides) and Ollie Collyer (tractor rides).
Our sponsors, who have provided services or support – Principle sponsor Kent Design Studio along with ASH Scaffolding, Biddenden Farm Shop, Biddenden Walking Rural, Biddenden Vineyards, Biddenden Parish Council, The Broyle Country Show Ringmer, Coppard Plant Hire, D Body, Edit Our Day, G Bridgland Ltd, GM Woodgate & Son, Hadlow College, Invicta Insurance Services, JPF Farms, Mark Hellier Tractors, Oak Surveys Limited, S J Barnes Ltd and Staplehurst Transits. Many thanks must also go to everyone who supported through taking advertising in this year’s programme and on our show rings throughout the site.
The Kent County Agricultural Society including the Kent County Show and Kent Event Centre teams, Kent County Showground grounds team and KCAS directors, who helped across the weekend and our show manager, Lucy Hegarty, who have once again brought the expertise and connections to put key infrastructure in place and allow Biddenden Tractorfest to run smoothly.
Julian Barnes, KCAS Chairman, owner of Biddenden Vineyards and committee member, whose vision continues to keep this important event running in Biddenden and also provides a meeting venue for us throughout the year.
Robert Lewis, who allowed us to use his field for parking with support from White House Farm’s Peter Sargent.
And a special thanks to Michael Palmer, who allowed us to return to the much loved venue of his fields for yet another year.
Once again, I am so proud of what our team has achieved. To stand on the gate on set up day seeing in exhibitors and sending an almost endless stream of vehicles in all shapes, sizes and colours to their relevant section, have every single one perfectly sited and to watch Holden Farm transform seamlessly from empty fields into Biddenden Tractorfest is something that I think will always amaze me.
As always, planning for next year started before this year’s event had even finished, and we will be sharing more updates in due course.
Until then, thank you all again for your ongoing support.
Vikki Eames, Chair, Biddenden Tractorfest