John Kingsnorth was only eight years old when he learned to drive tractors and began to develop a passion for the agricultural vehicles.
His enthusiasm for saving and restoring tractors has grown over the years and has led to him having assembled a collection of 12 and being an active committee member of the annual Biddenden Tractorfest and Country Fair.
Pride of place in his tractor collection is a grey Ferguson TEA 20 which was first registered in 1952 and which much later was the first tractor John drove. It had been used on two farms near Canterbury before being acquired by John’s maternal grandfather Arthur Vance and brought to the Benenden area. The Ferguson was inherited by John’s uncle Chris Vance who subsequently gave it to John. John, who is 38 and runs a vehicle workshop at Sandhurst, admits he hates the idea of tractors being scrapped and this is a reason for him saving and restoring the vehicles.
He says the Biddenden Tractorfest and Country Fair provides a welcome opportunity to show off a few of his tractors.
“Visitors can see many tractors from different periods and learn a little about how these paved the way for today’s much bigger and more sophisiticated machines,” he comments. The fifth Biddenden Tractorfest and Country Fair will be held at Beech Lane Field, Biddenden, from 10am to 4pm on both Saturday 19 August and Sunday 20 August.
The affordable and fun family event has grown strongly since its launch in 2013 and this year will again offer a great variety of arena and other attractions.
Featured will be vintage and contemporary tractors, classic cars, motorcycles from yesteryear, horticultural machinery from the past, and many stalls offering everything from craft wares to enticing refreshments.
A special attraction this year is the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust which is scheduled to have a helicopter operational from Tractorfest on both days of the event.
Tractorfest’s main sponsor is Invicta Insurance Services.