Agricultural Heritage

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

Tractor inventory December 2005 - Massey Harris / Ferguson & Massey Ferguson Tractors


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01 1 - MF 65
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02 1 - Specplate
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03 2 - MF 95
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04 5 - Ferguson TED
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05 9 - Massey Harris Pony
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06 82 - Massey Harris 745
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07 151 - Massey Harris
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

Tractor inventory December 2005 - Other Tractors at Sandstone (Page 2)


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3 - Nuffield
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3 - Specplate
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35 - Allis Chalmers
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35 - Specplate
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55 - Nuffield
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58 - Allis Chalmers
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60 - Hanomag
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64 - Hanomag
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64 - Specplate
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72 - Hanomag
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74 - Nuffield
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75 - Nuffield
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79 - Oliver
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97 - Benye
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97 - Specplate
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

Tractor Restoration Update

Author: Chris Wilson

Two interesting vintage tractors are currently under restoration by Chris Wilson at Lions River, KZN.

The first is a 1924 Waterloo Boy model N, Ser No 30099. This is one of the last to be built before production switched to the John Deere model D; in fact the first production D's serial number was 30401, so one can speculate that only some 300 N's were built after this one.

All in all it is estimated that close to 20 000 N's were built from 1917 to 1924. A few were constructed after the D was in production.
Deere had bought out the Waterloo Gas Engine Co, which built the Waterloo Boy range of tractors, in 1918, giving Deere a strong foothold in the burgeoning tractor market. The D was the first successful JD tractor, and its design was strongly Waterloo. Most notably it inherited the classic 2 cylinder horizontal layout, which was to last with Deere until 1960.

So the Waterloo Boy can truly said to be the forerunner of JD tractors.
The N produces 12 hp at the drawbar & 25 at the belt pulley, operating at 750 RPM. The engine featured relatively modern features such as a water pump & fan for water-cooling and an oil pump for lubrication. Less advanced were the cone clutch & external spur gear final drives.

Forward speeds were 2 1/4 & 3 MPH.

30099 being one of the last produced, it features automotive type steering with an external worm & sector turning the front wheels together via a tie bar. Earlier N's featured a swiveling axle with fixed wheels, steered by means of a chain - a hangover from steam traction days. Sandstone Heritage has one of these types as well.
No other Waterloo Boy is known to have existed in South Africa before these two, although a well-preserved example exists in Zimbabwe, which was imported as new in the early 20's. It is also known that this tractor came South for exhibition at the Rand Agricultural Show in the 1960's.

30099 was imported together with the earlier version mentioned above, recently - in 1997 in fact. Both came from Oscar's Dreamland, Billings Montana, USA, when that huge collection of antique equipment was auctioned off. Sandstone also acquired a Rumely & 2 Emerson's from the same source.
It was complete and nominally a runner, but had not been in action for many years. However it was cleaned up & started to participate in the Great 100 working at Ficksburg in 1999.

Now the time has come to give it the first rate restoration it deserves.
Assessment revealed a healthy engine, but that wear in the transmission & clutch mechanisms and steering was considerable. Wear is also noted on the archaic final drives, but not enough to hinder operation. Having these enormous gears re-cast would be a formidable task indeed!

Apart from that, decades of dirt, grease & neglect had to be overcome.
Work commenced on the front axle, which was stripped & removed. The kingpins swivel in a floating bush, while the wheels do not have any form of bearings - also turning on bushes. These were sent for building up & turning.
Finding someone to undertake this type of work is not always easy as it is usually complicated. Such was the case here as it turns out that the kingpins are composed of one complete casting. Today a kingpin on a tractor has a cast elbow while the spindle, which rotates in the housing, is made of high-grade steel & pressed in to the elbow.
Since the spindle here is a casting the welding process to build it up made the metal extremely hard, and thus the machining had to be undertaken with great care. The cutting tool had to removed & sharpened every minute or so. However experience counts in a situation, and the engineer merely commented that he had found the process interesting, and enjoyed the challenge!

The radiator has returned from a repair, which involved removing the core entirely, as well as repairing the corroded bottom tank. Again the specialist employed appreciates working on antique equipment - most radiator shops would not look at such a job.
The fuel tank was corroded wafer thin at the bottom and has been reinforced. In addition the prominent spherical ends were badly dented, too much for the application of filler, so have had to be cut out, beaten & replaced.
The main transmission shaft & pulley are receiving attention to eliminate wear, while the clutch receives a re-line.

The magneto has been serviced, and found to have a brass cladding under the paint & grime. This has been polished & will be given a coat of clear lacquer. Similarly the carburetor is a substantial brass casting, and will also be polished.
The engine sump was found to be extremely dirty and has been thoroughly cleaned. The sight glass lubricators have been polished and new seals obtained. New plugs are ready to fit. Various & numerous small repairs have been carried out.
Meanwhile the engine & chassis have been stripped of all dirt & loose paint and primed with a high quality etch primer, mudguards & other panels sandblasted & professionally panel beaten and the wheels removed, stripped & primed.

Next step is a thorough sanding and then as soon as the weather (which has been atrocious) permits, the first coat of acrylic JD green applied.

After that comes final assembly & testing!
The second unit under repair is a John Deere model 70 all fuel standard, ser no 7018829, dating from 1955.
The standard configuration gives it a purposeful appearance, while as a worthy successor to the renowned model G, the 70 is capable of some serious work.
Rated at 38.2 hp on the belt, the classic JD 2 cylinder engine has a torque that far exceeds that of many modern tractors.

With a displacement of 376 Cu inches and a 6-speed transmission as well as the option of independent hydraulics & PTO, the 70 were a thoroughly modern tractor.
Today the 70 all fuel standard is rated 5 stars for collectability, as few were built in this combination. This puts it up with the High-crops and even more desirable than a Waterloo Boy, in the eyes of many!

At first glance this unit appeared to be restored, in so much as the paint & decals were relatively fresh, apart from an ugly gash in the bonnet. However when being assessed for the GT 400 it would only run full bat on one cylinder, when it could be coaxed to run at all, and was left as too unreliable.
Subsequently the carb was removed and surprise! - One of the throttle butterflies was missing - no wonder it ran flat out on one cylinder! This was rectified and the tractor did run a whole lot better, but not all that reliably. This together with shabby appearance, poor clutch, brakes & steering prompted a re-build.

Again first priority was the front axle, which was removed & stripped, receiving new kingpins, bushes, centre pin etc. All the steering joints were set up and bearings renewed. All components were well worn, particularly the centre pin which was about 50% worn away!

Next the engine. A growing suspicion developed that the missing butterfly might be lurking in the manifold - after all, who would install a carb without it?
The manifold was removed & revealed nothing. Of course 2 of the bolts sheared off - par for the course - and a full mornings work to drill the studs out ensued!
Since a re-ring was on the cards the head had to come off - and once on the bench out fell the missing butterfly!

Obviously the 2 tiny screws had come loose and the disc had slipped through and been sucked down to the inlet valve where it jammed. It had got just far enough to damage the rim of the valve, but luckily there was enough meat to re-face.
From there on the job was straightforward, and the head is back in place. The carb has been completely re-built, and various controls & linkages repaired.
Meanwhile the rear platform has been stripped and the wide distinctive mudguards and bonnet professionally repaired, while the balance of the tractor has been stripped & cleaned, and primed.

Sandstone Heritage Trust- News 

HTN 51 - The Star Article - by Winnie Graham - "Story of an African Farmer"

21st November 2005

Click on the thumbnails to read the article





Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 39 - Article on the Villiersdorp Show Article in The Overburg Venster 4"

Friday 19th August 2005

"Staalmonsters Laat aarde Bewe" - by Bianca Williams

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 84 - Oom Jannie du Toit, one of the great characters of vintage tractor preservation in South Africa

20th April 2005

Oom Jannie du Toit, one of the great characters of vintage tractor preservation in South Africa and certainly the doyen of the International Harvester movement, is seen photographed at Sandstone Estates shortly before the Cosmos Festival.

In the background are two of the International Harvester products that he lovingly restored and which he subsequently placed in the Sandstone Heritage Trust International Harvester collection.

Oom Jannie and Koos Rossouw drove 1500-kms to be with us at Sandstone Estates and we commend him for the effort.

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 83 - Is the Massey Ferguson 135 a vintage tractor, a classic tractor or just a tractor?

12th June 2006

Is the Massey Ferguson 135 a vintage tractor, a classic tractor or just a tractor?

At Sandstone Estates it is everything. We use them as part of our estate management programme. Here is a picture of Baas du Bruin placing the Massey under strain!


Sandstone Heritage Trust - News


"Interesting dialogue regarding an old plough lying at Sandstone Estates. Herewith the full story."

Some time ago, a request was sent out from Sandstone Heritage Trust to Peter Love, Editor of Tractor & Machinery Magazine:
From: Joanne West
Sent: 28 February 2006 15:59
To: Peter Love

Dear Peter,

Your knowledge knows no bounds in the vintage agricultural field. However, here is a puzzle for you. Attached is a 2-furrow plough manufactured by Oliver. The reference in the picture Tugela is obviously South African because we have a Tugela River in Natal. GA Fichardt & Co. is obviously somebody who manufactured under licence. Anyway, the question here is what is the contraption on the top of the 2-furrow Oliver plough? There is a motion that when you turn the wheel lifts a bar in front with the same type of motion as a steam engine. This is not for publication, I just wondered if it rang a bell with you?

Best regards,

Wilfred E. Mole

I then wrote in and said:

Hello Wilf, Did Peter Love ever come back to you about the contraption on the Oliver Plough?
The penny dropped when I noticed the second hole on the bull gear under Baas' hand.
That's an alternate stroke setting for a different pump cylinder.
Pump cylinder? Yes, as in borehole pump!
It's an open gear Kragkop, which I presume has been put there to weigh the plough down!

Here is a pic of my (almost unused) Malcomess kragkop:

You unfortunately can't see but this can be set to 4 (3?) different strokes, as the contemporary advertisement says:
I've seen all kinds of scrap used here in our gravelly soils (?) OK, ground (!), to help penetration. In fact my restored Deming Oil-Rite kragkop was found wired onto a Ghrop (cultivator) on a farm near here.
I gave the farmer some tractor wheel weights in exchange!


This pump (right) features the patented “Oil-Rite” system of lubrication, where oil is trapped between the teeth of the pinion and main gear, and is forced up to the top of the
pump, where it lubricates the small-end bearing, and slide. It is shown operating a dummy-pump, which would have been positioned at the bottom of the borehole, connected by a series of rods. The pump did service for many years as a weight on a
spring tine cultivator (ghrop), on the farm Weltevreden, Elgin, by Mr Patrick Murray, until swopped for more suitable weights.
Restored by Andy Selfe. Restoration consisted only of freeing off seized shafts, a good clean, paint, the making up of the dummy pump, and mounting over a suitable tank for display purposes.

Then I noticed something else:
The picture isn't clear as to what the con-rods are doing towards the front of the plough.
But as I said it was that extra hole in the bullgear that did it. Now looking a bit closer that angled-up bar below Arno's left hand clinches it. That is the bracket that the diagonal stay-rod passes through.
The angled-up bracket on my Malcomess Kragkop, which in this case is cast, the one on the Oliver plough is a bent-up steel plate. I have turned the bullgear so that the holes are visible for alternate pump strokes:
Now the fun will be to identify the kragkop on the Oliver plough, for instance Dusty Erickson found this one in Old Mexico recently (minus conrods), and it is of a different make:

In this case, the angled-up bracket is part of the casting. Clearly visible are three holes for different strokes.
Are there any casting marks of other identifying marks of the one at Sandstone?

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 64 - “Tractor Art”

17th March 2005
Having been on the receiving end of many items of equipment over the years we have tended to park them in sheds. Many have been restored, but many will never be restored. Our new policy is to begin to use the unrestored items in an imaginative way, so that they bring back images of the past.

This collection of two tractors, a windmill and an old galvanised reservoir were collected from different places and assembled near the gate of the Sandstone Heritage Trust. Yes the windmill is lopsided, and yes we did it intentionally!

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 66 - Small Open Day Held at Hogsville

17th March 2005
Hogsville is the alternative destination for Sandstone Heritage Trust preservation.

It’s a small farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg which was purchased in 1960 and which has been in use as an agricultural property ever since. The most important link to the Sandstone Heritage Trust is the fact that it has an extensive workshop which is used regularly by volunteers like Charles Viljoen, Neels Booyens and others. They often spend weekends restoring various items. However, it is not all work – there is some play. These pictures show what it is all about.
Amongst other tractors which had an outing was our 12-20
Marshall (below) driven here by Charles Viljoen.
Massey-Ferguson 135 (below) driven by Wilfred Mole. This tractor was
purchased new by his father in 1957.
Apart from the tractors that have
been inherited through family connections, the first vintage tractor
purchased by the Sandstone Heritage Trust was a Series II Field Marshall
contactor’s version purchased in 1982. It is a hard working tractor here
featured with Louis Boshoff. (Below)
Below - A Fowler VF Crawler driven by Frank Viljoen makes zero impact
on the Babala growth. Early summer conditions in South Africa’s agricultural
areas were characterised by very dry conditions.

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 56 - Highly successful Harvest Day held at Brakfontein farm, Western Cape - Article by Andy Selfe

Click on the images for a better view!
The 5th annual Old Time Harvest Day at Brakfontein Farm, between Heidelberg (Cape) and Riversdale was held this year on Saturday 3rd December. Compared with last year's overcast, drizzly conditions, this year's weather was perfect, clear skies, with a South Easterly breeze, ideal for winnowing later in the day! A large field of 'Korog', a cross between wheat and rye, which grows tall enough for the older types of machine to handle, had been planted and was in ideal condition for cutting and immediate threshing.


The show is laid on by the Southern Cape Tractor & Implement Club, which is part of the West Cape Tractor & Engine Club. The farm, and most of the machinery on show belongs to and has been restored, or at least brought into operating condition, one man, Emile Cronje, who was introduced in the opening speech as a little man with lots of courage! He seemed to be everywhere, all day, helping, showing, driving, operating, always with a smile, dressed for the occasion in dungarees and lacking only a straw in his mouth!

Once again, the Old Timers were there to show us how they remember doing the jobs; reaping with sickles and scythes, and then binding by hand with 'matjiesriet' a reed which grows locally, in fact was cultivated in years gone by for the purpose! We were told that a man would go to the field with a bunch of 100 reeds strapped to his waist, and when they were finished, he knew he had tied that many sheaves, and that should equate to 4 bags of grain. Also demonstrated were ways of tying with straw, when other materials were not available.

Next came the Binders. Two wheel-driven models and one Massey Harris Power-Binder. Each drawn behind an age-related tractor. It was easy to see how much hard work these machines saved! Where the sickle team had just done a small corner of the land, the cutters were taking away swaths in seconds and effortlessly binding them.

Stacking of sheaves in the field was demonstrated, in two rows with three layers of sheaves with their ears facing inwards, and the fourth with their stems together to form a rain-fast 'roof'. The sheaves at the ends had a handful of the straw bent inwards at right-angles, and the next sheaf was laid on top of that, to prevent the outer one from becoming dislodged.

These sheaves were then loaded on to a wagon and taken to a Massey Harris steel Threshing Machine and fed in. This machine is fascinating to watch with all its swinging arms working in unison on the outside of the metal body. Previously a perfectly-formed round stack had been prepared next to a McCormick Deering Threshing Machine, this being an art in itself. Soon both threshers were working flat-out, and the bags were filling. The next demonstrations were first sewing the bags, and then the various ways of lifting them, either with one man or two. Those of us city-slickers were laughed at for swinging a bag up on to the trailer. The correct way, we were told, is to crouch with bended knees at each end of the bag, having made yourself two 'handles' if you had the bottom of the bag, by pushing your fingers into the bag and making a 'pocket', and then simply standing up, and continuing to lift with your arms, not losing the momentum of the initial lift! Still tiring, but much easier!

A John Deere Stationary Baler was then used to work some of the straw into very neat wire-tied bales.

A new aspect to this Harvest Day was a demonstration by three Blacksmiths, Conrad Hicks making himself a pair of tongs and a knife while we watched! He explained that he uses charcoal from the local 'Rooikranz' wood, and that it takes him 45 minutes to make two days worth of fuel! Also shown were examples of finely wrought Damascus steel, with up to three colours, worked into intricate patterns and polished. There was a shortage of bag-sewing needles, and Conrad has been asked to make some more!

The first public appearance of a Gleaner Combine Harvester followed. Emile had restored this machine by this time last year, but still lacked a pair of gears which have been made in the meantime. This machine has the cutters on the left of the machine, like the earlier binders, and this, we were told, makes it difficult to use with other machines which are operated clockwise around the land. This restoration is a credit to its owner! Powered by its own Wisconsin V4 air-cooled engine, it was being towed without any difficulty by a Farmall A.

Two H V McKay Sunshine Headers were then driven into the land and went through their paces. Again, a significant advance on the previous method of first using binders, collecting the sheaves, and either first stacking them or feeding them directly into threshing machines.

Two Cockshutt Swathers (Platsnyers) were then demonstrated, preparing windrows for the later model pick-up Combine Harvesters. There were altogether seven of these lumbering beasts on show, one Case, two International, and no less than four Massey Harris! What was more interesting was that every model differed! We had cutter models and pick-up models , we had baggers and bulk machines. The sight of all these machines in the one land, as well as the platsnyers was an incredible sight!

Even more impressive was the fact that there were enough people on hand with the skills to operate them all! The bagger machines had people of all ages sewing as fast as they could!

With that amount of harvesting machinery in the one land, it was not surprising that before long, there wasn't a stalk of the 'korog' standing! Soon the grain was all 'in the bag', sewn, loaded and put away. Then all the machines had to be put away..... until next year! See you all there!

Phew! But what a day!

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 54 - Published letter in the Tractor & Machinery Magazine, Edition December 2005. Letter written by Wilf Mole

Sandstone Estates will forever be known as the farm in the Eastern Free State of South Africa where the World Record Vintage Tractor Ploughing initiative commenced. We broke the record in 1999, the Australians broke it in 2001 and then we broke it again in 2002. Subsequently, the record has been broken a number of times by Ireland and Australia and the challenge has now been moved to New Zealand in 2006. Tractor & Machinery Magazine has followed the development very closely over the years and we in touch have stayed in touch with them. The attached letter in the December 2005 edition refers.

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 52 - Come and join us at Sandstone Estates for our annual Harvest Festival!

Come and join us at Sandstone Estates for our annual Harvest Festival!

Join us at the Harvest Festival as the sound of steam welcomes in the New Year at Sandstone Estates. The festival will take place on the 1st and 2nd of January 2006. With a vast collection of veteran and vintage agricultural machinery; The Sandstone Heritage Trust will fire up a number of steam traction engines and stationary engines to bring in the harvest, recreating days gone by. The vintage tractor collection will also be brought into play with a great variety of these venerable machines hauling equally old ploughs and harvesting machines.

This show is targeted at families and people who enjoy farm life and who are classic and vintage agricultural machinery enthusiasts. A wide variety of harvesting equipment will be deployed harvesting wheat. There will be ploughing matches, steam threshing and rides, rides and more rides.

If you are interested in participating as a driver of a vintage agricultural machine, please email Chris Wilson at : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The success of these events depends on participation by knowledgeable people and we invite members of the South African Vintage Tractor and Engine Club to join us using one of our vintage agricultural tractors. The oldest working tractor at this event was built in 1909.

This is a two day event and it is very much targeted at people who would like to understand what farm mechanisation looked like in the first half of the last century.

View some of the photographs from the Harvest Day of 2005...

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 45 - It's World Record time again in the vintage tractor fraternity!

New Zealand have announced that they will be having a go at the World Record in April 2006.

The world record attempt for vintage tractors started at Sandstone Estates in 1999. We broke the record with 99 tractors and the following year the Australians responded with just under 200 tractors. Not to be outdone Sandstone Estates came back with a huge total of 797 tractors in 2002. Then things really got interesting with the Irish beating that record with nearly 2,000 tractors and Australia having a go last year with even more than that. Now New Zealand have decided to enter the fray.

The event has become slightly less vintage and classic tractor orientated with many people now counting the total number of tractors regardless of age. However, from a purist standpoint the original vintage tractor record ploughing attempts were perhaps more fun, more gentile and certainly more true to the original definition of what it is that we are all trying to achieve.

To capture the history of this event we are promoting three videos of the first three world record attempts. These include The Great 100 Working at Sandstone Estates in 1999, Plough and be Counted in Australia 2001 and The Great 400 Working at Sandstone Estates in 2002. The purchase price for these three top class videos is R199 for the set. A similar package at a similar price will shortly be offered to our international internet subscribers for delivery ex-UK.
Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further enquiries

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 43 - Vintage Combine Ex. Lesotho

The Massey Harris 60, found in Lesotho is part of a very famous family of self-propelled combines. M-H pioneered the concept of self-propelled combines, firstly with the model 20, soon replaced by the famous 21. This was the first practical machine of its type for the average small grain farmer, and found immediate favour with Prairie farmers in North America. During the war, most Ag machinery production was curtailed in favour of military vehicles and munitions, but M-H managed to convince the government that the 21 would make an appreciable difference to food production, and production was boosted. So began the famous Harvesting campaign, with fleets of 21’s starting in the South and moving North up the continent as the wheat ripened – immortalised in the film “Wild Harvest”.

Some 21’s were exported to Britain to help with food production, which eventually led to M-H building a Combine factory in Kilmarnock, Scotland.
The 21 spawned a whold series of similar, but improved machines, firstly the 26, then the 60, 80, 82 and 92.

British variants, with either Austin TVO or Perkins Diesel engines as opposed to the Canadian Chrysler, were the 726 and 780. France produced the 892 with a Perkins P6 Diesel.
Massey Ferguson claimed in the late 50’s that some 75% of the World’s harvest was reaped with M-F combines! A tall story perhaps, but certainly the classic M-H design was enormously popular and dependable.

MODEL: 60RT-965-614K93

Sandstone’s 60 has a “Chrysler 6 Cylinder Side Valve” engine. Despite being outside for many years, it appears restorable and will no doubt soon be at work again. By it’s registration, it appears to have originally been sold in Clocolan. It is not clear how long it has been in Lesotho.

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 26 - Very rare aged Stock tractor

The Sandstone Heritage Trust has in its possession an aged Stock tractor which is very rare. It is at Sandstone under an arrangement with the Bathurst Museum in the Eastern Cape. We were astonished and delighted to discover a picture of a working Stock tractor in a publication which was produced presumably by the British Authorities during the First World War.

The publication is a detailed, yet sad and disturbing account of the progress of the First World War. It is mostly propaganda orientated and of course very anti-German. One of the points there were making is that the German were obliged to plough up their parade grounds and the caption for this photograph reads “The food question in Germany is becoming serious and every available scrap of ground is being utilised by planting crops. The photograph shows the famous Templehoffer Military Parade Ground near Berlin being ploughed up for this purpose.

The Sandstone Heritage Trust will now have to find a parade ground which they will have to plough with their wonderful Stock tractor!