Club News

by alan

VHGMC in the Telegraph newspaper 2009

March 3, 2018 in Club News

In April 2009 the Telegraph newspaper ran an excellent article about the VHGMC with the headline of ‘Down Tools? Not these vintage gems’.

The Telegraph article can be read online and can be found at:

The VHGMC featured in the Telegraph newspaper in 2009 –  Click this image for a larger version


by alan

Ireland’s first golf course gang mower with Cletrac – 1922

August 20, 2017 in Club News

Although this article is about trialing machinery on an Irish golf course, it is also a good example of engine powered machinery and mechanisation taking over from horses.

In October 1922 A newspaper in Ireland printed the following image along with a text article, describing and depicting a tractor and set of gang mowers during a demonstration at Malone Golf Links, Dublin:

Squint at the image a bit and try to see what is shown…..

Cletrac Crawler

Being of not the best scanned quality the machinery depicted is at best blurry and indistinct. But as with many images the detail can be deciphered to a degree anyway. The means of towing the mowers is a Cletrac crawler (similar machine shown right) and the gang mowers are, as we later discovered a set of Ransomes gang mowers. 

Almost a year later in September 1923 another Irish newspaper printed the following photo shown below with the caption that ‘This motor lawn-mower is at present at work on the Malone Golf Links, Belfast. It is the first of it’s kind introduced into Ireland‘. 

From that statement we can assume it is the first golf course gang mower that they had, rather than their first mower. Image below.

The images at the top of the page show three gangs yet the image above shows more – actually five. The Cletrac model shown would also have been new around the early 1920’s too. 

Additionally some text in the 1922 newspaper with the first image tells us about the demonstration of Ransome’s triple mowers at Malone golf links, all arranged by T & J McErvel, Victoria Square, Belfast. Dealers names and addresses are always useful for research. 

The golf course had been trialing the Ransomes mowers for over twelve months – so they must have started in mid-1921. However the mowers had been drawn by a single horse with the three gang mowers cutting a seven-foot width of grass. They then tried five gangs (shown above) and had to use two light horses or a 17hp Cletrac tractor. The tractor ‘being the caterpillar type‘ does not mark or injure the ground in any way. 

McErvel, Belfast, advert showing that they were agents for Ransomes as well as having a working Cletrac tractor on their stand at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Show, May 1923.

Apparently a similar combination had been employed on the Neasden Golf Links near London and they were able to cut an area of eighty acres in four days or twenty acres per day of 7.5 hours each. The cost of the tractor was 2s per hour (so were Cletracs used on several golf courses??)  and in comparison with horses there was a saving of £7 per week after allowing for depreciation. It used to take four men and four horses one week to cut the same area of fairways. So here the Cletrac and gangs is starting to use less labour as well as being quicker and cheaper and presumably easier than using horses.

At the 1922 demonstration several golf clubs were present to see the machinery in action. Additionally Mr Tom McErvel represented the local agents, Mr J H Cathcart of Dublin represented Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies. Mr Alexander Milligan represented H.G.Burford & Co Ltd makers of the Cletrac tractor

Wonder what happened to the horses once the Cletrac and mowers took over?

A little more information about Ransomes in Ireland from an 1895 newspaper column (image below) in The Belfast Newsletter reads: “Celebrated Lawn Mowers, – A large consignment of Ransome’s famous machines has just reached their Sole Ulster Depot, and should be inspected by all lovers of nice lawns and tennis courts. These mowers have been largely supplied to local Golf Clubs, and the best families in North of Ireland. Ransome’s New Sweeping Machine for lawns, paths, and the public parks has also reached Belfast. – Address of Depot, 14 Lombard Street (T. EDENS OSBORNE’S well known Warehouse). Free trial against any other make – British or Foreign. Mowers sent carriage paid to any Railway Station in Ulster. Write for illustrated catalogue“.

1895 Ireland Ransomes mower advert


by alan

Newark Vintage Tractor Show Entries 2016 & Video from 2015

August 22, 2016 in Club News

VHGMC STand Newark Tractor Show 2015
Newark Vintage Tractor Show on the 12th and 13th November is fast approaching and the closing date for entries is the 16th September. 

Entry forms can be found at:

The VHGMC also has a video of images from the 2015 show to see what was there:

New Item for Club Shop

October 26, 2015 in Club News

As hinted at in the forum, there will be a new addition to the club shop’s stock ready for the Newark Show. In a complete departure from the normal stock of clothing with the club’s badge embroidered on, this new item is a “must” for any Trusty owner.

If you have a Trusty that will not disengage drive on tick over, the chances are that your clutch springs are either broken or stretched and if you continue to use it you run the risk of ruining your steering dog clutches or worse, having an accident. Now, you can buy new, replacement clutch springs to transform the performance of your Trusty.

Use the email link on the “Club Merchandise” tab at the top of the page to send our shopkeeper an email to order a pair.

by charlie

Website database cleanse

October 12, 2015 in Club News

It is now 2 years since the new website went live and time for a clean up of the website membership database. Any user id’s that have not been used for a year or more will be deactivated. If you are having problems accessing the forum please use the ‘contact’ link to inform the admin team.

Club Shop Now Online

April 9, 2015 in Club News

SnipMugsThe ideal accessories for your show exhibit. Fly the flag and show that you are part of the only club that caters for all things vintage and horticultural. Whether it’s just an enamel badge, windscreen sticker  or a weatherproof jacket there is something to suit everyone; if there is something that you would like that you can’t see, why not drop Shopkeeper a line and ask him if he can do it?
You can pay by cheque, postal order or PayPal (he even takes cash!). Distance is no object either- he has just sent a club banner to a member in Australia- so let’s see everyone sporting club clothing around the shows this year.

Stop Press- Club shop now has hats for Christmas!

November 30, 2014 in Club News

Warm hat club logo Warm hat mini GnomeNEW ITEM IN THE VHGMC CLUB SHOP.

Keep your head warm this winter!

From 1st December Fleece Hats are available from the club shop.

One size fits all with turn-up band to reveal VHGMC logo. Colour: Indigo Black with embroidered logo in green. Priced at £6.00 each + £3.00 postage. Multiple postage discounts.

Ideal stocking filler for Christmas. 

Contact Shopkeeper: Steve Woollas, 9 Ermine Drive, Navenby, Lincoln, LN5 0HB. 01522 811067. 07973 250661. 

New Ploughing Section

July 7, 2014 in Club News

Ploughing National 2009 037Ploughing National 2009 038We are currently building a new ploughing section which will eventually become a complete reference section for all things to do with men, mud and machinery. Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned ploughman, there will be something here for all. From a Beginner’s Guide to a list of eligible machinery, something will be of interest.
So, once you’ve read the beginner’s guide you can go along to spectate at a local ploughing match to pick up a few tips, then buy your first ploughing tractor to compete with. You can always come along to one of the “Shine up” days in early Autumn to have a play without any pressure. Everyone that tries it seems to enjoy it!

Machinery Registers Now Live

April 11, 2014 in Club News

The first of the machinery registers is now live and more will be added very shortly when time permits. At present it is heavily biased towards Trusty because that’s the register that I compile, but as more people express an interest in publishing their own brand register then it should grow to be quite a useful archive for the club.
To view the registers section, simply click on the “Survivors” tab at the top of the page, then you will see various links at the bottom of the next page that will enable you to navigate to the register that is of interest to you.
Why didn’t I call the tab, “Machinery Registers”? I hear you ask. It’s all about space- if I had used a long name then it would shunt the other tabs off the other end, so a short name is what’s called for.
If any members would like their registers published in this section then please drop me a line via the “Contacts” section.
Thank you for your patience.
Geoff Ravenhall

Coming Soon- Vintage Machinery Registers

April 6, 2014 in Club News

We will very shortly be starting to add content to the website, and the first stage will be to add as many machinery registers that we can so that members can date their own machinery and also to have them included in the register of surviving machines. The intention will be to only publish serial numbers, dates of purchase and selling dealer; details of the current owners will not appear in any form, so if you haven’t told your wife of  your latest purchase you can rest easy, she won’t find out from here!

If any members are interested in putting their registers on here please contact Geoff Ravenhall using the contact email address for the club- don’t forget, this can be a two-way thing. You can provide information about the brand that you are passionate about, but remember also that when people see the listings they may well want to be included so your register will grow as a result.

The first register to appear will be for Trusty Steeds, both Mk1 and Mk2, so watch this space over the next few days.