I took this black and white photograph of a Massey Ferguson tractor recently when I visited the Findon Sheep Fair, an annual event held in the beautiful South Downs National Park. I had enjoyed a busy day photographing the sheep, rural craft demonstrations, judging and creating general shots in which I tried to capture an annual event that dates back hundreds of years. A little tired and in need of a good cuppa (Definition of Cuppa - A cup of tea, nice and milky with two sugars or one if my girlfriend reads this!) I walked back to my car and spotted this rusty old tractor. It was part of a small collection of vintage tractors on display in the corner of the field. I'm not really a big tractor, car or even engine fan, but a crowd had gathered and ever inquisitive I thought a look was required. As I watched for a while my admiration grew, I smiled as children pushed and shoved, eager to take their turn sat in the driver's seat. It seemed that the seat was the prized goal as the children jostled for position eager to reach it. I observed that once this objective had been reached the winner was allowed to make engine noises as loud as possible whilst pretending to drive the tractor so mum or dad could take an iPhone photo for Facebook.
As I watched waiting to take my photos, I thought that if I was an old tractor, this is probably the way I would like to spend my last days. Being well looked after by a friendly tractor enthusiast and wheeled out in the summer months to various country fairs to be sat on and photographed. To be climbed on, driven and to play a part in a child's lasting memory of a fun family day out.
So to all the old tractors out there, for all your years of hard work ploughing the fields in all weathers, may your tyres stay inflated, your engines keep running smooth and your twilight years be filled with laughing children wanting to drive you home. Here's my tribute to you in a few of my favourite photographs.
Prints as always can be purchased via my photography print store. Till next time keep safe and those lenses sparkling, Scott the photographer.
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