Rolling back the years
A BLAST from the past rolled into Little Chalfont at the weekend.
‘Black Jack’ enjoyed a quiet drink at the Sugar Loaves Inn in Little Chalfont on Saturday (July 30) evening with the Honour family, who lovingly restore and drive it on behalf of the trustees of TT Boughton and Sons family, the last remnants of the 100 years of agricultural engineering in Bell Lane, Amersham Common.
Black Jack , from the stable of John Fowler of Leeds, arguably one of the greatest traction engine manufacturers, was originally given to Tom Boughton of Chenies Manor on his 21st birthday in 1897 and the engine led Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Procession through Reading in 1899.
Tom’s father John Henry farmed all the local land from Chenies to Raans Farm and beyond as a tenant of the Duke of Bedford, but Tom favoured solving agricultural engineering problems and manufacturing and servicing fleets of traction engines over farming.
Gillian Boughton Willmore, who now lives and works in Durham, said: “It was an exciting period to be at the forefront of traction engine engagement.
“Having been brought up in Little Chalfont I was driving through by chance when visiting my mother Betty Boughton on Saturday evening when what should I see but this most distinguished and beloved engine of the original Boughton fleet.
“Imagine my surprise as Tom’s granddaughter to be driving through Little Chalfont when Black Jack, the pearl of the fleet, was resting beside the road. The last survivor.”
Tens of Boughton engines were broken-up at the end of the Second World War after they had contributed to the war effort by ploughing, cultivating and threshing the land from Kent to Northamptonshire under the inspired organisation and leadership of Gillian Boughton Willmore’s father John Henry Boughton OBE (1918-1992).
Hundreds of men worked for TT Boughton and Sons of Bell Lane, Amersham Common, until 1999.
Visit: TT Boughton & Sons last surviving traction engine Black Jack was in Little Chalfont on Saturday