Rolling back the years

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NOSTAL­GIA - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

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

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