Re­tire­ment not an op­tion.

While most vin­tage ma­chin­ery sits in sheds col­lect­ing dust, each sum­mer Gor­don and Sue Bad­cock put theirs to work. KAROLIN MACGREGOR re­ports

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

GOR­DON and Sue Bad­cock’s 1943 Al­lis Chalmers Model C trac­tor and their 80-year-old header have re­cently fin­ished har­vest­ing their an­nual oat crop on their prop­erty at Rel­bia.

The header is be­lieved to be one of only about three of that vin­tage still op­er­at­ing in the state.

Orig­i­nally bought by Mrs Bad­cock’s grand­fa­ther Alis­tair Wal­ters at the Chudleigh Show in 1043, the trac­tor has a long fam­ily his­tory.

Mrs Bad­cock said she re­mem­bers the trac­tor from her grand­fa­ther’s farm at Mole Creek.

“Sue had talked about it quite a bit, so I said why don’t we go out and try to find it,” Mr Bad­cock said.

Track­ing down the trac­tor which, had changed hands quite a few times over the years, took about 12 months.

“I’m a bit like a blood­hound, when I get a sniff of some­thing I keep go­ing un­til I find it,” Mr Bad­cock said.

The trac­tor needed quite a lot of work when the Bad­cocks even­tu­ally found it.

Mr Bad­cock sourced new parts from over­seas and re­stored it to al­most new con­di­tion.

The header was bought by Mr Bad­cock from some­one at Cressy about 20 years ago.

Mr Bad­cock said he de­cided to start us­ing the trac­tor and header to har­vest oat crops, which the cou­ple use to feed their sheep.

“I used it to head some oat the other day and it was singing to me all day … it still goes re­ally well,” he said.

The header har­vests the oats into bags which are then sewn up.

It can fill about one bag every 20 min­utes.

Once full the bags are placed on a tray on the har­vester un­til it is full and they are then left in cen­tral ar­eas of the pad­dock to be col­lected later.

Mr Bad­cock said he has al­ways had a keen in­ter­est in vin­tage ma­chin­ery.

“I’ve got this farm­ing thing in my blood and I’ve al­ways like old ma­chin­ery and I’m a me­chanic by trade,” he said.

“I’m and farm kid, both my wife and I are farm kids and you never get it out of your blood.”

The cou­ple run about 25 suf­folk ewes on their prop­erty.

Each year they sell the lambs pro­duced by the ewes and use the money to put to­wards a hol­i­day.

The Bad­cocks took the vin­tage trac­tor back to the Chudleigh Show where it was orig­i­nally pur­chased a cou­ple of years ago and said they may take it there again this year.

“It al­ways cre­ates a lot of in­ter­est,” Mr Bad­cock said.

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