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
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.