Banbury & District Vintage Ploughing Society

                                                    NEWSLETTERS  AND NEWS

                                                      VICE CHAIRMANS REPORT    YEAR 2023-2024


Under Bryan Palmer’s chairmanship in 2023 the club held nine matches raising 1000.00 for charity. We also attended the Letchlade and Bloxham steam rallies with a display of member’s tractors promoting the club.

This February this year we heard of the sad news of Bryan’s passing. He had been our chairman for eleven years and will be sorely missed.

We held the Broughton match in memory of Bryan, raising 260.00 at the match which was topped up by the club to 500.00. This amount was donated to the Katherine House Hospice. One more match was held at Middle Aston and a skittles match against the Bicester club which we won. I’m sure Bryan would have been very pleased as he always enjoyed the skittles night.

Having now been elected as chairman it will be a hard act to follow but every effort will be made together with our committee members to keep the club alive and healthy for the future.

Graham Trower

   March  2024

       Today, Tuesday 30th January, we have received the sad news that Bryan Palmer passed away  this morning.
       Any further information will be posted here in Newsletters.
       It has been agreed by the committee that the next match should go ahead as planned.

     The recent ploughing match at Hinton in the Hedges raised  250.00 for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance Fund.

Notes on concerns raised at our recent committee meeting  10/5/23

Grey Ferguson Ploughs

It has come to our attention that there are several ploughs being used that have been modified by enabling the rear leg to be repositioned by adding another mounting hole. The use of this modification is against the Ferguson Heritage rules and therefore renders the plough ineligible to be used in a Ferguson class at a match.

We, as a ploughing society, must ensure that our ploughmen comply with these rules as indeed with the S.O.P rules on other classes.

Should competitors wish to continue using these modified ploughs then they will have to be entered in the Vintage Mounted class. We hope that a permanent reversal of these modifications would ensure that the Ferguson class remains as well attended as it does now.


Judge’s verbal abuse

A reminder to all that the judge’s decision is final and that on no account should they be approached to discuss their scoring. Any queries on scoring such as errors should be discussed with our committee members after the match has concluded.

Finding suitable judges is increasingly difficult and it must remembered that they give up their free time for us and should be treated with the respect they deserve.


CHAIRMAN’S REPORT     February 2023

I start to write this report with a reminder to you all. Last April, at the North Aston match and last August at the Sandford match, grass strips were marked out in order to keep us off the grass however people still managed to ignore this and parked on the grass. Please do not!

We have had a funny season with several matches postponed being either too dry, too wet, or too frozen. Stratford match was postponed 3 times and my phone bill said that I made 114 local calls, nearly all for that one match.

Sadly in the past year we lost two ploughmen, Archie Harris and Dave Williams. Our condolences go to their families. As I write this report we have also learnt that Henry Prince passed away last week, another regular ploughman who will be sorely missed.

We had a pleasant visit last summer to Andrew Bourn’s amazing collection of David Brown tractors. We were made very welcome and were even provided with refreshments.

The match at North Aston in April raised 450 pounds for the Fire Brigade. This included their own raffle which they ran themselves.

At the Bloxham rally our stand was positioned at the bottom hedge on the Saturday and very few people visited us. However for the Sunday we were moved to a better site and had many more visitors.

This past weekend at Hill Wooton, we participated in the first Shires Ploughing Club contest against five other teams, all ploughing Ferguson, Classic, Vintage mounted, Vintage trailed and Classic reversible classes and am pleased to report that our club came third.

I end this report on a personal note as I want to thank you all for your thoughts and kind words concerning my health. Thank you very much!

Bryan Palmer

     May 17th 2022
    We were saddened today to learn of the passing of Archie Harris last week, a long time member of our ploughing community and someone who will be sorely missed at our matches. His funeral will be held on June 7th at the Oxford Crematorium at 12 noon. We hope as many members as possible will be able to attend to pay our respects.


Here we are again, putting pen to paper, the one job I do not like doing!

Covid 19 has put paid to a lot of our events but since then we have had more of a full season so far with 3 or 4 more matches yet to come.

Changes are being made regarding the use of fuel for non-agricultural purposes. Those with petrol or TVO tractors will be unaffected but diesel users will have to be careful…

We have had 2 matches for charity this season, one at the Richard Bywaters match at Sulgrave where Graham Trower was heavily involved with organising, raising 1000 for the Kathrine House Hospice. The other match at Dadford, again involving Graham, raised 640 for the Buckingham Hospital.

This year we are holding our AGM again at Bodicote Cricket Clubhouse where your votes for the Committee members will be requested. Subscriptions for this year will shortly be due….

On a personal note I apologise for missing the match at Dadford due to my ongoing leg problems coupled with an unpleasant reaction to my Covid booster jab which knocked me for six!

That’s all for now and hope to see you at the AGM.

Bryan Palmer

                                                                  CHAIRMANS REPORT  JUNE 2021
             Well,  after a very strange few months of Covid 19 derived regulations we can almost see light at the end of the tunnel.
              We were able to hold a couple of 'socially distanced' out-door committee meetings during that time with sadly very little to discuss.

               Recently we have been rocked with the sad news that three of our long standing members had passed away.
               Pete Jarvis, the founding father of our Society,  Phil Dodd and Viv Hughes, all of whome were regular ploughmen and stalwart                                   supporters of our Society.
                 Our heart felt condolences go out to their families and friends.
                We were able to support Phil Dodd's  funeral procession from Hempton to Deddington with15 odd tractors which I'm sure he
                would  have appreciated.

               On a lighter note I have been busy talking to farmers sorting out matches in the hope we can proceed as normal in the coming
               Hopefully this will include having our trailer back in the field with Jackie attending, and also some catering. See the events page.

               Finally I hope that we can get back to our regular skittles nights and attend some rallies.
               I also have to remind those members who are yet to renew their subscriptions that they are now due!

              Bryan Palmer

            UPDATE  02/02/21 :-



               As a society we are obliged to elect our forthcoming committee members which would normally be done at our AGM meeting.

               Because this cannot be held, we propose to re-elect all current committee personel en-mass unless there are any specific 

               objections / suggestions  from any of our paid up members received by the 20th of February.

               This will include re-election of Officers :-  

               Brian Palmer  Chairman,  San Hitchman  Vice Chairman,   Bob Butlin   Secretary,  Graham Clifton  Treasurer.

               Plus approval of Accounts as shown below.

            The AGM also coincides with the annual subscription renewal date , cheques can be sent to:-

                    Graham Clifton, Steadman Cottage, Middle Aston, Bicester, Oxon, OX25 5PZ 




I’m putting pen to paper to let you know the Club is still active!

What a horrible year we have had. We lost matches in the spring due to wet conditions and then Covid 19 descended upon us.

Our last Club night had to be abandoned and there was nothing to go to during the summer.

We did manage to hold two club matches in August including the Sodbuster’s Richard Bywaters Memorial Match which generated 1040.00 which we sent to Catherine House Hospice. The Sodbusters having been disbanded and generously handed over some of their matches to our Club.

We were able to hold three Committee meetings during the summer held both in my garden and in the farm’s grain store whilst ‘socially distancing’.

Many of you no doubt spent some Covid lockdown time renovating your tractors and ploughs which we would love to see pictures of and maybe stories which could be posted on the website. Please send to

December is here again but with no Quiz nights go to, all can offer is to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a happy new year with the hope we can all get back to normal next year.


Bryan Palmer

             Founder member Peter Jarvis has relinquished his presidency of the Society after 20 plus years and we were pleased
             to propose Bob Wooberry as our new President at the recent Rousham charity match which he gracefully accepted.
  CHAIRMANS REPORT    June  2019

I started this report with an apology to you all for the premature end to our ploughing season. I did try to find more land because of a dry spring the farmers all wanted to sow their crops early.

Stratford upon Avon was the last match and what a day that was. We had a film crew with Henry Cole and Sam Lovegrove filming for ‘Find it Fix it Drive it’ program. This was shown on May 1st at 9.00 pm. The TV time was good for the club even though Bob, Graham and myself only got 30 seconds each!

I would like to offer Sam and Josie Hitchman the Club’s congratulations on being together for 50 years! I think that deserves some sort of medal!

At the AGM in February it was revealed that only 53 of you had paid their subscriptions last year. These are due annually by February and the Club relies on these funds to be able to operate efficiently. We are going to try a new idea by re-introducing the card system by way of a receipt, whereby you will be issued with a card upon payment which needs to be shown when booking into matches to avoid having to pay the non-members rate.

We will try and issue these cards at the next ploughing match with the help of our records which hopefully are up to date!

We would like you to welcome our new safety officer Richard Cook. It’s not an enviable task so please remember the purpose is to keep us all safe!

The new season ploughing schedule is slowly being put together so please keep an eye open for events the web site.

See below Nigel Pantry's  report on the events of  the TV coverage of the Stratford match.

 Also congratulations to Lily and Glen on the safe arrival of their baby son Logan in Australia in January!

That’s all and let’s hope we will have another successful BDVPS season.


Bryan Palmer
                                Stratford Match TV Report:-

BDVPS Member Nigel Pantry was approached last September to take part in the More4 television series “Find It, Fix It, Drive It” as part of the episode in which Henry Cole and Sam Lovegrove restore a Massey Ferguson 135, purchased from Patrick Edwards, and then use it in a ploughing match. Nigel was recommended to Henry as a local ploughman who could give them some tuition. After several cancelled days due to Henry’s other filming commitments, Nigel met them for a day on a field of green sand on one of the farms that Nigel works on. He used the 1967 Ford 3000 that he bought from Bryan Palmer last summer, and the Ransomes TS59N that his daughter Lily has used in many Banbury matches behind her Grandfather’s little Grey Fergie. Henry and Sam enjoyed several hours of using this well matched outfit, and the footage of the ploughing shows how ideal the conditions were. Unfortunately, they were not able to bring the outfit that was the subject of the programme, and their first furrows with it were at the January BDVPS Stratford match, at which several members including Bob Butlin, Graham Clifton and Pete Shirley, quickly pointed out the problems with their set up. However, they had a go, thoroughly enjoyed meeting the ploughmen, were genuinely thankful to the society for having them there, and got some great footage for their programme.

  Nigel Pantry

I think we gave you a pretty fair 2017-2018 ploughing season, although there were a few nightmares for me ...
Firstly for the October Aynho match there were 90 ploughmen booked in and 88 of you turned up.
So two matches in three fields on one farm on the same day with normal and qualifying classes!

Secondly the December Bruern match had to be postponed due to bad weather forecast for that day.
I looked out of the window that morning to see 10 inches of snow! The match was cancelled twice more before we ran it in March. Consequently next years match will be held in March !

In May we had another great fun day at Adrian Lamb's farm at Sibford where over 500 was raised for various charities. The cakes were soft but the ground was very hard!
Also in  May we were  treated to a viewing of an impressive collection of Ferguson tractors courtesy of  John Rogers at Hook Norton.

We had an invitation to put on a tractor display at the Young  Farmers Rally in Witney. It was at the Rally that I took part in a tug of war between my B275 tractor and a bunch of children! Believe it or not they pulled me backwards with my wheels spinning for grip!

Once again we are always on the lookout for more land to plough so if any of you could make enquiries as we could do with a couple more matches to top off our season.

On a happy note I would like to offer the Clubs congratulations to Nigel an Flo Pantry on the marriage of their daughter Lily to Ben, at Easter in Australia! All the best for their future.

 Bryan Palmer


             The following club members achieved excellent results in Somerset :-

                 Trailed                                Max Cherry                     4th

                                                             James Cook       best young farmer

                  Oat seed                            John Broomfield             4th & 3rd

                 Horticultural                       Dave Williams                  1st  

                                                              Alistair Hett                       5th

                 Mounted                             Richard Ingram                1st

                  Classic                              John Cole                        1st  

                  Crawler                              Richard Cook                  3rd

 CHAIRMANS REPORT      July 2017

  Well I don’t think we gave you a bad ploughing season last time.

  During the summer I have been talking to farmers to put together matches

  for this coming season.

   We have two new farms to visit this year, one at Chippy and one at

  Barford St. John.

  Also hopefully there are still two or three more matches yet to be confirmed.

 During the summer we went to the young farmers rally at Wittenham.

  At the end of June we  had our stand at the Bloxham Rally manned once again

 by Sam and  Josie Hitchman and our thanks goes to them.

  Members also enjoyed a Ferguson evening out courtesy of Andrew Drinkwater

  viewing his  impressive collection of the marque.

  On a sad note Peter Brown passed away earlier this year.

  Wishing all our members an enjoyable forthcoming ploughing season.

 Bryan Palmer



The ploughing season is here again with a full program this side of Xmas.

We are however looking for land to hold 2 to 3 matches in the New Year.

Looking back we had a very good match at Broughton in the Spring and many thanks to Olie Turner for getting the land and to Dennis Smith for going back the next day to finish ploughing the whole field!

Once again we were invited to Adrian Lamb’s fun day match at Sibford in May where 360.00 was raised for Katherine House Hospice.

Also our Bloxham Rally stand was again a great success thanks to Sam and Josie Hitchman and to Tom Routledge for setting it all up.

We were invited to visit a collection of crawler tractors courtesy of Roger Fox and arranged by Peter Shirley (his old stomping grounds!) A very interesting evening with tea and cakes laid on by our host.

Bryan Palmer

For Sale:-



 Well it’s nearly time to start ploughing again.

 Land however is easier to lose than to find! I am looking for two more farmers willing to

  host a match.  Please help if you are aware of a field that might be suitable.

 Our last outing at Sibford with the Lamb family raised 312 for Katherine House Hospice

 and was a very enjoyable day.

 We also arranged a farm visit to Jersey Manor Farm at Somerton to see a robotic milking  parlour set up. Sadly this was not very well attended with only about 10 or 12 people 

 turning up.

 One other thing we did again this summer was to have a stand at the Bloxham Rally.

This was a huge success largely thanks to Sam and Josie Hitchman who organised it

 all and also to Tom Routledge for giving up his time to get the trailer there.

 We have two S.O.P. qualifying matches again this year with the Horticultural one at the      Warriner School at Bloxham and the main one at Charles McClaren’s farm at Aynho.



Bryan Palmer

CHAIRMANS REPORT     December 2014

The Cup Match at Aynho was extremely close to being over booked yet five people who booked a plot didn’t turn up. If you cannot plough then please inform me at least the day before so other people who may be on the waiting list can plough.

On a sad note at the beginning of November we were informed of the passing of Donald Bowler. He will be sadly missed in the vintage world as will his reports in the Tractor magazine.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable land for our matches due partly to the trend of minimum tillage so our furrows are not desired. We therefore urge all club members to ask around and if any land is available please let me know.

To clarify our take on prize money awarded at a match, this will only apply to those ploughmen who stayed on for the prize giving.

December is a very busy month for me with Bicester, Risborough and North Bucks having invited us to their quiz nights as well as our usual committee meeting and not to forget my annual rock concert to go to.

Wishing all our members a happy Christmas and let’s hope for a good seasons ploughing next year.

 Bryan Palmer.



 The following club members achieved excellent results in Hampshire:- 
                           Mike Taylor                      2nd 

Oat seed                            Graham Soule                  5th

Horticultural                        Sam Hitchman                 3rd

                                           Dave Williams                   5th



In my last report I was pleased to say that all matches up to Christmas went ahead on schedule and we did not even get wet!

After Christmas it did rain and I did get phone calls regarding the match intended at Islip. The answer given was that if you have a boat with linkage arms and the judges had wet-suits then the match was possible! Needless to say the field was under water….

We held two matches in the spring. The first being at North Aston on grass and beautiful sandy soil, however this made visible every possible mistake and not one thing could be hidden from the judges.  We were also welcomed back by David Morrell at Middle Barton which proved very popular with the ploughmen.

A fun day was held at Adrian Lamb’s farm at Sibford with 350 being raised for Katherine House Hospice and a further 132 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Also at the end of May a visit was on offer to see Paul Ambler’s collection of 35 vintage tractors and modern machinery. Again this proved to be very popular and a big thanks to Paul for this rare opportunity.

At the end of June the club had a stand at the Bloxham Rally. This was very successful and thanks  to Sam Hitchman for organising it and all those who contributed to make it a successful weekend.

At the forthcoming Rousham match we will be holding an extra class for oat seed high-cut. This class will start earlier at 9am and finish at 2pm.

At the moment we have several children wishing to plough and I have been to discuss this with the N.F.U. to get a ruling on this matter. At the age of 13 they are allowed to plough on privately owned land. They cannot plough on public land, e.g. owned by the church, until they are 16. They must of course be insured and have parental supervision.


Bryan Palmer

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT           January 2014


I started the last chairman’s report with the words  ”Well what season that was!”

All going well so far for all the matches ploughed and all on the allocated dates!

Only one match was the weather in doubt and then I phoned a friend who gave me a weather report from his computer which he said had never been wrong yet.

The club dinner was an excellent night with a good meal and a somewhat dodgy speaker….

December was a very busy month. On Tuesday 3rd, five of us went to the Bicester club’s quiz night. 

On Saturday the 7th  I went to Guildford for a night of live music followed by the next day a ploughing match at Churchill, where I lent my tractor to Jamie Cook to plough. On the 11th a committee meeting, then the following evening a trip to Bledlow for the Risborough club’s quiz night. On the 16th  Ten Pin bowling with the North Aston farm personnel in Bicester. Then on the 18th  there was the North Bucks quiz night where four of us attended, teaming up with  Gerald Bootman and his wife and Brian Stilwell.

 In all, for me anyway, a very busy month!

That’s all for now.


Bryan Palmer



 The following club members achieved excellent results in Heredfordshire:- 

CLASS 8      HORTICULTURAL                   Dave Williams         1ST

                                                                          Sam Hitchman         5TH

CLASS 11    CLASSIC                                  Hugo Hoyle             4TH

CLASS 12    OAT SEED                               Peter Shirley           5TH

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT           July 2013


 Well what a season that was!  Only two matches before Christmas then three matches and a fun day at two week intervals during April and May.

 The Derek Blunn charity match at Basil Page’s farm plus the fun day at Sibford courtesy of Adrian Lamb raised a total of 1157 for Katherine House Hospice, a grand effort by all concerned.

  I have been informed that their next newsletter will include an article on our Derek Blunn inspired charity ploughing matches where between 2003 and 2013 a total of 22,000 has been raised!

  We are also going to hold a match to raise money for the Warriner School Farm in Bloxham. The farm has lost its government funding of 40,000.p.a.  Please help us to raise some much needed money on the first Sunday in October.

   I must have a moan about litter being left behind at ploughing matches, which apart from giving the club a bad name could cause the loss of a venue.

 On the 14th May I had the sad task of attending the funeral of Richard Watts of Byfield. Our condolences go to his family.

  On a lighter note I am pleased to announce the birth of Eleaner Meridith weighing in at 8lb 9oz on June 18th. Congratulations to Claire Guard and Paul Ambler.

Once again there will be a club dinner in November. It will be worth coming just to see me trying to be the speaker!

 Bryan Palmer

          CHAIRMAN’S REPORT           WINTER 2012

 Well that’s another year gone by and what a year it has been. We have struggled with ploughing matches this season due to the adverse weather conditions we have experienced. Even the Nationals were affected with several competitors unable to complete their plots as the conditions were so bad. However the Rousham match was very good and then we had a brilliant match at Aynho where the sun came out and the ground was dry with an excellent turnout.
 Our winter meetings have seen some excellent speakers and thanks to all who ventured out to make the evenings worthwhile.
 Everyone seemed to enjoy our harvest supper at Wroxton, which was very successful with great and plentiful food and a very entertaining speaker.
 We have taken part in two quiz nights recently and done quite well. We shall be having our own quiz night soon so do come along and support the club.
 Future match dates have been sorted out so lets hope the weather improves.
 Don’t forget to visit the club website to keep up to date on match dates etc.
 There is also a new club logo which is now available in the form of sew-on or iron-on badges, these will be on sale for 2:50 each.

Paul Hewson



                Chairman’s Report - July 2011

Writing this on a gloomy evening it's hard to believe we are still in July - the height of summer! The weather can't make it's mind up this month.
Only a couple of weeks ago I was sweltering in the hay fields making small bales. On turning one bale over my father in law noticed I had added some protein to the hay in the form of a grass snake! It must have been basking in the sun, unaware of a John Deere and baler approaching. If still intact he would have been a good size going on the girth of the chunk we extracted from the bale.
At least the rain we have seen over the weekend will go some way to soften the ground before we start ploughing again in August.
The schedule for the rest of the coming season is nearly complete. We should be able to look forward to some good matches, all being well.
On a sad note - Bill Eagles passed away recently. Several club members attended his funeral at Charlton and he will be sadly missed.
Our annual harvest supper will be held at the Whately Hall hotel in Banbury again this year on Friday 30th September 7:30 for 8:00 pm. Tickets will be 19.45 per person for a 3 course meal.

Paul Hewson


               Chairman’s Report - April 2011

 Firstly I would like to say how much we will all miss Peter Day. He was always there to lend a hand with marking out and willing to help wherever he could, and gave many years of support to the society as a committee member.
 All the Club Night speakers were well received and progress is being made on securing some interesting speakers for next Autumn. The quiz was well attended with seven teams competing, the feedback on the night being that the questions were quite hard, so I will have to make them a little easier next year!
The weather during January and February was wet again, although some ploughing matches survived. The ploughing match at Churchill went well after being postponed due to bad weather. It was cold but a dry day.
The Spring Cup match at North Aston Farms was, if anything too dry, but an enjoyable day was had by the healthy turnout on the day.
 Derek Blunn's charity matches were very well attended as usual. Thankfully the weather stayed fine and dry as it always seems to for his matches, and at the time of writing well over 4000 had been raised for Katharine House Hospice and with further donations from the Macmillan Nurses and the Churchill Radiography Department, the total amount looks likely to exceed 5000!  Well done Derek who would like to thank all those who took part and/or donated to this worthwhile charity.
 Now the season has ended we have enjoyed glorious weather. Hopefully we will have similar conditions when we start again in August.
 Please note that membership subscriptions should now have all been paid for 2011. Subsequent newsletters will not be sent out to those who have yet to pay.
 Thanks to all who helped mark out and organise the matches during the past season.
AGM main points:-
 It  was well attended and I was voted in as the new Chairman as Dave Kerry had decided to stand down, I'm sure you will all join with me in thanking David for his several great years as Chairman. 
 The awarding of prize money is to continue.
The Horticultural class now have a voice again as Sam Hitchman was voted onto the committee.
 Subscriptions to go up to 10 for 2012, in line with inflation.
 It was agreed to award Bob Butlin 100 to help with expenses related to attending the European Vintage Championships, for which we all wish him a very successful trip.

Paul Hewson