An Ilkeston man and two friends are celebrating the successful restoration of a Fordson Pattison tractor which now has a home at Erewash Museum.
James Clifton has been working on the vehicle with friends Kevin and Carl Shaw (father and son) for the past 15 months.
The tractor was originally owned by Ilkeston Council in the 1950s and was used on the Rutland Recreation Ground.
James recalls: “It was later sold on and when the owner died the family had no idea of what it was and sent it for scrap.
“Almost 40 years ago my grandfather found it in a scrap yard and bought it. He then put it in a barn at our farm for nearly 25 years where we eventually got her to run.
“Erewash Museum staff got in touch with us around ten years ago and bought it from us with a view to restoring it. It was restored but after that project no one had the time and skill to continue the upkeep to the level the Fordson deserved. It was used for events until the engine stopped working then stored in a garage. Without love and attention it gradually began to decline.
“I brought my grandfather up to see the tractor, and on seeing her with dirt and dust, I felt I had to volunteer to look after her again, and so began the labour of love to bring her back to her former glory.
“Over the last year and a half, Carl, Kevin and I have stripped the tractor down, taken out the engine and re-built it. All the paintwork has been stripped down and restored to the original colour: Ilkeston corporate maroon.”
The tractor can be seen at Erewash museum most Tuesdays and will be on show at special events such as the Ilkeston Heritage and Classic Vehicle Show in the town centre in August.
James lives in Ilkeston and recalls learning to drive the Fordson on the family farm when he was only ten years old.