A TRIP to a Northumberland farm by auctioneer Chris Armstrong uncovered an Aladdin's cave of rural rarities.
Chris came across ranks of vintage tractors, dating from 1940, a series of stationary engines going back to the 1920s and a huge range of old farm machinery and implements including a 1939 plough, a 1958 verge trimmer and a 1920s turnip chopper and turnip drill.
There were also masses of tractor, vehicle and implement spares, a large assortment of vintage lawn mowers and 1950s bicycles.
The collection had been built up by Stan Moore, who lived at West Side Farm at Whitfield near Hexham.
“It was an Aladdin’s cave and the collection is absolutely phenomenal,” said Chris, who is based at Hexham and Northern Marts.
Mr Moore died in 2010 at the age of 90, and now his vast collection is to be sold on Saturday, September 8, at Hexham and Northern Marts in Tyne Green, Hexham, with viewing the day before.
It has taken 43 wagon trips to bring the items to Hexham.
There will be 1,200 lots indoors and around 60 larger lots outdoors.
As well as farming, Stan Moore was a highly-skilled engineer and inventor, who made all manner of implements for other farmers who wanted machinery to perform specific tasks.
Stan’s son Philip, who lives in Haltwhistle, said his father operated the school run for rural pupils after buying an American Ford V8 bus in 1953 and a Trojan diesel bus in 1957 from North Eastern Motors in Newcastle.
He also carried out contracting work for other farmers, such as ploughing and hay cutting and repaired farm and other machinery.
“When he picked up the children from farms to take them to school, he would take requests for contract and repair jobs,” said Philip.
Stan also took on the postal round for one side of the Whitfield valley while Philip did the other side and they ran a taxi service for weekend dances.
“People would ask my father to make machinery, and he would sit down and draw on the back of a cigarette packet, and make it from that drawing,” said Philip.
“They kept telling him he should take out patents on what he designed, but he never did.” But Stan’s engineering activities and his interest in farming machinery meant that he never threw anything away.
Chris Armstrong said: “He was a fine engineer and an enthusiastic collector. It was a lifelong passion.
“Very few people are in the situation where their job is also their hobby, but I think this was the case with Stan Moore.
“He amassed a lifetime’s collection. Many of the items are original implements in good condition, and they are both very rare and very sought after.”
Stan took over the farm from his father, Tom, in 1947.
“He had horses to start with and then he bought a Fordson tractor and he kept on buying tractors,” said Philip.
“His philosophy was that rather than changing the machinery behind a tractor to do certain contract jobs, he bought another tractor so that he had tractors with machinery for each task.”
HISTORY GOES UNDER THE HAMMER
AMONG items in the sale are:
Tractors: an orange 1940 Fordson; Fordson Major 1956; Fordson TEA 1949 sold new by Fewsters of Hexham; Fordson Dexta 1960 sold new by George & Joblings of Hexham; Fordson Dexta 1962 restored to show condition; Ferguson TEF 1955; David Brown 30D 1956, bought new by the National Coal Board at Ashington then sold to the Langley Castle estate. Stationary engines: 1919 Amanco; 1922 Fairbanks-Morse; 1935 Lister; 1940s and 1950s Wolselys. Implements and farm machinery: David Brown 1939 plough; Castle Douglas turnip drill; 1940s oil bath mower; 1953 tipping trailer; 1958 ex-Haltwhistle Council verge trimmer; Rickerbys of Carlisle turnip chopper.