The way farms were

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TRACTORS, farm machinery, cars and other engines from yesteryear will be on show at Kelso next weekend, writes Sally Gillespie.

The Borders Vintage Agricultural Association’s (BVAA) rally and auction takes place at the Border Union showground, Springwood Park, in Kelso over the Saturday and Sunday.

BVAA chairman Charlie McCririck said: “We’re hoping for glorious weather, failing which anything bearable will do, and we invite everyone interested to our big weekend where you will receive a good Borders welcome.”

He said there is a “well-subscribed” list of entries which includes steam engines, veteran, vintage and classic cars, motorbikes, bikes, stationary engines, horticultural equipment, tractors and other agricultural machines. Classes showing year on year increases include commercial vehicles, Land Rovers and single make British car clubs.

This year’s working demonstration is a display of hay and straw baling machinery spanning the last 100 years.

Mr McCririck said: “Some of these machines are incredible to watch as belts whirr, things go up and down, from side to side and round and round, demonstrating there is no limit to man’s ingenuity when it comes to saving himself a bit of work!”

The Saturday auction has grown in popularity so much over the years that the organisers have had to restrict entries to vintage items only.

Mr McCririck urged: “Don’t forget all those folk who have discovered on the Antiques Roadshow that something they bought for buttons at an auction can be worth thousands!”

The sale starts at 11am under the hammer of auctioneer Billy Stott from John Swan & Sons, St Boswells.

Saturday is the association’s main autojumble day and there is a range of stalls selling new and used spares, ring parades and music over the two days.

The BVAA was set up more than 30 years ago by three enthusiasts, Billy Cranston, Alan Dagg, and Alistair McKenzie, who went to a steam engine gathering in Kendal in September 1976 and thought they could set up something similar in the Borders.

A meeting in December that year attracted about 20 fellow fans – and the following May about 2,000 people attended the BVAA’s first rally at Newtown St Boswells.

Last year’s BVAA vintage ploughing match in October attracted a record entry of 60 and next year’s competition will include a new reversible class. The association will be staging its popular working demonstration at the Border Union Show at the end of July as usual.

Last month’s charity tractor run around the Kelso area raised money for Borders General Hospital’s Margaret Kerr Palliative Care Unit appeal and a cheque for the sum raised over the year will be presented to NHS Borders next weekend.