The Natal Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club is housed in the original
refrigeration room on the Baynesfield Estate near Richmond and houses a large
collection of restored vintage tractors on display. The club has done
restoration work on the Joseph Baynes homestead, which is now a centre for
The Natal Vintage Tractor Club first gathered on 8 February 1992, with a member base of about forty, who were members of the National Club, which started in Natal in 1988. Initially restoring tractors only, the number of engines being collected started increasing rapidly, and in 1997 it was decided that " The Natal Vintage Tractor and Engine Club", would be a more suitable name. In 1999, due to an increasing diversity in members' collections which started including all types of vintage farming equipment used in the past, it was decided again that the clubs' name be changed, to "The Natal Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club".
The club held regular exhibits at Pietermaritzburg's annual Royal Agricultural Show between during the 1990's, igniting enthusiasm amongst the public, and increasing their displays threefold in size in later years. Numerous trophies were received from the Show Society in recognition of the excellent displays, however the club unfortunately no longer exhibits at the Royal Show. The club exhibits at smaller outdoor shows throughout KZN by invitation, and members also make a point of supporting shows staged by other branches whenever possible.
The annual Clocolan Show in particular is a highlight on the annual
events calendar. Situated in the Free State some 450 kms away, it is always
difficult to transport items to show. In 1997, one of our members suggested that
driving one's tractor there might be a simpler method. And so the regular
Clocolan Trek was born. Averaging a distance of about 150 kms a day, the
three-day trip became a regular feature for several years. The mixed assortment
of vintage tractors all well past their "sell by" date was something previously
never before seen on the roads. Night stops at camping grounds helped strengthen
the great camaraderie already developed amongst these hardy drivers and
Other activities have included ploughing with vintage equipment, shorter Tractor Treks passing through scenic areas, and providing assistance with various charitable fund raising projects. Membership of the Club automatically includes one's spouse or partner, which in return promotes family involvement and interaction. Regular social gatherings are held at various member's homes around the province, which helps with the exchange of ideas and encourages restoration projects.
Promoting the Club to the public by way of shows, constantly results in contact being made with older generations who used similar equipment, and from whom valuable first hand information is obtained. This in turn allows the club to better appreciate the worth of their equipment, as well as the influence early mechanisation had on agriculture.
For more information on membership, and future events contact the club Chairman Les Maker on 082 771 5719 / 033 326 1040. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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