MORE than 3,000 farming and tractor fans young and old were out in force on Saturday to take part in the Big Ford Tractor Day in a village near Devizes.

The event hosted by farmer Jim Butler at Manor Farm, Rowde, drew more than 120 tractors of all shapes and sizes.

He said: “We had a big turn out with four lorry loads coming from Ireland and two from Scotland, plus all the locals who joined in.”

The event was run with the backing of T H White of Devizes and attracted a large number of people who collect classic tractors from across the decades.

Mr Butler said: “I got out my old Ford from 1946. Everyone was laughing at me because it kept smoking. I was a bit worried it would break down as it hadn’t been out of the barn for a couple of years but it kept going.

“It was a really good day and we had around 2,500 people through the gates. It was lovely to see all of the tractors working. A lot of the owners really enjoy coming somewhere they can use their tractors in a field.

“Many of them just keep them to do up and don’t get to drive them very often.”

The Big Ford 6 Cylinder Tractor Working Day featured Fordson, Ford, New Holland and Ford Conversions and had special themes of 100 years of roadless, 90 years of county, 40 years of Ford TW, 30 years of Ford 30 Series, 30 years of Ford GEN111 and 25 years of Ford/NH 70 series.

For youngsters there was the chance to enjoy trailer rides around the site.

Mr Butler said: “It was a very successful day all round for both locals and those who came from further afield.

The £5,000 raised will be split between Dorothy House Hospice at Winsley, Blood Bikes, which uses motorcycles to courier urgent and emergency medical items including blood, X-rays, samples, drugs, and documentation between hospitals, and the Royal United Hospital Forever Friends Appeal

Mr Butler said: “We were very pleased with the amount.”