A vintage tractor that was pictured with Margaret Thatcher when the then Prime Minister visited Cornwall in 1990 is set to make another starring appearance in Cheffins’ Vintage Sale on Saturday 19th October.
The tractor was on display at Dairyland Farm World, an award-winning museum near Newquay, when the photo opportunity took place and no doubt the nameplate on the machine, Maggie, and that it was known as ‘Maggie the Mogul’, was a major contributing factor in it taking place.
Also, in the picture is Rex Davey, a local farmer and contractor whose expanding tractor collection prompted him to set up Dairyland Farm World as a museum in 1974 and turned it into one of Cornwall’s top tourist attractions at the time.
Davey had acquired the tractor - a 1917 International Mogul 8-16 single cylinder petrol – in the late 1950s when it was used to power a sawbench in the nearby village of Fraddon and most of the collection were acquired from local farms through his contracting business.
It is believed that ‘Maggie’ was originally part of the lend lease arrangement with the USA during the first World War and that the tractor spent much of its working life in Cornwall.
At some point the tractor has been restored and over time the paintwork has mellowed to create an authentic patina.
The tractor is said to have been running in recent years and there is a comprehensive sheet of instructions of how to start, run and stop the tractor together with a display board from the museum.
Bill King, chairman of Cheffins, said: “The tractor has great provenance and it is very rare to say the least to have a tractor in the same ownership for 60 years, although when Rex Davey set up Dairyland Farmworld it transferred into the ownership of the business.
“The picture of Margaret Thatcher with the tractor shows what a draw Dairyland Farm World was at the time.”