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Reviving the Lost Art Of the Vintage Tractor Road Run

By Tom Seest

What Is a Vintage Tractor Road Run?

At ClassicTractorNews, we help classic tractor lovers keep up with the latest news for classic and vintage tractors.

West Wales is filled with vintage tractors rumbling along rural roads. But what rules govern these iconic vehicles on public roads? According to the Road Safety Authority, an unplated tractor may only tow trailers with a gross weight that equals three times its unladen weight.

What Is a Vintage Tractor Road Run?

What Is a Vintage Tractor Road Run?

Experience the Vintage Tractor Road Run?

Vintage tractor road runs involve many tractors being driven along an agreed route in aid of charity. Held annually across the UK, this event has become increasingly popular over time, drawing in people of all ages to take part. Some events even take on festive themes, like Christmas tractor runs where decorated tractors take to the route with lights attached.
Over 300 vintage and classic tractors gathered in Stafford for a vintage tractor road run to raise thousands of pounds for local charities over the weekend, entertaining crowds who watched and participated. People enjoyed food, music, games, and prizes throughout the bank holiday weekend while hundreds watched the parade of tractors pass them by while enjoying food, music, and games during this bank holiday weekend event. Organizers are proud that over PS10,000 was raised through sponsorship, donations, and ticket sales for Midland Air Ambulance, Staffordshire and Shropshire Blood Bikes, and Donna Louise Children’s Hospice through various sponsors and ticket sales alone!
The 2024 National Vintage Tractor Road Run will begin and end at Plumpton College near Lewes in East Sussex and feature both on-road and off-road elements. It promises to be challenging yet rewarding, with scenic views of South Downs National Park as well as sea vistas along the route – drivers should bring brakes with good stopping power as there may be steep sections along the course.
Stewart Birse is delighted that Galloway will host the National run for only the fourth time since 1985, with entries coming from across Scotland and Northern Ireland already. Stewart Birse and his committee are busy planning and preparing for it to be held over Easter weekend this year. Locals are already excited about what promises to be an amazing event!
Glenluce Vintage Tractors Club will host the National Vintage Tractor Reunion 2023 and welcome tractors from all across the UK on trailers or their own power to compete for prizes at this annual event. In 2023, Cancer Research UK, Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes, and Wigtownshire Multiple Sclerosis have all been nominated as beneficiary charities by its organizing committee.
The South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club (SEVAC) boasts over 200 members who share an interest in working with vintage machinery. From restoring tractors to working on stationary farming equipment, their aim is to demonstrate to the public how hard these machines used to work while simultaneously encouraging an interest in country crafts such as thatching and hedge laying.

Experience the Vintage Tractor Road Run?

Experience the Vintage Tractor Road Run?

What’s Involved in a Vintage Tractor Road Run Entry?

Vintage tractor road runs are popular events that bring classic tractors and their owners together for an enjoyable day of celebration and fundraising for charity. A vintage tractor road run provides the perfect opportunity to show off the beauty of your area while meeting other farmers – making for fun family outings, too! There is a range of vintage tractor road runs available, so there should be one perfect for you and your needs!
Organizers of the National Tractor Road Run 2023 have selected three nominated charities to benefit from the event: Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes, Cancer Research UK, and Wigtownshire Multiple Sclerosis will all see benefits from it. It took place last weekend with participants coming from all across the UK participating; Peninsula Vintage Club members reported having an incredible time near Kirkcolm in Stranraer.
Other than the National Tractor Road Run, various local events take place throughout the year in addition to the National Tractor Road Run. Some are new, while others have been running for quite some time – examples being Festive Farmer Christmas Convoy (a daytime convoy of tractors that travels around Liverpool in aid of Alder Hey Hospital), Welshpool Illuminated Tractor Run and Norfolk Boxing Day Tractor Run – to name but a few!
Every June, the Great Ayton Tractor Road Run draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe and has raised over PS200,000 for charity since its start in 1993. This free event attracts visitors from across the world. Organizers of this event have raised an amazing total of PS200,000 since 1993!
The next Vintage Tractor Road Run will take place at the Pembrokeshire County Showground in Withybush this April. The route includes both on and off-road elements as well as sea views; though challenging at times, it’s well worth experiencing! Plus, proceeds from this event support local community projects; visitors interested can learn more by visiting its official website.

What's Involved in a Vintage Tractor Road Run Entry?

What’s Involved in a Vintage Tractor Road Run Entry?

Where is the Vintage Tractor Road Run Route?

Tractor runs are annual events where people take vintage or classic tractors on an exciting road trip, making this event great fun and suitable for the whole family. Additionally, this year’s run will help raise money for pancreatic cancer research; participants can expect stunning scenery as they navigate their vintage machines through countryside roads beginning from Charlton Abbots and ending at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power.
This year’s event will showcase an impressive line-up of vintage tractors from across the country and even Europe; the entry fee for participating tractors is PS10. In addition, food and drink vendors will be present, as well as a raffle with over PS100 worth of prizes up for grabs!
On June 2 in Pembrokeshire, the seventh Welsh National Tractor Road Run will take place. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit various local charities, including cancer research, CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), Motor Neurone Disease Association, and mental health charity DPJ Foundation. Several businesses in Pembrokeshire are supporting this year’s event, and family activities are being provided during this family-oriented day event.
Attractions at this year’s event include vintage tractors from various manufacturers as well as cadets from both Army Cadet Force and Royal Signals marching in a parade, a World War II bomber display, a tractor art exhibit, a raffle with proceeds going towards chosen charities, and more!
Tractor runs are an attraction that draws thousands of tourists each year to any village they take place in, but they can also be hazardous if driven improperly. Therefore, event organizers have been advised to use licensed drivers who will oversee and supervise participants, and participants are asked to wear high-visibility clothing during this activity.
NVTRR 2023 organizers are thrilled that Galloway was chosen as the location for this historic event. NVTRR Organiser Stewart Birse stated, “This will only be the fourth time NVTRR has taken place in Scotland, and we feel honored and grateful that tractors from all across Britain will join us here in our county for this unforgettable occasion. In addition, three great charities – Dumfries & Galloway Blood Bikes, Cancer Research UK, and Wigtownshire Multiple Sclerosis Group will all receive donations.”

Where is the Vintage Tractor Road Run Route?

Where is the Vintage Tractor Road Run Route?

What Prizes Await at the Vintage Tractor Road Run?

Vintage tractor road runs are unique events that bring together vintage tractors and their owners to raise funds for local causes, typically cancer research or mental health causes. The charity that receives the highest amount is usually chosen by the organizer of the road run, who may also decide to award prizes for the best-looking or most popular tractors at its conclusion. The winners of such awards are usually announced upon conclusion.
The National Tractor Road Run is an extraordinary event and one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Attracting members from across the UK and further afield, members travel from all corners of the nation to take part. Members love spending time together surrounded by their tractors; in addition to raising money for worthy charities, this event also gives people a chance to network and meet like-minded individuals.
In the past, this club has provided financial aid to many families and individuals in need. Proceeds from their event also went toward supporting local businesses and community groups. Going forward, this group hopes to build on its success by raising even more money for local causes in need.
On June 4th, in North Norfolk’s historic village of Melton Constable held a road-running event featuring dozens of tractors taking to local roads, passing Melton Park village before touring around before returning to Melton Constable church fete and raising over PS10,000 for charities such as Midlands Air Ambulance, Staffordshire and Shropshire Blood Bikes, and Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.
The National Vintage Tractor Road Run is an 18-mile circular route featuring on-road and off-road elements as well as sea views. Due to the steep sections of this course, good brakes are essential. Participants are encouraged to drive slowly while taking in all the scenery along their journey before being treated to a two-course dinner at the Pavilion Building at Showground afterward.

What Prizes Await at the Vintage Tractor Road Run?

What Prizes Await at the Vintage Tractor Road Run?

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