BLUE FORCE FORD AND FORDSON CONVERSIONS DAY

Primetime’s official event DVD of the Blue Force Conversions Day is in production and will be available in early November. Primetime’s Steve White was there all weekend on the 29th & 30th September 2012 filming the whole event in high definition. Following on from the hugely successful Roadless 90 event which was held three years ago this event was just as spectacular with 174 conversions present based on Ford & Fordson tractors. Machines came from the manufacturers Roadless, County, Doe, Muir-Hill, Northrop, Matbro, JJ Thomas, and Bettison. Many of them were there to work on the 500 acre site in Lincolnshire. The official event DVD also features bonus footage of Saturday’s practice day, and will be released early November. It can be pre-ordered now from Primetime’s DVD website.

 

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CAPTURING LINCOLNSHIRE AIRFIELDS

South Lincolnshire looking for a WW1 site at Harlaxton

In the last twelve months Camera/Producer Joanna White has been busy recording the airfields of Lincolnshire from the air, and is now gathering video footage of the 86 airfield sites, past and present, from the ground.

Along with DVD researcher/narrator Alan Stennett, Joanna hopes to produce a lasting record of Lincolnshire’s louboutin outlet uk aviation history, which began in October 1811.  On that date James Sadler (the first Englishman to ascend in a balloon) landed his hydrogen filled balloon at Heckington, near Sleaford, having been blown 112 miles from Birmingham.  Two years later he returned again landing at Dekin Lodge, Stamford.

Lincolnshire’s first aviator was Montague F Glew of South Kelsey.  In 1913 Glew gave a flying demonstration in his Blackburn Monoplane at Market Rasen using a field off Legsby Road, and a few months later gave an ‘exhibition louboutin outlet of flights’ at Horncastle.

Joanna White comments: “…the very early years of aviation must have been so very exciting for those involved, and for the public who witnessed it. Today flying is commonplace. Though it still has its own magic, we can’t ever really know what it felt like to see a flying machine for the first time. And some of the early designs were remarkable!  I never tire of looking at old photographs and film of man’s first attempts at flying, and marvel at the twentieth century development of aircraft.”

Wickenby Airfield, near Lincoln. One of the few WW2 airfields which has all its original runways still in tact.

The first major blossoming of airfields in Lincolnshire began in World War One, with the establishment of Home Defence Squadrons. With each squadron appeared a number of ‘Flight Stations’, like No.33 Squadron at Gainsborough who had aerodromes at Scampton (then known as Brattlesby), Elsham and Kirton in Lindsey, plus another nine landing fields around the county.  Most sites today have reverted to farmland, are covered by buildings or WW2 airfield sites, making them very hard to locate.  As well as Royal Flying Corp sites, our county was home to a Royal Naval Air Station seaplane base at Killingholme, kite balloon base, air gunnery school and an airship training station at Cranwell.  There were also two aircraft acceptance parks at Lincoln,louboutin uk outlet  used for test flying aircraft built at the local manufacturing firms of Ruston, Proctor & Co. and Clayton & Shuttleworth.

In 1935 the second great aviation era of Lincolnshire commenced, with the announcement of the government’s RAF expansion scheme.  Several of the counties older airfields were modernised, others were reoccupied after years of being farmed, and totally new sites were established.  Many are still visible today and easily recognised by their A shape runways, brick hangars, control towers and perimeter tracks (which often join wtih country road networks).  By the end of WW2 there were 49 military airfields in Lincolnshire, more than any other county in Britain.

Finding the sites on the ground can be complicated and Camera/Producer Joanna White has found the iPhone compass and GPS features essential – like here at Cuxwold.

The remaining airfields and the ghostly sites of pre- and WW1 airfields are captured on camera by Primetime Media.  Over the last 50 years there has been a major disposal of airfield land with many sites being neglected, demolished and completely eradicated. It wont be many years before a great deal of the evidence of our aviation history is gone from the land, though the deep WW2 bomb craters that dot the wolds will still remain.

Joanna has been flying over Lincolnshire for eight years, and during that time she has felt a growing need to capture what is left before time runs out.  But finding the sites isn’t always easy.  Some of the WW1 landing grounds have a very general location, often only known to locals and researchers by their bearing from a local village church.  Joanna comments: “Some airfields have been particularly difficult to locate.  I still am not certain I have Harlaxton on tape.  It was a WW1 training aerodrome and home to 44, 20, 26, 53, 54, 68 and 98 Squadrons.  It was closed in 1920 and re-opened again during WW2 welcoming aircraft like Short Stirlings and Vickers Wellingtons.  It was always a grass airfield, and in the 1980s much of it had disappeared under an open cast iron ore mine, which today I cannot locate. A good example of our heritage disappearing from view!”

She concludes: “I hope that what I record will show just what an illustrious history our county has, and continues to have, in aviation.  We can be overlooked as a quiet arable county, but when you see what we’ve contributed to the history of British aviation – Lincolnshire is quite legendary.”

Details of the DVD production will be posted as it develops. If you know of anyone who has early photographs, film or memories of the Airfields of Lincolnshire then please http://www.cuteislam.co.uk/.

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QUADTRAC RECORD ATTEMPT

Primetime’s Steve White and Alan Stennett were busy this weekend documenting the record attempt to get 50 Quadtracs cultivating at the same time.

Welton farmer, Helen Rainthorpe, was looking for an idea to raise money for a cancer charity in memory of her father John when one of her farm staff suggested trying to set a record for the largest number of the giant four-tracked articulated Case Quadtrac tractors all working in one field.

Guinness World Records were contacted and after negotiations carried out by Gordon Cummings of Louth Tractors, a figure of 30 machines working simultaneously for five minutes was accepted as enough to establish a new record.

The date was set for July 28th on a field at Helen’s West Hall Farm at Welton Cliff, but the appalling weather earlier in the year meant that the oilseed rape crop could not be harvested in time. Fortunately, Hemswell Cliff farmer Graham Rowles Nicholson stepped into the breach with an offer of a field recently cleared of peas on his land, and the record attempt was on.

Farmers from all over the county, and as far afield as Aberdeen and Bristol, rallied to the cause and on the morning of the event 50 of the massive machines – worth something in the order of £10 million – lined up at the end of a field. About 25,000 horse-power – more than the total power of the full grid of Formula 1 racing cars at full throttle – roared into action and, for seven minutes and forty seven seconds worked their way up the field. A new record was established, over £10,000 raised for charity and Helen was ecstatic. “We did it! A huge thank you for all the support and the turnout today – it’s been incredible!”

Watch out for Primetime’s DVD of the event coming soon on www.primetimevideo.co.uk

 

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CATERPILLARS AT SIBBERTOFT

Primetime’s cameras have been busy this weekend in a Quarry at Sibbertoft, Leicestershire where a dozen Caterpillar bulldozers, diggers, and scrapers have been in action. The event was organised by the Link Club, which is an independent club of enthusiasts with a strong interest in the products of the Caterpillar Tractor Co. and its associated organisations.

Caterpillar machinery in action this weekend included a 951, D4D, D2, D3, D4H, D2 3J, D4E, D6C, 933, 941 and 70 Scraper. In addition to the Cat equipment there was also a Bristol Taurus, a Thwaites Goliath Dumper Truck and an Onions scraper box.

This is the second time that Primetime have filmed here. The first DVD programme, Mad About Classic Plant, was produced in 2011 and was a hit with machinery and plant enthusiasts. This year’s event was almost cancelled because of the bad weather, but by the time the first machinery started to arrive the wind and sun had already started to dry out the former quarry, which is now used for 4×4 off-roading.

A few drainage channels were cut by Paul Badger and his Caterpillar D6C to help move the water from the flooded areas in the Quarry, but the extra mud though did make for some superb shots of machines at work! The object of the weekend was to use the Caterpillar machinery to restore and improve the off-road 4×4 course.

The Primetime team used a total of five cameras at the event, fitting miniature ones to many of the machines to get exciting driver point-of-few and close up shots of the machines in action. Alan Stennett was also there to talk to the drivers about their machines and learn about their history. The new DVD will be released later this year and will be advertised in the plant magazines and on Primetime’s new look sales website: www.primetimevideo.co.uk.  For more information and release date contact Primetime on 01205 750055.

 

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TRACTOR WORLD SHOW SUCCESS

Primetime’s DVD stand at the Tractor World event this weekend has seen record crowds attending. The event which is held at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire is celebrating 50 years of the Massey Ferguson MF35X tractor.

Primetime’s stand, which has a wide range of farming and agricultural DVDs on sale, has been busy all day and the team are looking forward to a busy day tomorrow. Our next event is at the Model Construction Show in Spalding, Lincolnshire on the 18th March.

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