Thousands turn out for food hall tractor attraction

The vintage tractor run arrives at the Vintage and Modern Tractor Fair held at Suffolk Food Hall.

The vintage tractor run arrives at the Vintage and Modern Tractor Fair held at Suffolk Food Hall.

Landy lovers and tractor nuts descended on one of Suffolk’s top farm shop venues for a celebration of agricultural vehicles this weekend.

Tractors, trailers, cultivators, earth movers and four-wheel-drives lined the grounds of Suffolk Food Hall, in Wherstead, just outside Ipswich.

Raising money for the grant-giving work of the Suffolk Community Foundation, the second-ever Tractor Fair featured farming techniques from the ancient to cutting-edge.

Vintage and modern tractors shared the spotlight, and there was even a tractor made of balloons and an appearance from the oldest breed of heavy horse in Britain – a hard-working Suffolk Punch.

Visitors had the chance to take off-road rides with the Suffolk Land Rover Owners Club, explore the Tractor Fair’s ‘bale-trail’, attempt to stay on a rodeo bull or have a go at operating a mini-digger.

Live music was provided by eight local acts, including Fern Teather, Keith Sadler, Superstarz and The Zillionaries.

Volunteers from Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue were also in attendance for the fair, which featured a meaty menu of food like pulled pork and brisket burgers, as well as some vegetarian options.

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With about 5,000 people through the gate, organiser Russ Haddow said attendances were up on last year’s inaugural event.

Fundraising for the Suffolk Community Foundation also increased – reaching £1,100 by mid-afternoon from programme sales alone.

“It’s very much about fundraising,” said Mr Haddow.

“As well our support for the foundation, the Suffolk Land Rover Owners Club set up an off-road course to raise money for Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue and the Suffolk Punch Trust.

“Suffolk Food Hall is celebrating its 10th birthday next year, so we’re looking to hold more events in the near future. We’re hoping the Tractor Fair will also become an annual event.”

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