AN Ayr man is gearing up for an annual tractor and engine festival where he is set to showcase rare Ruston and Hornsby parts.

Vintage tractors and engines from around the UK will converge on Newby Hall near Ripon, North Yorkshire, on June 10 and 11 for Tractor Fest, the annual celebration of vintage vehicles and engines.

The UK’s largest tractor festival will see Newby Hall hosting more than 1,000 vintage and modern tractors, 600 stationary engines, commercial vehicles, cars, trucks and motorcycles.

Tom Moffat, from Ayr, is bringing two rare vintage Ruston and Hornsby lighting plants to the show.

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The 1939 petrol powered lighting plants are driven by a tank cooled version of the Ruston PT stationary engine.

Consecutively numbered, they would have originally been used for powering electric lights at a time when mains electricity was not universally available.

The sets provide Direct Current (DC), which today is only suitable for powering traditional incandescent electric light bulbs. 

Tom said: “Manufactured at a time when mains electricity was becoming more widespread so demand for lighting sets was falling, they are rare.

"I only know of three such lighting sets still in existence, and I own two of them!

“Engine number 194310 was used as a backup generator at Ballochmyle Hospital, a rural hospital near Catrine, in Ayrshire, which was requisitioned at the outbreak of the second world war for military casualties.

"The hospital was rapidly expanded and the Ruston lighting plant was probably procured as part of this expansion.

"Both the hospital and lighting set survived well beyond the war years and the engine entered preservation in the 1980s before I bought it in 2017. 

“The second engine, serial number 194309 was originally sold to an engineering firm in Sheffield, only surfacing for sale two years ago.

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"When I realised the serial number was the next one down from my other engine, I knew I had to buy it.

"It required some restoration to get it running again and still requires some work on the electrics and then it will be ready to make its debut at Tractor Fest.”

A host of entertainment, crafts, food and drink will be on offer while admission includes access to Newby’s award-winning gardens, adventure playground, dolls house and teddy bear exhibitions. 

Tractor Fest will take place over Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and from 10am to 4pm at Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon.