Tony Stevens, from north Shropshire, now in his 80s, holds membership number nine in the Mid Shropshire Vintage Club, which every summer hosts The Shropshire Family Vintage Show at the Grennhous Westmid Showground.
“I saw an advert in the Shropshire Star 32 years ago about setting up a tractor club,” said Mr Stevens.
“I went to the inaugural meeting and thought it sounded like something I wanted to be part of and signed up there and then. I chose number nine for my membership number as I wanted to be one the first 10 members. I had a classic car and lots of others did and the club was established with a group of like-minded people who had all different kinds of vintage vehicles, including tractors.”
At the time, Mr Stevens had a black Lea Francis Light 14, named after the two gentlemen who started the car company. In his current collection he has several cars, lorries and tractors, including a Damler, he uses for rally driving and a 1939 Albion Lorry in the colours and name of William ‘Bill’ Capper of Wellington which he will be exhibiting at this year’s show on Saturday and Sunday.
William John (Bill) Capper who founded the business in 1953. W J Capper built its reputation on a friendly, reliable service. Bill Capper had been both a coach and lorry driver before setting up his own business in Wollerton, near Market Drayton. Four years later as the company grew he switched to the present site still occupied at Spring Hill Wellington.
Mr Stevens has exhibited at every show and has worked alongside the secretary helping to organise the classic car section for the past 32 years.
He has worked in agriculture all his life, as a farm manager and then a soil and plant nutrient special advisor, eventually set up his own company.
“I have had a fantastic life. I’ve never been to space, or done anything wildly exciting, but it’s been a very satisfying life. I’ve been living in the real world amongst the plants and animals. It doesn’t give you riches, but it does give you immense satisfaction and I don’t want to give it up,” he said.
“I’ve really enjoyed being part of the club all these years. I still go on driving holidays in north Wales and spend time with like-minded people.”
The show runs from 9.30am to 5pm on Saturday and from 9.30am to 4pm on Sunday. Each year, a special tractor is featured and in 2019 it will be the ‘International’.
Tickets can also be purchased on the gate and are priced at £10 for adults and entry is free for under 16s.
For more information, go to midshropshirevintageclub.com and follow the show on facebook at Shropshire Vintage Show.