NEW LIFE: Mechanic Geoff Bert sits in the middle of the disassembled 1919 Fordson Tractor, the first to arrive in Lawrence.
NEW LIFE: Mechanic Geoff Bert sits in the middle of the disassembled 1919 Fordson Tractor, the first to arrive in Lawrence. Adam Hourigan

Restoring faith in tractor's history

IT HAS sat dormant for years, rusted and seized, but one man is hoping to bring a heartbeat back to a piece of Lawrence's history, with a little help from the community.

Geoff Bert is currently restoring a 1919 Fordson tractor for the Lawrence Museum, and is keen to talk to anyone that may have any information about this early machine.

The tractor was donated to the Lawrence Historical Society by John Harrison, who was bequeathed the machine by Charlie Childs. It was stored for many years by John's parents Rae & Terry Harrison, of Lawrence, and moved to Lawrence Museum this year.

"Being a mechanic for 42 years and now retired, I wanted a project that would keep my brain occupied. When I was offered this challenge I immediately jumped at the chance to tackle an old Fordson tractor," he said.

Mr Bert said the hardest part of this was taking it apart without breaking anything. The engine has been full of water for many years, perhaps the result of a flood, so it was completely seized.

"So far, I have stripped the machine down and it is freed up. I'm now in the process of de-rusting the tractor, priming and painting," he said.

I'm now trying to find pistons and one replacement con rod. The original was bent and running without for many years. I want to keep everything as close as possible to the original as the owners would have operated it on the farms and in the mills around Lawrence," he said.

Vice President Roz Jones said they had an offer of parts come from Dubbo, but were seeking ways of transporting the heavy goods to the museum.

When fully restored the tractor will be on display as a working machine.

In the meantime, if anyone has any information on the Fordson tractor or knows where spare parts may be available please call Geoff on 0408 173 599.



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