Erewash Museum volunteer, James Clifton, from Ilkeston, has spent the last year restoring a Fordson Pattison tractor which is now being showcased at the museum in the town centre.
Ilkeston Borough Council originally owned the tractor, which is similar to the1950’s Fordson light van and was put to use at Rutland Recreation Ground. The tractor was sold for scrap and was bought by James Clifton’s grandfather, Jeff Clifton, at a scrap yard in Cavendish Bridge, Shardlow for £200 in 1956. Jeff stored the tractor in his barn where it remained for 25 years.
The council bought the tractor from the family in 1997 with a view to restoring but after the project was completed; the tractor was stored in the Old Coach House garage at Erewash Museum.
James was determined to return the tractor back to her original glory and the Friends of the Museum kindly offered to fund the restoration; however James, along with his friends Carl and Kevin Shaw all worked tirelessly for free.
The tractor was stripped right down and the engine taken out and re-built with the coachwork now in mint condition with the original paintwork in ‘Ilkeston Maroon’.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, said:
“The return of the Pattison tractor to its original condition has been a true labour of love for James, and it’s a real credit to his devotion to the restoration. The Pattison tractor will be a fantastic visitor attraction for the museum.”
The Pattison tractor can be seen at the museum most Tuesdays and will be on show at special events such as the Ilkeston Heritage and Classic Vehicle Show on Sunday August 12.
Pictured, above left, is James as a child on the tractor. Above right is James with his grandfather Jeff Clifton and the tractor as it looks today.