Florida Flywheelers, always a fun show

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We usually go to this show every year seeking sunshine, flowers, flea market finds and tractors.  You would think we would get tired of it, going year after year, but we find that they keep bringing out new and different things each and every show we see something we didn’t see before.  Like most years, we traveled with our friends the Elliotts, Kent, Jane and their daughter Beth.  There is a featured brand at every show and this year that brand was the Cockshutt tractor.

According to the International Cockshutt Club (www.cockshutt.com) , “The line began with tillage and seeding equipment built by James Cockshutt as early as 1877 and was founded at the Brantwood Plow Works.  Incorporated as Cockshutt Plow Co. in 1882, they joined forces in 1910 with Frost & Wood; who was building mostly hay and harvesting equipment.  Introduction of their own tractor with the first ever live power take off in 1946 made Cockshutt a full-line company.  Contracts with the National farm Machinery Cooperative resulted in their tractors being marketed in the States as the familiar orange Co-ops. Earlier Co-ops manufactured/by the Cooperatives are also part of our Club.”

The Cockshutt Company was a Canadian manufacturer and James Cockshutt founder of the Cockshutt factory in 1877 located it in Brantford, Ontario.  I had to look up James Cockshutt because I didn’t know much about his history.  I always like to hook up a bit about the man or woman with the brand to make it real to me.  I found that he incorporated the factor in 1882, but sadly, he died at the age of 34 from tuberculosis!  A member of the Cockshutt family managed the company until they sold out to White Motor Company in 1961.  White of course later became Oliver.

There were many beautiful tractors on display, but my favorite this year was Glen Berry’s beautiful 1954 Cockshutt Canadian Air Force tractor.  The tractor was built -in Branford Ontario and the 1954 Cockshutt 40 diesel Air Force tractor was built for the Royal Canadian Air Force.  It is only one of two known to exist.  What is really amazing is that Glen also has the other one at home!

This one was at the Chatham Air Base in New Brunswick and was used for towing loads out onto the tarmac that would be transferred onto planes for military purposes.  The tractor was used at the military base from 1954 until 1966 when it was transferred into private hands.  Glen bought it on Prince Edward Island, Canada. “It is in the middle of the ocean to get there and is on Canada’s most eastern province,” Glen said.

We had a chance to see many different tractors and drive through the flea market.  In the flea market, we all had our various favorite things and mine this year was a very neat Volkswagon van that had been converted to a camper.  I must admit it had quite a hippie flair to it, but it was quite cool.

The show also was full of dogs.  With all of us being dog lovers, it made the Elliotts miss their Fergie at home and Keith and I miss out late Sherman.  My favorite dog at the show was a very vocal Bassett Hound named Jake. The owners said he had been a rescue dog and he bayed at visitors then would lay down and sleep next to the other much larger hound Bruiser.

This was the first year in a long while that I took the time to get out and wonder through the Village on foot.  Beth accompanied me some of the time and she and I had a great time peeking into and out of the buildings.  One item I saw this year that I had missed before was a neat Shepherds Wagon owned by George Fair. The Shepherd’s wagon was built around 1885 and was designed to be pulled by horses.  The literature that George Fair attached to this cool antique house states that the shepherd would sit in the wagon when watching over his flock and would have the door open.

Inside the wagon was a cast iron stove, a cot and cabinets, it was quite cool.  It is amazing the history when you take the time to look.  I could  have spent hours just reading about individual items I found while wondering from place to place.

I guess this just goes to show that just because you have been somewhere once it doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to see if you just look in a different place!



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