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Best of the countryside

The Tractor and Smallholding Show this July looks set to be a great day out for enthusiasts and families alike with a whole host of activities and exhibits bringing all that is best about rural Britain to life.

Veteran, vintage and classic tractors and clubs will be a feature of the show along with a working area, arena displays and a vehicle arena where the Pageant of Transport ‘the show within a show’ consisting of tractors, classic cars, classic commercials and vans, ex-army vehicles, plus steam engines will parade on both show days.

Tractor clubs already booked to appear include the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club and the Ford & Fordson Association who are both sure to be bringing along some fine examples of their members’ work, either in pristine condition or just in their original clothing.

Interested in smallholding? In this section, Kent Smallholders will be on hand with advice on keeping livestock, poultry, growing fruit and vegetables, grafting fruit trees, using smallholding/gardening implements and tools, preserving produce, wine and cider making, and self-sufficiency, while a beekeeping stall will have an observation hive on display where visitors can safely view this vital creature to our food chain. Also keen to display their craft will be the Kent Guild Spinners, Dyers and Weavers who, along with active demonstrations of their processes, will encourage the public to have a go for themselves.

The Farmers Market is sure to be a bustling hive of activity too with a wide variety of local produce on offer. There will also be a 1940s theme to the proceedings and organisers are putting out a call to anybody who would be interested in taking part, contact Liz Wright on 01354 741538.

Other attractions lined up for the Tractor & Smallholding Show include steam exhibits including the Tinker, a Burrell Gold Medal tractor built in 1920 and supplied new to Dorking Rural District Council. It was acquired by Claude Jessett in 1942 from the Ashdown Forest where it had been used for timber haulage. It was effectively the start of the collection and is now regarded as the flagship of the Claude Jessett Trust.

Also at the show will be a 4in scale McLaren compound steam road loco; a Fowler A4, 6 NHP compound traction engine of 1903; and Endeavour, a Fowler Road Locomotive, model A9 of 1917. A good selection of stationary engines will also feature, along with a miniature railway featuring the 040 tender engine, James. There is approximately 200m of portable railway track, including point work and curves all built to a gauge of 7¼in gauge.

Among the arena displays will be Freddie’s Farm Sheepdog Displays, where working dogs will show their skills with ‘stunt ducks’. The Newfoundland Dog display will be on show and their handlers will explain their prowess in the water and their search and rescue abilities.

The venue for the show is Hop Farm, which is Kent’s iconic landmark and major event venue and is set within 500 acres of event land and the world’s largest collection of Victorian oast houses. The site not only hosts field events, but is a popular wedding venue, children’s theme park with zoo, campsite and more, so there will be plenty to do and see over the weekend. A food court and bar are also on site and evening entertainment will be available for those camping on the site.

Whether you are an experienced smallholder or simply take an interest in rural life, join us for a great family day out! So why not book your place and come along; vehicles can be registered by visiting the official website

The Tractor & Smallholding Show takes place at the Hop Farm, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6PY on 16-17th July. Adult day tickets advance £8.50 at show £10. Three nights’ family weekend camping advance £45 at show £55, includes show admission for two adults, children free. Well behaved dogs on leads welcome. Book online at or call 01959 541444.