Haverhill farmer’s ‘eclectic’ trove of early hand tools and rural machinery goes under hammer

A vintage John Deere tractor at the Blackmore family sale near Haverhill Picture: PETER CRICHTON

A vintage John Deere tractor at the Blackmore family sale near Haverhill Picture: PETER CRICHTON - Credit: Archant

Early hand tools dating back to the 19th century, rural machinery and a range of other equipment are going up for sale at Haverhill following the death of a farming stalwart last year.

A vintage tractor at the Blackmore family sale near Haverhill Picture: PETER CRICHTON

A vintage tractor at the Blackmore family sale near Haverhill Picture: PETER CRICHTON - Credit: Archant

John Blackmore, of Castle Camps, died at the grand old age of 96 in July 2017 after farming the land since 1952. Over his lifetime he had built up a “fascinating and extensive” collection of rural machinery equipment and bygones, said auctioneer Peter Crichton.

Mr Crichton said he was expecting buyers from a wide area to descend on Nosterfield End, Castle Camps, on Saturday, September 22, for the sale, which comprises 650 lots.

“It seems that John Blackmore and his family never threw anything away, hence the size of the sale,” he said.

“This includes a wide range of vintage tractors, vehicles, heavy farm machinery and equipment, vintage motorcycles and mopeds, World War 1 and World War 2 memorabilia, vintage dairy and trade items, bygones and many other interesting collectors’ items.

A vintage moped at the Blackmore family sale near Haverhill Picture: PETER CRICHTON

A vintage moped at the Blackmore family sale near Haverhill Picture: PETER CRICHTON - Credit: Archant


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“We are expecting buyers to attend from a wide area and have already received interest from rural museums so far as some of the early farming tools and equipment is concerned.”

On his first visit to the site, Mr Crichton said he found a “whole host” of vintage farm machinery and bygones for sale tucked away in a range of sheds many which have not seen the light of day for several decades.

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The sale of John Blackmore’s lifetime’s collection takes place at Goodwoods Farm from 11am.

John’s son Les Blackmore, who collected with his father in the 1960s and 70s, said it was an “eclectic” mix, with much of it resulting from a nostalgia for horse-drawn farm technology, building up “quite a remarkable” collection. “It all brought back memories of his youth and he was interested in the mechanical working of stuff,” he said.

One of the more unusual items is a nightsoil cart. The two-wheeled vehicle would collect human waste from villages or more urbanised areas to be dispose of it elsewhere.

“The nickname for that cart was the honey cart because it smelt so bad,” said Les.

Most of the collection was from East Anglia, he added.

Les, who now lives in Durham, said he was looking forward to the sale, but would be glad when it was all over.

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