VINTAGE power and the progress of tractor technology will be on display at the Royal Bath & West Show from June 1-3, with more than 50 vintage and rare tractors from across the UK making their way to the event.

The revolutions of agriculture have changed the British landscape and food production.

“Farm machinery innovation, and particularly tractors, have shaped the modern agricultural landscape and society,” said Patrick Palmer, retired chief steward, tractor enthusiast, and 40-year Royal Bath & West Show veteran.

“Mechanisation of agriculture and the growth of productivity has freed populations to pursue other endeavours.

"The Bath & West Show’s vintage tractor entries offer the public an opportunity to see that progress up-close in the form of changing tractor technology.”

A key innovation in tractor technology was the move from tractor vaporising oil (TVO) to diesel in the late 1940s, easing operations and enhancing economic performance.

“TVO was a very cheap form of petrol, but the big problem was that it wouldn’t ignite at low temperatures,” added Mr Palmer.

“Tractors had a small tank of high-quality petrol for starting them, and a second tank of TVO for running.

"Once the tractor was up to temperature the operator would need to switch to the TVO tank, but if they got it wrong and switched too soon – which frequently happened – the spark plugs would bung up with oil and stop firing.

“They would have to strip and clean the plugs and try again. It was a nightmare.”

Mr Palmer has one of the early diesel tractors – a David Brown 30d - which led the parade to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at last year’s show.

Vintage steamers, tractors and heavy goods vehicles will be running demonstrations in their own arena throughout this year's show, and parading in the main arena on all three days.

Among the 50 tractor entries will be a 1947 David Brown, which will be the oldest entry this year.

Vintage tractor steward and Ferguson club area representative Robin Hatcher said: “We have a fascinating range of other vintage vehicles and implements, ranging from a 1948 Grey Ferguson to Fords, right up to a 1986 John Deere 3040 two-wheel-drive, and 1992 John Deere 4055.”

The vintage tractor main ring parades take place on June 1 at 2.15pm; June 2 at 2.30pm; and June 3 at 4.55pm as part of the grand parade.