Tractor fan’s collection could fetch £500,000 at auction
Some of the tractors which are to be sold at auction at Mullaghbawn, Newry, Northern Ireland. (Cheffins/ PA)

A man who sought out tractors that reminded him of his youth on a farm is to sell his prized collection at auction, where it is estimated they could fetch around £500,000 in total.

Aidan Strain, who lives in the village of Mullaghbawn near Newry, Northern Ireland, amassed more than 80 of the classic and vintage machines over the last 30 years.

The 64-year-old, who runs an electrical engineering firm, said he is selling the collection to allow for the growth of his business.

“I will be sad to see the tractors go but always knew this day would come,” he said.

Aidan Strain, 64, said he will be sad to see his collection of 81 tractors go. (Cheffins/ PA)Aidan Strain, 64, said he will be sad to see his collection of 81 tractors go. (Cheffins/PA)

Mr Strain started his collection in the 1990s with a focus on Massey Fergusons, David Browns, Fords and Internationals, and he now has 81 tractors.

“I was born on a farm, and as soon as I could I started buying up tractors from the 1960s and 1970s, ones which we used during my childhood,” he said.

“I have been growing this collection now for over 30 years, and I always knew that when I reached my mid-60s I would have to sell up, other things in life have now taken over and I want someone else to be able to enjoy them.

“I have sought out and collected the tractors which remind me of my youth on the farm. I have found examples of the tractors which my grandfather and my father used, such as the International B250 and B414 examples which were so popular at the time.

“As I got older, we moved onto Massey Fergusons and worked with many different tractors on my neighbours’ farms, so I have been collecting those as well.

“I have bought these tractors from everywhere, from auctions or even ones I have driven past on the road.

“When I had time and I was younger, I used to love doing them up, and now all of the tractors on offer are in tip-top condition.”

Auctioneers estimate that the 81 tractors could fetch around \u00a3500,000 in total. (Cheffins/ PA)Auctioneers estimate that the 81 tractors could fetch around £500,000 in total. (Cheffins/PA)

The tractors are to be sold at an on-site auction at Mullaghbawn on April 2, which is being organised by Cambridge-based auctioneer Cheffins.

Oliver Godfrey, a director at Cheffins, said: “This is one of the largest single vendor collections to come available in Northern Ireland for decades.

“Aidan Strain has amassed a hugely impressive collection here, with a clear direction in terms of which tractors he was buying.

“Only examples of the best quality are available at the sale, many of which have been carefully restored over recent years.

“This is set to be an important sale, and we look forward to being able to offer it to the market.”

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