20 March 1998

Converting tackle toy collectibles…

NORTHUMBERLAND farm contractor Stephen Frater has developed his boyhood hobby into an expanding and satisfying business.

Stephen has long collected Britains 1/32 scale farm toys, but as the company did not produce models of all the variants produced by the mainline producers of farm equipment, he began to supplement his collection by converting those they did make in order to accurately represent the real machines. Before long he was asked to convert models for friends.

After realising that there could be a steady demand for such models, Stephen decided to try exhibiting at the popular toy tractor collectors fairs at Spalding and Biggleswade. Encouraged by a favourable response from discerning tractor collectors, he decided to continue with his toy tractor modifications as a part-time business after his days work driving a tractor and loader on the mixed family farms in and around the Alnwick district.

Stephen is a Ford New Holland driver, so it is not surprising that his list does have a distinct NH flavour. However, his Dowdeswell combination drills have proved popular, as have his Dowdeswell spreaders and power harrows. Last year he released his series of West liveried trailers in both silage and grain variants. The 25th anniversary liveried Ford 7810 is also in demand.

Stephen will be attending the Spalding event this spring where he hopes to display his conversion of the New Holland M160/8560 with the newly fitted front hitches. These same tractors are available with or without dual wheels all round and can be finished, with appropriate decals, to represent any of the 60 series and to more accurately model a customers real tractor.

Steve Harris

&#8226 Stephen Frater can be contacted on (01665-574990).

Diary and contact numbers: Apr 5 – Spalding Collectors Fair – farming collectables, Springfield Exhibition Centre, (just off A16 Spalding by-pass). Inquiries (01406-380740).

Oct 4 – The Model Tractor Show, The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade, Beds. Inquiries (01646-661645).

Stephen Frater drives a Ford New Holland by day so its not surprising his list has a NH flavour.

Above:Stephens model version of the New Holland 8870. He plans to take his New Holland 8560 (left) and M160 (below) with the newly fitted front hitches to Spalding next month.