Award-winning photographer Allan Wright is intent on capturing a lost army – an army that is, of largely abandoned Vintage Tractors.
Roaming Scotland’s stunning coastal and rural landscape with lens at the ready, Allan takes us on an unusual journey of discovery that reflects on the role of the tractor and on how it has shaped Scotland’s agricultural history, heritage and landscape.
Featuring award winning Scottish poet George Gunn and retired farmer and tractor enthusiast Ayrshireman Russell McNab – this unique book celebrates the role of the tractor in ‘making life possible’.
Visitors to Scotland, walkers, farmers, crofters and their families plus historians and lovers of vintage machinery will all find much to enjoy as will thousands of tractor buffs whose enduring fascination for all things mechanical knows no bounds.
Allan has been a professional photographer since the 1980s.
He explained: ‘My principle occupation is as a landscape photographer, but during my working travels I unwittingly developed a particularly sharp eye for a tractor, abandoned or partially obscured at the back of a barn or in the far distant corner of a field. I felt a strange magnetic draw each time I encountered one of these “noble beasts”.’
Widely travelled across the globe Wright is renowned for his ability to capture the variant moods and lyricism of his native Scotland’s landscape.
As Vintage Tractors clearly demonstrates, he relishes: ‘zeroing in on the moment, to capture that extra-special shot”. And on tractors he says: “With some imagination, there can be true poetry in each of their journeys, as very slowly over years, these ‘beasts’ are quietly absorbed back into the land they have worked all their life.’
A key feature is new work by celebrated poet George Gunn that Allan Wright specially commissioned for his book. Gunn is renowned for his ability to encompass many contrasting aspects of Scottish culture.
His poetic masterpiece, which explores the tractors’ legacy, features on the book’s centre pages and is a perfect conduit to the land and to the agricultural heritage of rural Scotland.
Russell McNab, a tractor enthusiast and long time stalwart of the Ayrshire Tractor and Machinery Club, contributes his vivid personal memories of tractor ownership.
His impressive knowledge and passion for tractors and his amusing anecdotes will entertain anyone who may have had or maybe still has an ancient machine working their fields or hiding in a shed, a wood – or a bog!
Vintage Tractors is available now, priced £9.99, from www.scottishbookstore.com.
Alan’s work also appeared in another new book published this month, Scotland’s Islands.