Mike and Doreen Creed live in a lovely house that Mike created from a total wreck on the former Bostock family estate. It’s approximately six acres, with 1.5 of that dedicated to their small holding farm.

Here they fatten around six cattle a year that are kept in the best of conditions and in some excellent pens in winter.

Mike is an exceptional engineer, he even made his own Ford 93A special car in the very early 50s before joining the REMEE for his National Service and was later to work for ICI as a technical design engineer.

From what others tell me he was basically given an idea, which he then transformed into reality. His work in the dental industry was well known and after retirement Mike was to be invited back to work on various projects, which carried on for many years until he said ‘enough is enough’.

Besides his smallholding, which he rebuilt the buildings so tastefully, particularly the cow stable block, his other hobbies include his 1953 MG TD and a 1954 MG TF, which the happy couple tour and rally across the UK.

Nothing is quiet in this household, the cockerels and roosters are always 'singing' along with the various breeds of free range chickens.

Asked, why go farming? Mike said it was always a dream they had and it has been a great relaxation for both of them over the years.

During the total restoration of the house the couple lived for some time in a caravan. The work on the house was undertaken by Mike, who needed a tractor with a foreloader and bucket for various jobs.

He went to well-known dealers John Bownes Ltd of Winsford who had just the ticket in stock, remembering this was 24 years ago now.

It was a 1967 Massey Ferguson 135 fitted with an Alexander Duncan cab made in Aberdeen, Scotland; in fact this famous cab manufacturer closed its doors 10 years ago as such.

However, Bob Duncan who designed many of the cabs from the 70's was inundated with requests to carry on with the spares for such things and that's what he does today, along with his sister.

He cannot however supply any metal panels, which is a disappointment, but there you go. Nevertheless Duncan cabs do come on the market if you look hard and are normally inexpensive to purchase.

Getting back to our 135, Mike was to find out that the tractor was supplied new on 8th September 1967 to J Bailey, Brook Farm, Brichton, Sandbach, Cheshire.

He paid £877 for the tractor from MF dealers Sharrocks of Sandbach. When Mike purchased the 135 in 1986 he actually paid more than the original owner at £1,100, it just shows you how these little 45hp tractors have held up price wise over the years, which still applies today.

He had problems over the log book, but after some enquires with the original suppliers the registration was discovered and that enabled Mike to obtain the log book from the DVLA. Although the Perkins A-152A engine was perfect the back wings were bashed and the tractor has never had any doors fitted in Mike's ownership.

However this worked well when on the building work particularly for getting in and out quickly.As of today the tractor has done 4030 hours from new, and all Mike has really done mechanically is replace the battery every 4-5 years. However, the wiring loom and the tin work have needed some work. Years back before the repro panels game had taken off, as it has today, Mike saw an advert in some agricultural paper and he travelled to Crystal Palace, south London.

At the back of the shop owned and run by a Greek Cypriot he found a whole quantity of MF tractors and second hand panels to fit the likes of Mike’s 135.

He found a wing, which he paid £25 or so for, and brought it back to Cheshire, that eventually made its way onto the tractor.

In recent times a brand new steering wheel has also been acquired at a relatively reasonable price and looks the ticket when all said and done as Mike drives around in the yard.

The other major item that has been replaced in this department are the wheel rims. This came about after realising the tractor is now a collector’s item and needed to be 'loved'.

The new rims were acquired and even though Mike is very capable of spraying them himself, but he decided that the well known tractor restorer and local paint sprayer Alan Davies (we will be looking at Alan’s new two DVD set 'The Beginner’s Guide to Tractor Paint Spraying next month) agreed to carry out the work.

Livestock tractors really do suffer from problems in this area that doesn’t affect the tyres, but can affect the inside of the rims and eventually the inner tubes.

After re-assembling the tyres the back of the tractor was cleaned off and repainted as has the bonnet and the cab.

Now Mike is looking for some doors for the Duncan cab, can you help? Tel: 01606 48640.

Although there are one or two items still to be finished, the refurbishment of the tractor looks great and is a credit to the 73-year-old who is as active as ever and will be chain harrowing the land followed by fertilising once the work is complete.

It was a pleasure to spend a couple of hours here and enjoy the company of a real smallholder who enjoys country life to the full.