Memories are for sale in the springtime when Tom Sloan puts his huge collection of vintage implements and machinery on the market, at Lanark.

Tom, from Crorieshill, near Maybole, has been collecting for as long as he can remember, and has amassed three buildings full of rural and farm related bits and pieces. Since he retired from farming full time, he has had the time to get the collection organised, labelled and laid out in sections according to what they were used for.

Trying to estimate how many pieces is a difficult task, some of the things are age old locks, there are dozens of those, the walls have head collars for Clydesdales, the floor is littered with tractor seats, scales, butter making equipment and hand tools, drainer’s spades, all kinds of things from every sector of farming’s history.

The items span generations. He has horn spoons from the 1700s, a family bible from 1790. Tom says: “I was always the one that people gave things to when they didn’t want them anymore. Family letters, photographs etc items with a story or history, I took them. I hated to see good things being thrown away. In fact, lots of the things in this collection were very nearly in a skip before I took them. Many of the items are beautifully handmade. Some have come to me in a broken state. I have handyman skills but nothing more than that. I do my best to tidy them up and if I can get them back in working order, I will.”

Tom has an impressive hand and foot threshing machine, still in perfect working order. It spins with ease, made from wood and made to last. Sitting alongside it is a Ferguson TE20 tractor from the 1950s. In the byre next to a disused fireplace, is a cast iron kettle hanging from a kleik, looking for all the world that it will be swung over the flames to get a brew on. A stunning wooden harrow, he says: “Farmers will have seen vintage harrows, but a wooden one is quite rare.”

I wonder whether there is a star item that will shine at the sale, and Tom contemplates it and comes back with an interesting answer. “I think that different things will impress different people. It depends on their background and what each thing reminds them of.”

He is right when he says that the most potent things about vintage implements, are the memories they invoke. He says lots of his things are run of the mill bits and pieces that were found round farms over the last century. But it’s when you hold it in your hand and remember using it as a child, your father or grandfather using it. That’s when it becomes of value.

Tom has a story for every item. It’s fascinating listening to him. He has an eye for a good find, but not always the knowledge. For that he relies on his friend John Gibson, of Elsrickle, near Biggar. John has been a font of knowledge for Tom over the years, as he is also a collector of note and there’s not much that John can’t put a name to.

Some of the things in the collection have already been promised to various museums and educational institutions. He has quern stone that was found in Straiton, and he would love to see it go back there, as that’s where it belongs in Tom’s opinion. He has other things that could be gifted back to the area they came from. And he is quite firm when he says that he alone will decide if the potential home would be suitable. Tom likes to see his things used, or viewed. Not stuck in the bowels of some museum.

He has decided to give his collection to his son and daughter and they have kept as many things as they can as space limits the number of items they can keep, however, it is time that the collection was moved on.

From the sale there will be an appropriate donation made to charity to repay for the pieces passed on to him over the years.

Lawrie and Symington came out to look at Tom’s collection and he now has to start thinking about labelling and boxing up everything to be moved to Lanark in the springtime. I ask when he is going to start the packing process. “As soon as you leave,” he laughs.