6th July 2014 – MF Memorial to tractors built at Banner Lane, Coventry unveiled at Bannerbrook Park.
Andy Peters, of Persimmon Homes South Midlands, Coventry Lord Mayor Hazel Noonan and Richard Markwell, of Massey Ferguson
The new work is the gift of Massey Ferguson and its parent company AGCO. Crafted in bronze and granite, it was unveiled at a special ceremony on Sunday 6 July at Bannerbrook Park in Tile Hill, the site of the former factory.
“This new artwork celebrates the production of over 3.3 million Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors at Banner Lane from 1946-2003,” explains Richard Markwell, Vice-President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson, Europe, Africa, Middle East. “We are extremely proud of the legacy of the Banner Lane factory and the pioneering work of Harry Ferguson, which initially took us to the site. The creation of this prestigious new piece is a tribute to all those who worked there over a 60-year period. They helped drive the spirit and camaraderie of one of the world’s most famous farm machinery brands and laid the foundations for its ever-growing success today.”
Banner Lane was the largest tractor factory in the western world and, in further recognition of the Massey Ferguson legacy at the site, it is planned for a road to be named Ferguson Close while a new bridle path – Massey Ferguson Way – is scheduled to open in 2015.
AGCO fully vacated the Banner Lane site in 2006 and established its European Office facility at Abbey Park Stoneleigh, some eight miles away, where it employs 500 people.
July 6 had been chosen for the unveiling of the Massey Ferguson artwork as this marks the date that the first tractor, a Ferguson TE 20, left the assembly line 68 years ago.
Jemma Pearson was the Sculptor of the artwork.
Jemma is opening her studio to the public 26th to 28 July. The main attraction will be the clay original of the 7ft bronze plaque. As the clay sculpture dries out very quickly it will not last forever, but Jemma has been watering it nearly daily for 6 months! The net result is that it is still in one piece and shows all the detail in the same scale as the bronze piece. Anyone interested would be very welcome to come and see it during these three days.
The Studio is in Clun in South Shropshire and the address is: The Studio, Caradoc, Church Street, Clun, Shropshire, SY7 8JW.