The Ferguson Club – 25th Anniversary – 1986-2011
Formed in the Autumn of 1986 ,the Club had only 180 members by the end of that year. Officially recognised by Massey Ferguson(UK) Ltd., the Club was administered by David Bates ( Editor ), Ken Goodwin ( Membership Secretary ) and Geoffrey Smith (General Secretary). The principal objective was to promote interest in the late Harry Ferguson, his designs for the mechanisation of agriculture and in particular “the Ferguson System”.
The Club covered – Ferguson A (Ferguson Brown), Ford –Ferguson 2N,8N & 9N, TE20, TO20,, TO30, USA & UK implements, and by agreement with Massey Ferguson the MF35 & MF65.
Right at the beginning they decided to issue 4 Quarterly Journals per year, to the Membership, who paid the princely sum of £10 per year.
The Journal ( Volume 1 No 1 ) promised to give Members the opportunity to advertise Sales & Wants, help other members with technical queries, and publish Member’s articles on their Tractors with Photographs.
Membership at this early stage included Members from USA, Australia & Ireland.
The first Technical Article gave valuable data on the TYPE TE-F20 (1951/2), this being a Diesel engined version of the TA-20 petrol Tractor, and listed the Special tools from V.L. Churchill & Co Ltd.
This Journal included the recipe for TVO ( Tractor Vapourising Oil ) as :
5 Gallons of 28 second Central Heating Oil /1 Gallon Petrol /½ Pint Universal Engine Oil. (TVO–25 litres @£8.50)
It also gave the costs of a TE-A @ £ 395, and many more items.
The Club has a very privileged and proud connection with the Ferguson Family, and in 1989, Mrs Elizabeth Sheldon (daughter of the late Harry Ferguson) became the Patron, and followed later by her son Jamie Sheldon,our first President under the new Constitution.
Recently the Club announced that Mrs Sally Fleming & Mrs Caroline Blest ( Mrs Sheldon’s daughters ) had accepted the invitation to become Vice-Presidents.
Publication of the Journal continued without any missed years and currently Journal No 68 is much improved , and has a current circulation of approx. 1500. Colour pictures having been introduced in 1996, by the then Editor Alan Dunderdale.
In 1994, the Club became, as it is now, a totally independent Members Club, and income relying mainly on annual subscription . Some income is also derived from advertising in the Journal and Sales of Merchandise .
3 very dedicated people have succeeded in ensuring that the Club is structurally sound — John Cousins( General Secretary) Ian Halstead (Chairman) & Lawrence Jamieson (Membership Secretary) were elected in1995, and these Officers were instrumental in keeping the Club in good shape, implementing a 5 year Plan, whilst unfinished business was completed. The first Constitution & Rules were agreed in 1995, and have only been modified to take account of new Officer positions. The Club is financially secure and Membership continues to increase year by year, and is currently 1500.
In 2001 the Club produced the new “Handbook”, which contained Maintenance information, Tractor data, the Constitution & Membership application Form.
The Club organises annually, a large number of Rallies, Shows, Ploughing matches , Harvest work-ins, Charitable events, Workshops, Agricultural shows and a host of recreational events across the UK.
A highlight of the Club’s activities was” the Grey Ferguson Challenge” , held in 1994 at Wickenby, when over 100 tractors ploughed together in one bout covering over 1000yards.
Management of the Club is carried out by the Executive Committee- ( Chairman, Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Treasurer & Membership Secretary) and Area Representatives forming the General Committee, with the Executive Committee. The Club Rules include the tenure of office for the Chairman & General Secretary, serving for only 2 consecutive years.
It is worthwhile noting that in 1986, the number of Area Reps. was 8 , rising to 18 in 1989, 30 in 1991 and 37 in 1993.
The Club has also appointed members to be responsible for :- Commercial Advertising, Website Co-ordinator, Area Rep. Co-ordinator, Merchandise Co-ordinator, DVLA Officer, Safety Officers & Technical Team.
The Annual Members Weekend & AGM is held around the UK, in order to give members the opportunity to meet new faces and to take part in the AGM, as well as seeing other members tractors, and has proved to be a great success.
The 25th Annual Weekend & AGM was held in Beamish, Co. Durham and our 2012 event was held in Sheffield.
The Club is enjoying probably the best years now, since formation in 1986, with a high level of interest by the Members and the Management.
General Secretary/Executive Committee