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Ferguson Club – 25th Anniversary – 1986-2011

The Ferguson Club – 25th Anniversary – 1986-2011

fc25thbadge“Special Anniversary Badge – free to all who were paid up members during 2011, our Silver Anniversary year.”

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.

Harry Turkington

General Secretary/Executive Committee

Harry Ferguson – First flight in Ireland

1909 – 2009/10 Centenary of First Flight in Ireland

It was during 1909 that Harry Ferguson designed and built his aeroplane in Ireland. After many unsuccessful attempts due to poor weather, it was on the last day of 1909 – 31st December – that he completed his first successful flight. Harry was aged 25 years old at the time.

So Harry Ferguson made the first flight in Ireland.

The pictures below show Harry Ferguson with his Mk1 and 2 aircraft designs (one a taildragger, the other a tricycle undercarriage) – the passenger in the aircraft is one Rita Marr who travelled from Liverpool to fly with HF in Northern Ireland, date is not recorded.


General Notes on Harry Ferguson

General Notes on Harry Ferguson

Only one invention in ten thousand succeeds.  The reason is that there is no plan behind the failures.

Harry Ferguson began his life as a poor boy on a small farm in County Down, Northern Ireland.  He was one of five brothers.  He died in 1960 at 76 years, being born (a few months before Daimler and Benz invented their cars) November 1884.

Harry Ferguson was hard working and a confirmed agnostic.  There was no free education in those days.  He was sent to the village school, but mainly self-educated i.e. no secondary schools or technical colleges.

Farms then used horses, scythes, hand milking.  He loved the country but thought farming was drudgery.  He saw ways of making farm work easier and more productive.

At sixteen he started his own workshop, 1900.  No one to teach us said Brother Joe.  No matter, said Harry we’ll teach ourselves by taking one or two to pieces.  They formed a company J.B. Ferguson, Automobile Engineers in Belfast in 1908.

Hands teach the brain.  Gothlieb Daimler was a baker’s son, self-taught man – first motor bike made by him.  Karl Benz – son of railway engine driver.  Brighton Run ‘Emancipation Run’ 39 cars.  Harry serviced this type of car in his garage.  But was more keen on motor cycles.

In those days very few people knew anything.  There was no training for mechanical work – service was unreliable.  Service was Harry’s key word, along with honesty and reliability.

His slogan – “Always the best and only the best”.

There were no instruction manuals.  He realised the great importance of clear instruction manuals i.e. communication.  Read the instruction book – golden rule.

He built and raced his own motor bike and car.

Principle – a man should never submit when he is convinced he is right.

The same should apply in business.

1909 Bleriot flew the channel.

Harry Ferguson built his own aeroplane and flew it in 5 months same year.

Severely injured in crash.

He married.  His wife tried a measure of control and guided and supported him in everything.

1914 Irish Dept. of Agriculture:  Tractor was replacing horses on a few farms.

Heavy tractors panned soil and tipped backwards.

Two horses can consume all that the farmer can grow on six acres, can be more, or as low as three acres minimum.

Agriculture is the most important industry in the world.  Yet it is the only industry still in places conducted by antiquated methods.  It still is in many countries.  The good earth must produce more than enough to keep the whole population well fed and content at prices people can afford to pay.

He could see a new principle was needed.

Flywheel energy – climb differential i.e. pinion can climb differential gear in a few seconds.

If farmer breaks an implement it is time not the cost that worries him – he must be able to get on when soil conditions are right or harvest at correct time.

Engines or machines must be strong and suitably designed.

The 1933 – 1st Ferguson Tractor weighed 16½ cwt.  Steel wheels.  Cost £230.00.  Ferguson system implement attachment was easy etc.  Control was from driver’s seat.

Ferguson-Brown Type A was introduced early summer 1936.

Sold 300,000 Tractors.  1 million implements.

1947 Henry Ford died 83 years.

His death spelt end for H Ferguson.

Grandson Ford terminated agreement (unwritten).

1946 Standard Motor Company.  No aeroplanes to make.  Empty factory.  Steel was short.  Agreed with Sir John Black (to refit their armaments factory at Banner Lane, Coventry).

By 1948 – 150 machines a day at Coventry were built.

Also built factory in Detroit still in use.

Law suit against Ford.  Principle.  9 million dollars awarded.

The principle was to protect rights and interest of small men and big company’s exploitation.

1952 Ford case cost 9 ¼ million dollars to Ford Company over a patent suit.

1953 amalgamated with Massey Harris.

H.F. was in bed every night 9 p.m.  Notebook and pencil to hand.  He could be described as eccentric.

Beauty in engineering is that which exactly fulfils its purpose and has no superfluous parts.

Refused knighthood twice.  Not for businessmen he said.

He was undoubtedly a genius.  But patient and stubborn and made his mark on the mother of all industries, agriculture – production of food upon which all life hinges.

Famous from Tibet to Antarctica (Hillary Tracks) South Pole.  Ferguson Tractor used to go to South Pole.

He insisted on being responsible even after warranty expired.

He would also stop in roads to see machines working in fields and if necessary get on the job himself to the amazement often of the farmer.

What is technology?  For example, an application of technology – for centuries Arabs burned camel dung while there was oil beneath their feet.  Technical skills enable progress often against prejudice and resistance to new ideas.

He was a great man.

Harry Ferguson Ltd. – Aims and Orders

Classification of breakdown and investigation of complaints.

Order of Investigation.

  1. Check Handling –
    Operator Instruction Book
    Correct Installation
  2. Manufacturer – Workmanship
  3. Design Faults
    In fault finding and checking, the design of machine is the most important thing of all.

The Product – Order           

  • Product Reliability (customer)
  • Product durability (service)
  • Product accessibility (service)

Sales will follow.

L0904 © Mike Thorne/KJM

Books written and published about Harry Ferguson

A Compilation of books written and published about Harry Ferguson,
Ferguson, Massey Harris and Massey Ferguson;

All credits to go to Mike Thorne, John Farnworth, Alan Condie and Peter Drinkwater for their work in compiling this list and validating it to the best of their knowledge, on behalf of The Ferguson Club
© The Ferguson Club August 2021

This list is not definitive and the Ferguson Club would welcome additions or edits to what we have presented here – please let the website editor know of updates

  1. A Global Corporation by EP Neufeld ; 1969 ; University Press of Toronto ; 427 pages
  2. Harry Ferguson Inventor and Pioneer by Colin Fraser ; 1972 ; John Murray publishing ; hardback ; republished by Old Pond ; paperback 1998 ; 288 pages ; ISBN 0-9533651-2-3

A list of books by John Farnworth

  1. Ferguson Implements and Accessories ; revised edition 2006 ; Japonica Press ; 223 pages ISBN 1-904686-08-7
  2. Massey Legacy Vol I ; 1997 ; Farming Press ; 399 pages, ISBN 0-85263-403
  3. Massey Legacy Vol II ; 1998 ; Farming Press ; 272 pages, ISBN 0-85236-404-0
  4. Advertising of Massey Harris, Ferguson and Massey Ferguson ; 1999 ; Farming Press ; 320 pages, ISBN 0-85236-528-4
  5. The MF500 Tractor Era ; 2010 ; Japonica Press ; 271 pages, ISBN 978-1-904-686
  6. Massey Ferguson 100 and 1000 Tractors ; 2003 ; Japonica Press ; 323 pages, ISBN 1-90468-05-2
  7. A Worldwide Massey Ferguson Industrial & Construction Equipment ; 2001 ; Japonica Press ; 309 pages ; ISBN 0-9540222-0-3
  8. A Worldwide Guide to Massey Harris, Ferguson and early Massey Harris Ferguson tractors ; 2000 ; Japonica Press ; 239 pages ; ISBN 09533737-6-2
  9. Memories of the Founding of Massey Ferguson, 1953-1958 ; 2007 ; Japonica Press ; 223 pages ; ISBN 1-9 04686-14-19
  10. Massey Harris Harvesters ; 2013 ; Japonica Press ; 339 pages ; ISBN 978-1-904686-32-3
  11. Ferguson, The Hunday Experience ; 2000 ; Japonica Press ; 378 pages ; ISBN 09533737-5-4
  12. Ferguson Advertising ; 2014 ; Herridge & Sons ; 144 pages ; ISBN 978-1-906733-62-7
  13. Working with Harry Ferguson ; 2017 ; Japonica Press ; 144 pages ;
  14. Early Massey Ferguson Implements ; 2019 ; Japonica Press ; 281 pages ; ISBN 978-1-904686-97-2

John’s (Farnworth) Personal Publications

  1. The Farnworth Masseys ; 2004 ; A substantial booklet of 41 pages – (out of print)
  2. The Evolution of Massey Ferguson Training ; A substantial booklet of 82 pages

 A list of books by Alan Condie – Published by Alan Condie

  1. The Ferguson Album ; 1st published 1990 – reprinted 1993 ; ISBN 0-907742-82-3 (hardback) ISBN 0-907742-83-1 (softback)
  2. The Fergie 20 Family Vintage Tractor Special ; 1st published 1992 – reprinted 1995,1998,2001 ; 64 pages ; A4 saddle stitched ; ISBN 0-907742-59-9
  3. Fergie 20 Implements, Accessories and Industrial Equipment. Vintage Tractor Special No.2 ; 1st published 1996 – reprinted 2002 ; 48 pages ; A4 saddle stitiched ; ISBN 1-85638-006-8
  4. Massey Ferguson 1958-82 Classic Tractor Special No.3 ; 1st published 1995 – reprinted 2002 ; 56 pages ; A4 saddle stitched ; ISBN 0-907742-92-0
  5. By Alan Condie but published by Midland Counties Publications ; Great Tractor Builders, Ferguson ; 2001 ; 96 pages ; Quarto printed paper case ; ISBN 97807-1102-8265

Other Authors

  1. The Ferguson Story ; Stuart Gibbard ; Old Pond ; 2000 ; 168 pages ; ISBN 1-903366-08-9
  2. Living Biographies, Harry Ferguson by Norman Wymer ; 1961 ; Phoenix House Ltd.
  3. Harry Ferguson ; Bill Martin ; Ulster Folk & Transport Museum ; 30 pages ; Landscape Format ; soft back
  4. Ferguson, a Farming Revolution ; Tim Bolton ; 114 pages ; softback ; Morton Books ; 2021 ; ISBN 978-1-911658-22-1
  5. Working at Masseys by Ken Tyrell ; 213 pages ; Bread Book ; 2008 ; paperback ; ISBN 0-09542112-7-8
  6. Inside Massey Ferguson – A Story of Service ; David Walker ; Farm Power Publishing ; 2011 ; 265 pages ; softback
  7. Harry Ferguson Before the Plough ; Michael Clarke in collaboration with Jack Woods ; 159 pages ; Ballyhay Books, an imprint of Laurel Cottage Books ; 57 pages ; softback ; 2009
  8. The Standard Motor Company ; Graham Robson ; Veloce Publishing ; 2011 ; 208 pages ; ISBN 1-845843-43-4
  9. Not strictly a book about Ferguson but a lot of insight into the man Harry Ferguson. ; To Make a Better Mousetrap ; a biography of Rex McCandless by R.L Jennings ; self published 2003, revised 2011 ; hardback ; 265 pages ; ISBN 978-0-9534628-4-1
  10. Traction For Sale ; Bill Munro & Pat Turner ; Earlswood Press ; 2019 ; 298 pages ; ISBN 9780993101861 ; A substantial book about the evolution of Formula Ferguson 4wd Systems
  11. Harry Ferguson, A Brief History of his Life and Tractors ; Massey Ferguson Tractors Ltd ; 1986 ; publication no. 1856772 M1
  12. The Massey Ferguson Workshop Service Manual ; Chris Jaworski ; Old Pond Publishing ; 2013 ; 206 pages ; ISBN 978-1-908397-12-6
  13. Massey Ferguson Tractors ; Michael Williams ; 1987 ; Blandford Press ; 128 pages ; ISBN 0-7137-1898-6
  14. Massey Ferguson Tractors ; Michael Williams ; 2005 ; Bounty Books ; ISBN 0-7537-1144-3 or ISBN 13-978753711446
  15. Massey Ferguson Tractors ; Michael Williams ; 1989 ; ISBN 0-85236-203-x (13, 14 & 15 above are the same books)
  16. The Big Book of Massey Ferguson Tractors ; The Complete Book of Massey Harris & Massey Ferguson Tractors, Collectibles, Sales Memorabilia and Brochures ; Robert Pripps ; 2006 ; ISBN 076032655x
  17. Ferguson, The Story Continues, an Illustrated History ; Max Smith ; AGCO ; 1998 No. 12720-0398
  18. Sixty Years of FE35 Tractor ; Stevan DT Patterson ;
  19. Seventy Years of The Ferguson TE20 ; Stevan DT Patterson
  20. The Ford Ferguson Tractor ; Stevan DT Patterson
  21. The Ferguson Black Tractor by Stevan DT Patterson
  22. Eighty Years of the Ferguson Brown Type A and Black Tractor ; Stevan DT Patterson
  23. Peter and Pauline at Hollyhock Farm ; RAE Linney ; originally published in 1951 by Harry Ferguson Ltd ; republished in 2008 ; Old Pond  ; a charming childrens book about the Ferguson TE20 ; 48 pages ; hardback ; ISBN 978-1-905523-94-8
  24. Harry Ferguson and I ; Michael Winter (HF Personal Assistant) ; self published 1995 ; paperback ; A5 ; 135 pages
  25. The Legendary LTX Tractor, The Big Fergie Story ; M Thorne published in 2000 ; originally included with a limited run of 1/18th scale models of the LTX
  26. A Rural Revolution ; J Wentworth Day ; a Harry Ferguson publication ; 1952 ; 115 pages ; softback – RARE
  27. British Tractors by Stuart Gibbard ; Herridge & Sons Ltd ; 2013 ; ISBN 978-1-906-133-52-8 ; Covers a lot of makes but a good chunk on Ferguson
  28. Ferguson TE20 Tractor 1946 Onwards, The Enthusiasts Manual ; Haynes Ltd ; ISBN 9780-85733-01-09 – currently out of print
  29. TE20 In Detail ; Michael Thorne ; Herridge & Sons Ltd ; 2006 ; 174 pages ; hardback ; phots by Andrew Morland ; ISBN 978-0-9549981-3-4
  30. Massey Ferguson 35/65 In Detail ; Michael Thorne ; Herridge & Sons Ltd ; 2014 ; photos by Andrew Morland ; ISBN 978-1-906133-53-5
  31. Massey Ferguson 100 Series In Detail ; Michael Thorne ; Herridge & Sons Ltd ; 2017 ; hardback ; photos by Andrew Morland ; ISBN 978-1-906133-76-4
  32. Massey Ferguson Tractors ; Jonathan Whitlam ; ISBN 9781445667256

 © The Ferguson Club August 2021

Banner Lane – a brief history – by Duncan Russell

Banner Lane – a brief history – by Duncan Russell

Banner Lane, means much to many people, not only those who worked there but to the many owners and enthusiasts of Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors throughout the world.But Banner Lane is no more; the site is now a housing developmentcalled Bannerbrook Park which has been planned and developed by house builder Persimmon, eventually some 1000 new homes will have been built on the site, together with a school, shops and an entire infrastructure.

Gone completely is the factory that had stood on the site since the late 1930’s when the site was developed as a Shadow Factory as part of the Government’s plan to rearm the forces, particularly the RAF in the run up to the Second World War. The Banner Lane site had once been farmland on the outskirts of the industrial city of Coventry, home to many manufacturers, including the Standard Motor Company who would administer Banner Lane on behalf of the Government during the war period.

The last Massey Ferguson tractor rolled off the production line on Christmas Eve in 2002 ending over six decades of manufacturing, including 56 years of tractor production.

Banner Lane

The facade of Banner Lane Factory, familiar to so many.

As the demand for military aircraft and aero engines increased at the beginning of the Second World War, a number of Government financed shadow factories were built all over the UK. One of the largest was the Banner Lane site just west of Coventry. The site covered 80 acres in total,with a floor area of over 1 million square feet and had cost £1.7 million to build and prepare for production. This was quite a figure when the cost of a small car was around £130. The Standard Motor Company agreed to manage the site for a fee of £40,000 per annum. The Banner Lane plant manufactured the huge Bristol Hercules aero engine, as fitted to the Wellington bomber and several other aircraft. The Bristol engine was a massive 39 litre, twin row, 14 cylinder radial engine, producing between 1290 and 1735 horsepower depending on application. During the war years some 20,000 engines were produced.

With the end of the war in 1945 the plant was quickly shut down and the Standard Motor Company negotiated a lease for the factory for £36,000 per annum. The Standard Motor Company was keen to take on the factory as Sir John Black, Standards Chairman, had been in discussions with Harry Ferguson to produce the new Ferguson tractor in the UK. Thus in September 1945 the deal was struck for Standard to build tractors for Ferguson, Standard being paid a fee for each tractor produced. Standard then signed a ten year lease for Banner Lane and agreed a plan to produce up to 200 tractors per day.

At the height of production Banner Lane employed more than 6,000 people and in ten years produced over 500,000 Ferguson TE tractors for export all over the world.

The Standard/Ferguson agreement continued through various squabbles and disagreements until the summer of 1959 when Standard severed all connections with Massey Ferguson and tractor production.During this time Harry Ferguson Ltd had sold out to Massey Harris to become Massey Harris Ferguson and then Massey Ferguson. Massey Ferguson hadtaken the lease of Banner Lane factory from Standard Motor Company in 1956.

Massey Ferguson developed the Banner Lane site and at one stage it was reported to be the biggest AGCO manufacturing facility in the World and was headquarters of AGCO’s European, Middle and Far East operations. The famous tower block was officially opened in September 1966 and had office space for around 500 people.

As with all things change was inevitable and new Massey Ferguson tractors were gradually being built elsewhere, particularly at Beauvais in France. When production was being further rationalised and it was proposed that either Banner Lane or Beauvais would be closed, the French plant proved the more difficult to close due to Government and worker pressure and Banner Lane was to be no more.

The last tractor number 3,307,996 was driven off the production line on Christmas Eve 2002 and the factory site was earmarked for housing. The huge task of decommissioning started before the demolition and clearance of the site, the last part of the demolition and the most spectacular, took place on 8th July 2012 when the 16 storey Tower Block was downed using high explosive.

There are many proposal’s on how the mark the site of the once great factory, a factory that produced so much for the British economy with much of its production being exported. The suggestions range from naming various roads around Bannerbrook Park and naming the school. But, there needs to be a permanent memorial to the tractors produced there, something that continues to remind future generations that at thissite was produced the tractor that revolutionised mechanised farming throughout the world.

Banner Lane “Tower” demolished – 8th July

The tower building on Banner Lane in Coventry which was latterly the HQ for AGCO Europe (Massey Ferguson) for many years was demolished on 8th July at 1000hrs.

AGCO_Coventry AGCO 2006

The Coventry Council are looking into ways to commemorate Banner Lane and any ideas are welcome by them. There is also an e-petition at :-www.coventry.gov.uk/epetitionsCouncillor Thomas is interested in hearing ideas of how the site should be marked for posterity. Please can you let your Ferguson rep or the Committee know your thoughts for a Ferguson Club mark; alternatively Councillor Thomas can be emailed with ideas here Steven.Thomas@coventry.gov.uk

© Duncan Russell