Club News

Harry Ferguson: the Man, the Machines, the Memories.

Harry Ferguson: the Man, the Machines, the Memories.
A memoir of life at Abbotswood,
By Peter Warr

Peter Warr’s name is known to many of you as the man who was the curator of the Ferguson Family Museum on the Isle of Wight. Peter spent his early adult years working for Mr Ferguson at his country estate, Abbotswood, near Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. He continued to work for the family right up until his retirement.
Now in his nineties, Peter has written a personal memoir of his time spent at Abbotswood, from 1950, to the time of Mr Ferguson’s death in 1960.
This was the period during which Ferguson won his monumental court case with the Ford Motor Company, sold out to Massey-Harris and acquired what was Dixon-Rolt Developments Ltd, which he reformed it as Harry Ferguson Research Ltd, the company that developed the unique Ferguson four-wheel drive cars.
Part of Peter’s work at Abbotswood was to demonstrate these cars and their remarkable capabilities to the motor industry and press, whilst the other part involved testing tractors and implements and general work on the estate, some of which created the landscape features that are still in place to this day.
In his recollections, Peter gives a unique, personal insight into Harry Ferguson’s character in the last decade of his life. They show that at this time, with his physical and mental health in decline and the blunt refusal of the motor industry to take up his four-wheel drive car, Ferguson still retained his charisma, personal kindness and consideration to others that endeared him to all who knew him and worked with him. Includes a Foreword by Mr Ferguson’s grandson, Jamie Sheldon

The Ferguson Club are supporting the production and publication of this informative book. The intended cover price is, £14.95, it will be a paperback, illustrated with Peter’s own photographs. The book is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2024 and a limited number of signed copies will be offered to Ferguson Club members as a priority, prior to becoming more widely available in bookshops and on line.

Ferguson Club members who wish to “Register their Interest” in buying a copy of this book, please register here using this online form :-

“I would like to register an interest in purchasing a copy of this book:
Price £14.95 plus postage”

    Norman Kerr – passed away 30-12-23

    Northern Ireland Area Rep for almost 20 years; Norman Kerr

    It is with a deep heart that we have to announce the passing of Norman Kerr today (30th Dec 2023). He was a Ferguson enthusiast and the Area representative in Northern Irleland for the Ferguson Club for almost 20 years. Norman was a devoted and dearly loved husband of Esther for 60 years, a loving father of Allison, John and James, father in law of Will and Tracy also a treasured grandad of Laura her husband Stephen, Stuart, Haydn, Willow and Keelan.

    A service of thanksgiving will be held on Wednesday (3rd Jan) at 2pm in Bannside Presbyterian Church.
    Family flowers only please. Donations for the benefit of Air Ambulance NI or cheques made payable to Air Ambulance NI c/o Milne Funeral Services, 5 Newry Road, Banbridge, BT32 3HF.

    Our thoughts from all at the Ferguson Club at this sad time are towards his family

    Ferguson Event May 2024 – David Brown Museum – Meltham

    Ferguson Event May 2024 – David Brown Museum – Meltham

    There is a Ferguson Day being organised at the David Brown Museum on the 19th May 2024 between  10.00am  and 3.00pm.  The theme will be “what happened after the Ferguson Brown”.

    We are looking for about a dozen interesting Ferguson/Ford, Ferguson tractors  to be there on the day and help tell the story.

    This day is being organised by Peter Smith and Julie Browning. Please contact Peter and Julie on this email if you can support with a Fergie to exhibit. This will enable numbers and tractors to be managed. All visitors  are welcome.  They have cafe on site.

    Meltham Mills Industrial Estate, Gate 4, Unit J2, Knowle Ln, Meltham HD9 4DS

    Thank you.

    Mike Thorne – Ferguson Enthusiast and Club Rep.

     Mike Thorne – Ferguson Enthusiast and Club Rep.

    Mike sadly passed away on Tuesday 19th September. A Memorial service was held in Coldridge Parish Church on Wednesday 22nd November 2023.

    Mike was a great friend to all of us who shared his passion for Vintage tractors, particularly Ferguson and Massey Ferguson. His famous Coldridge Collection of rare MF and Ferguson types is second to none in the vintage tractor World.

    He was a prolific writer of books and specialist articles on our tractors. Mike will be fondly remembered and his legacy will continue for the next generation.

    Merchandise Co-ordinator Required

    The position of Merchandise Co-ordinator has become available for the Club.

    The person involved would become a member of the Club’s committee, would be responsible for ordering new stock, selling the Club’s merchandise on-line and by telephone to members and would also be responsible for distributing merchandise to a limited number of area reps for selling on at shows.

    If you think that you would like to take up this position then
    please contact our chairman, Kevin Britton e-mail:
    or our vice-chairman John Jeffries e-mail:

    TE20 Ferguson Register

    Ferguson TE20 Tractor Register database

    I read Fred Turner’s article ‘The history of the Continental‘ in Journal 106 with much interest as I have two such tractors. I have also been fascinated by the fact that nobody seems to know how many were made.

    We have a golden opportunity to go some way to finding out. Our membership is about 3000 so, if we who have these tractors, were to send details of their tractors to a central point in The Club, it would give us more of an idea than we have now, because quite frankly we have no idea!

    So, with this in mind, and with the Chairman and Secretary’s blessing, I am volunteering to start a data base of what exists in the Club. I am proposing a data base just identifying what we have to VIN numbers only. This would NOT identify any tractor to any member. It would also try to find out how many have been converted to, say, a Perkins P3 and what condition they are in from concourse to working clothes to original unmolested condition. There would be a second data base which would be just VIN number, Member’s name and Club number.

    So to kick the idea off I am asking ALL owners of TE20s to, ideally, Email to their Name, Club number, TE20 VIN number and further details of condition as indicated above and anything else you wish to tell us. Of course if you have no access to a computer you can post all details to TE20 Ferguson Club, 1 The Gardens, Bury Road, Beyton, BURY ST. EDMUNDS, IP30 9AB

    A report would appear each Journal as to how the project is going.

    I look forward to being overwhelmed with data, please, please on this one occasion just help us help you!  It will be in everyone’s interest. John Selley.

    Update No.1 – February 2024, Journal No. 108
    17 Respondants
    21 tractors
    Earliest No. 883 1947
    Latest 18478 1947
    2 have no VIN plates
    We even have one bought at Bangers and Cash and described as ‘presentable condition’!

    John Selley.

    Chiltern Vintage Tractor Run Newsletter 2023

    Chiltern Vintage Tractor Run Newsletter 

    Supported by the Ferguson Club and in aid of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA)

    As we move rapidly through 2023 well into the 21st Century, would Harry Ferguson ever dreamt that his little grey fergie and later red MF’s would still excite and amaze children, and even their parents. Our vintage tractors still today, when they are presented to the public, create smiles all round.

    This was the biggest take away from the recent Chiltern Vintage Tractor Charity Run held on Sunday 21st May. It followed a successful plan that is now in its 17th year. The theme of the Kings Coronation meant that the red, white, and blue pennants, flags banners were adorned across the magnificent machinery. Even the drivers and many passengers were all decorated accordingly.

    The morning started with traditional bacon rolls and hot drinks and amazing warm, sunny weather. The Hambleden Valley Church Priest (Rev. Sue Morton), could not raise a choir that morning but she did not have to worry. A massed volunteer choir consisting of the drivers and passengers more than made up for it as the tractor blessing was carried out.

    Once the convoy of 70 tractors and trailers set off, the hum of all the old engines filled the air and was a relaxing beat to the steady “train” as it trundled away on its well-planned mostly off-road route.  A few early steep hills tested the old engines well and as you could guess a couple of them were overcome by fuel flow issues. We all know how these old fuel tanks can attract sediment and over the years the build-up can be obvious. Luckily it seemed that every other driver was a tractor mechanic. As soon as there were any signs of trouble, team spirit took over and many hands made light work of getting the engines running again.

    Going through the local Buckinghamshire village of Lane End on an early Sunday morning brought many families out to wave and cheer as they chugged past. A charity collecting pot was soon filled. The Chiltern Vintage Tractor Run is very lucky to have many land owners and farmers fully supporting the event and allowing access to the most amazing countryside the Chiltern Hills has to offer.

    The morning run through these Estates and farms was pure bliss except for a couple of tractors which decided they wanted to go no further. Unfortunately, these two tractors were filled up with diesel only the day before but from a tank that was clearly contaminated. There was no quick fix but to put them “on tow” to at least get to lunch. Lunch was by kind permission of Mr Mark Getty and his family at the remarkable Wormsley Estate.

    Once at Wormsley we all lined up next to the most amazing private cricket pitch in the world and two local cricket teams were in full play. What better entertainment as we savoured a delicious BBQ and home made cakes laid on by the great caterng team. Some of the cricketers could not resist coming over to admire the vintage tractor lines and have a burger!

    As part of the money raising, we always hold a raffle and provide “entertainment.” This year was no exception with a busy raffle and the real coronation took place. After a couple hours of fun, we all trundled in convoy back to the starting/finish field, where even more cakes and drinks were waiting.

    The success of any charity fund raising event must be measured in the money collected. For this one fun day we are always overcome with the total amount through across the community and it is another record breaker this year with £10,319.53 total raised (Cumulative since the event started now £83,226.03 to the TVAA) – which is truly astonishing.

    THANK YOU to everyone, but of course nothing would be possible without the support of the Land Owners and Volunteer Marshalling and Catering teams.

    Ferguson Charity Drive from John O’Groats to Lands End.


    Pete Burdass, a Yorkshire lad, now living in Perthshire, Scotland has just completed this incredible journey between the 4th and 15th June, driving his Ferguson TED 20, which he has totally rebuilt over the last two years. This tractor came off the production line at Banner Lane on 25th August 1949 and was first registered in the November of that year. The trip was in memory of his mother who died from Motor Neurone Disease a few years ago, on her 60th birthday, and to date he has raised an amazing amount, in the region of £25,000 to support the work of the MND Association. The journey required massive organisation. The route was planned to avoid really major roads (but he did go through the centre of Edinburgh), split up into daily 100-mile sections, over only 12 days, yet taking in significant Ferguson sites, such as the old Banner Lane factory and the Coldridge Collection. The all important back up was provided by a necessarily large team of seven relatives and friends including Pete’s brother Mike.

    Right to Left: Mike Thorne, Pete Burdass, Pet’s brother and sister-in-law.

    Pete by the Banner Lane doors plus a clock.

    The tractor towed a specially adapted trailer containing all their kit plus a full range of spares and tools and displayed the adverts of sponsoring companies. As was to be expected the Little Fergie ran almost faultlessly. The only minor problems, a fractured original steel fuel pipe and a small bracket which needed welding. A thought – this little tractor is TVO – who stocks this fuel now?

    He was met on the way by many supporters both of the Charity and the tractor world. ln Devon this was organised by the Mid Devon Tractor and Machinery group at Mole Avon in Crediton and from there he was accompanied to Coldridge by Member, Eddie Vigars on his 1951 TE 20. Arriving at the Collection, Pete hopped off his tractor and gave me an enormous bear hug (yes, he is a big man!). By this time, it was after five o’clock and still several miles to the night stop – so a good deal of chat was packed into the next hour. Also on hand was my friend, Club Member, Dr Mike Oakins – I refer to him as my head curator- a duty which he always carries out with style and enthusiasm; it was Mike who took the photographs.

    Pete and his support team only had time for a quick look at the extensive collection, but he particularly wanted to see the doors and clocks that I had rescued from the Banner Lane Ferguson Headquarters and was especially interested to see the Salesman’s Demonstration Model devised by Harry himself.

    This epic journey was completed successfully the next day. WELL DONE to PETE and HIS TEAM.

    Pete leaving Coldridge

    Mike Thorne, published in Journal No.106, Autumn 2023.