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Major award for Little Grey Fergie theme park attraction

Congratulations to the Land of the Little Grey Fergie at Norway’s Kongeparken which scooped a top prize at the Thea Awards in Los Angeles, considered by many to be the Oscars of the Themed Entertainment Industry.

This fantastic attraction area at the Kongeparken in Stavanger, one of Scandinavia’s foremost theme parks, is a celebration of the children’s character ‘Little Grey Fergie’ (Gråtass) which is based on an original Ferguson TE20 tractor.

littlegreyfergie

Against stiff international competition, the team behind Gråtassland were thrilled to receive the Thea Award for New Park Land on a Limited Budget.

Over the last 20 years the original story of Little Grey Fergie’s adventures, written by Morten Myklebust, has grown into several television series, two feature films, ten music albums, live shows and more than 15 books.

Inspired by this success, Gråtassland opened in 2014. It was an instant hit and has been drawing big crowds ever since.

The Thea jury commented: “The charming Little Grey Fergie Land engages adults and children alike. It immerses them in the world of the Little Grey Fergie and is an ideal mix of real environments and fantasy. It celebrates history, modern times and fantasy – all with a goal of entertaining, and teaching about animals, farming and the importance of taking care of our environment…….This is a tremendous success that never strays from the story or the goal of the project.”

TractorsHåkon Lund, CEO of Kongeparken said: “It’s a great honour to receive the award and gain this recognition for our work. In designing Gråtassland, our aim was to engage visitors by changing the focus away from the attraction, to the experience. At its heart is an exciting tractor ride wrapped up in the tale of a much-loved icon telling the story of the Massey Ferguson Brand and its history.”

The international Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and its awards were created to recognize achievement and talent at visitor attractions and experiences in the leisure and travel sector.

Find out more on Gråtassland at www.kongeparken.no

You can watch the live-action series at www.littlegreyfergie.com

To the Pole . . . by Massey Ferguson Tractor!

Reliability is always high on the priority list when shopping around for new farm machinery. Here is a story based on some extreme conditions that you probably won’t face in your everyday life, but truly demonstrates the necessity to purchase a reliable machine . . .

On January 4 1958, driving trusty Ferguson TE20 ‘Fergie’ tractors, Sir Edmund Hillary and his team became the first overland explorers to reach the South Pole since Captain Scott’s expedition in 1912, and the first EVER to do so using mechanised vehicles.

In his now famous telegram he told the ‘Massey-Harris- Ferguson Farming Company’:

“Despite quite unsuitable conditions of soft snow and high altitudes our Fergusons performed magnificently and it was their extreme reliability that made our trip to the Pole possible. Stop. Thank you for your good wishes = Hillary”

At the time the press described this as the ‘The Last Great Journey in the World’, although the expedition’s official title was The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58. Led by Englishman Sir Vivian Fuchs its aim was to be the first to cross the continent overland while gathering scientific data.

Fuchs’ plan was to make the journey from each side of the continent with teams including men from Britain, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Sir Edmund Hillary sent a telegram to the company praising the performance of the TE20 tractors.

Hillary led the New Zealand team and their primary role was to set up depots and stash supplies of fuel, food and equipment in a line towards the Pole.

It was this supply work, which first brought Hillary into contact with the Ferguson TE20s. The tractor had already established itself a good Antarctic reputation in 1954 when one tractor worked for 565 hours without the need for a single repair after arriving on the continent on February 13 in temperatures of -10° C.

So when faced with unloading and transporting 500 tonnes of stores across 16 km from the ship to his base camp it is not surprising Hillary turned again to the Fergie: “For unloading the ship it was necessary, of course, to have vehicles. Our problem was overcome by the generosity of Massey-Harris- Ferguson in the UK and their agents in C.B. Norwood in New Zealand. These firms lent us five Ferguson tractors modified to operate in snow conditions,” he wrote.

They were fitted with full tracks and painted red (as opposed to the normal Ferguson grey) to make them easier to spot in the snow.

Hillary’s journey across Antarctica traversed deep crevasses in the snow and ice. Eventually the team reached Depot 700 on 15 December 1957 – despite nearly losing a tractor down a crevasse. It (and its driver) was only saved by the roll-bar jamming against the wall of the ice and holding the vehicle up.

On reaching this destination Hillary commented: “Our Ferguson’s had brought us over 1250 miles (2000 km) of snow and ice, crevasses, soft snow and blizzard to be the first vehicles to drive to the South Pole.”

One of the actual Ferguson TE20s (named ‘Sue’ by the team) that was used on this remarkable expedition is now in the Massey Ferguson Technology Centre in Beauvais, France.

What extreme conditions do you put your tractor through?

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