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Spectacular pageant of 70 tractors marks 70th anniversary of the Coventry produced Ferguson TE20

Massey Ferguson reports that enthusiastic crowds turned out to see the historic ’70 Tractors for 70 Years’ parade through the streets of the City of Coventry on 30 July.

 

The cavalcade and display of machines old and new was staged by Culture Coventry to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the start of production of the iconic Ferguson TE20 tractor. In July 1946, the first Ferguson TE20 tractor, affectionately known as the ‘Little Grey Fergie’, rolled off the assembly line at its former Banner Lane manufacturing plant in Coventry in the UK. The tractor was the brainchild of engineer and inventor, Harry Ferguson, a founder of the present-day Massey Ferguson, one of the world’s foremost   producers of farm machinery for global markets.

’70 Tractors for 70 Years’ parade through the streets of the City of Coventry on 30 July.

’70 Tractors for 70 Years’ parade through the streets of the City of Coventry on 30 July.

The tractors for the event were brought together by the Friends of Ferguson Heritage Club. Led by a 20.3hp 1947 Ferguson TE20, equipped with a 2-furrow plough, and the mighty 400hp MF 8737 – the most powerful tractor in the current Massey Ferguson line-up – the procession wound its way through Coventry finishing at Millennium Place outside the Transport Museum. Unusually, it was not the familiar Massey Ferguson red livery for the MF 8737. Instead, it had been especially prepared by Massey Ferguson with striking black paintwork – paying homage to the prototype Ferguson Black tractor of 1933 which was the first to incorporate Harry Ferguson’s pioneering ideas for a three-point linkage system to connect tractor and implement.  In a tribute to the manufacturing legacy of the Banner Lane plant, Massey Ferguson named the black MF 8737 the ‘City of Coventry’. Seated in the cab for the duration of the parade was the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Lindsley Harvard.

Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Lindsley Harvard, seated in the black ‘City of Coventry’ MF 8737.

Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Lindsley Harvard, seated in the black ‘City of Coventry’ MF 8737.

“It was a marvellous event and wonderful to see this pageant celebrating the brilliant engineering of the Ferguson TE20 which changed the world of farm mechanisation.” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services (who himself drove a 1949 TEA20 tractor in the blue livery of Brighton Corporation).  “We are so proud of this superb legacy of practical and innovative technology which continues to inspire our design engineers and is at the heart of Massey Ferguson’s 21st century mission to produce straightforward, dependable equipment to increase the efficiency and productivity of farmers all over the world. Today, more than 200,000 tractors bearing our famous Massey Ferguson ‘Triple Triangle’ brand are built every year for global markets.”

Tractors taking part in the pageant showcased a wide range of Ferguson, Massey-Harris and Massey Ferguson machines produced since 1946. The tractor coming from furthest afield for the event was a 1949 Ferguson TEA20 fitted with half-track equipment which travelled nearly 200 miles from Exeter in Devon. From much closer to home was a 2015 MF 5610 Dyna-4 on turf tyres based in Finham, Coventry. A beautifully-restored, prize-winning MF 65 industrial tractor painted in the requisite yellow from Skipton, Yorkshire represented the non-agricultural ranges.

’70 Tractors for 70 Years’ parade through the streets of the City of Coventry on 30 July.

’70 Tractors for 70 Years’ parade through the streets of the City of Coventry on 30 July.

Over half a million Ferguson TE20 tractors (Tractor England) were built at the Banner Lane plant between 6 July 1946 and 13 July 1956.  Key to the global success of the tractor was its unique three-point linkage implement attachment system controlled by the tractor’s hydraulics. Designated the ‘Ferguson System,’ this effectively turned the tractor and implement into a single working unit, replacing the previous cumbersome trailed method of implement operation.

Massey Ferguson is a leading global farm machinery brand producing a full-line range of tractors, harvesting equipment and agricultural implements. Its well-known red-liveried equipment is distributed in 140 countries.

Established in 1994, The Friends of Ferguson Heritage Club has over 5000 members worldwide who are dedicated to all things Ferguson, Massey Ferguson and Massey Harris.

The Ferguson TE20’s 70th anniversary inspired Culture Coventry’s current ‘Tractors – From Factory to Field’ exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum (runs until 19 September) and the public display of the Daniel Massey Bronze Sculpture at the city’s Herbert Museum and Art Gallery. Culture Coventry manages three of Coventry’s major visitor attractions including Coventry Transport Museum, Herbert Museum and Art Gallery and the Lunt Roman Fort.

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

Antarctica2 Tractor Expedition Now Halfway to South Pole!

(2 December 2014, Antarctica. Latitude: 80 degrees South) Day 11: The Antarctica2 expedition to take an MF 5610 tractor 5000 km from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back has reached the first major milestone and is now halfway to the Pole.

The Antarctica2 team arrived at the halfway point to the South Pole on 2nd December 2014

The Antarctica2 team arrived at the halfway point to the South Pole on 2nd December 2014

It has been an exceptionally tough trip. In the 11 days it took to reach this 1250 km milestone, the Massey Ferguson tractor and team have had to tackle dangerous crevasse fields, steep climbs, sastrugi (solid ice-waves as much as metre high), soft snow and temperatures as low as minus 56 degrees C with wind chill. The tractor and crew have taken a real pounding in the hostile conditions. However, both are proving highly resilient and rising to the extreme challenges of life on the ice.

On reaching the 1250 km mark, Lead Driver, ‘Tractor Girl’, Manon Ossevoort,  said: “The journey to the halfway point has been hard, much harder than I expected so I am very relieved to reach this stage. Driving conditions have been really difficult but the MF 5610 tractor and the whole team have coped magnificently. The tractor has been strong, steady and sure, and it’s incredible to know that every hour we drive,  we are closer to the Geographical South Pole.”

To mark the halfway milestone, team members rewarded themselves with a chicken curry dinner and a celebratory drink! They are now heading towards the Pole at full speed.

Antarctica2 seeks to emulate the achievement of Sir Edmund Hillary who led the first mechanised expedition to the South Pole in 1958 using Ferguson TE20 tractors.

Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development commented: “As tractor supplier to the expedition, we have been enthralled by the daily updates from the ice. We always knew it was going to be a big challenge for both the MF 5610 tractor and the team. Hearing the reports coming back, we now fully understand why this is ‘the toughest journey on Earth’. We applaud their strength and determination. At the same time, we can imagine the brave souls of Sir Edmund Hillary and his party battling the elements in their trusty Ferguson TE20 tractors all those years ago. The hearts of the whole Massey Ferguson team back at base are with the intrepid 2014 Antarctica2 travellers as they make their way steadily towards their goal.”

www.AntarcticaTwo.com

#BELIEVEINIT

Antarctica2 Lead Tractor Driver shares her dream on brink of expedition departure

As the world waits in anticipation for the imminent departure of the Antarctica2 expedition to drive a Massey Ferguson tractor to the South Pole, Lead Driver Manon Ossevoort is looking forward to the trip.

“Driving the tractor through the endless white vastness of Antarctica is going to be so surreal,” she says.

Antarctica2 Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort is about to fulfil her dream of taking a tractor to the South Pole.

Antarctica2 Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort is about to fulfil her dream of taking a tractor to the South Pole.

“When I first learnt to drive a tractor, I was immediately taken with the symbols of the tortoise and the hare which are used as icons on the dashboard to denote low and high gear ranges. That fitted perfectly with my story concept of fulfilling a dream slowly but surely.”

“The MF 5610 is a great machine – small, compact, manoeuvrable and lightweight. It’s been really well prepared by the Massey Ferguson engineers and the other partners supporting Antarctica2. I hope it’s going to keep me nice and warm!”

“We’ve done lots of tests both in the lab and in the field– all with the very best people. It’s been amazing to see the tractor perform, especially during our expedition trial in Iceland.”

“When I found out about the first mechanised trek to the South Pole achieved by Sir Edmund Hillary and his Ferguson TE20 in 1958, the story really inspired me to keep believing in the possibilities of my endeavour.  So with all that heritage, I always knew it would be really appropriate for me to be driving a modern-day Massey Ferguson tractor. I feel privileged to be doing so.”

“The whole project is about trust and is a big leap of faith for all parties. But we all took that leap, and now we are about to set off. I will give my all to continue this celebration and share our tales of adventure as we cross the ice.”

Depending on weather conditions, Antarctica2 is scheduled to leave some time this weekend (22/23 November).

www.AntarcticaTwo.com

#BELIEVEINIT

Antarctica2 Echoes Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1958 Expedition

The 2014 Antarctica2 mission to take a tractor to the South Pole emulates the achievement of explorer Sir Edmund Hillary who led the first mechanised expedition to the South Pole in 1958 using a fleet of Ferguson TE20 tractors.

mf_antarctica1_1958_09_83406

In 2014, 56 years since Hillary’s journey and 56 years since the birth of the Massey Ferguson brand, an MF 5600 tractor will make a similar trek across the ice.

On January 4 1958, driving 28hp TE20 tractors, Hillary’s team became the first overland explorers to reach the South Pole since Captain Scott’s expedition in 1912.

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 – 50 years after Shackleton’s ill-fated attempt – while gathering scientific data.

For the full article, please click here

www.AntarcticaTwo.com

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