Fordson Gounty Remonce

Ladies That Cheat Work

Not only did the ladies of the Women's Land Army learn to drive and maintain tractors they also became skilled in machinery settings and repairs.

Two members of the Women's Land Army take a few minutes break to reflect on the work done to date.

Not only did the ladies of the Women's Land Army learn to drive and maintain tractors they also became skilled in machinery settings and repairs.

Two members of the Women's Land Army take a few minutes break to reflect on the work done to date.

Oldtimer Traktor
An early Standard N, which would have appeared in the blue colour scheme became known as the Waterwasher tractor due to its water bath air cleaner.

Profit sharing

In addition to improving the land and, indirectly, the prospects its own staff together with many more workers in the locality for seasonal tasks, the venture grew into one of the countries first 'profit sharing' schemes.

The organisation also engaged many of its own staff in transport, repairs, maintenance, clerical duties and the all-important buying and selling process. Individual farmers were encouraged to use their own experience in deciding crop rotation and managing labour, but as far as buying stock, seed or fertiliser was concerned had to use the organisations central purchasing and transport system. The latter set up specifically to deliver produce to the best markets at the right time.

Going to these markets to dicker and bargain over every purchase and sale was considered to be wasteful, so this too was also centralised and put into the hands of experts, tasked to secure the best terms possible. The introduction of tractors, during the mid-1930s, quickly helped to improve productivity further as more land went under the plough and crops got sown and harvested in a timely fashion. The Fordson tractor had arrived and along with it the time had come to do something about Boreham House together with 32 acres of surrounding land and buildings, which Ford donated to Trustees to form an exciting new venture in agricultural education. The mansion, of imposing Georgian design, later became the world famous Henry Ford Institute of Agricultural Engineering.

Ford Tractor 5000 Gas Abd
Prior to work the Women's Land Army checked all oils, water and fuel under instruction.

The legacy of the 'romance'

The scope of the work done by Fordson Estates was far reaching and went on to include horticultural crops (some of which were grown under glass), cattle, pig and sheep rearing and the eventual expansion to amass over 5000 acres of land; some of which was rotated between vegetable growing, pasture and straw.

During the decade of the 'ten years romance', originated by Henry Ford himself, total sales, after deducting market commissions amounted to £914,630. The total sum of money paid out for labour amounted to £469,634. Although mistakes were made, it remains proven that the fertility of the land, the state of the buildings, the lot of the farmers in general and the working condition and prospects of the workforce in particular was significantly enriched throughout. By using different crops, adding other agricultural and horticultural diversity together with centralised purchasing, sales and transport services, each achievement threw much needed light onto new ways of solving many of the problems afflicting British farming at that time.

Lord Perry, in his review of the experiment concluded that; the fertility of land can be preserved, and in many instances improved; some of the earnings derived from past labour could assist food production and earn a decent enough dividend; farm labour could earn a sufficient wage to provide a good standard of living and also make provision against sickness and old age.

What I regard as perhaps one of the most important legacies of the first 10 years was that generations of people could be raised and educated amid healthy surroundings - a bonus shared by the many thousands who went on to fill the great lecture rooms and workshops at Boreham House and the workings of the Henry Ford Institute of Agricultural Engineering.

There is of course much more to say about Ford, his Ten Years Romance and his educational achievements here in Essex. Of the many books written about Henry Ford, one by Robert Lacey provides a good introduction to the man himself. To those wanting to know more about Ford tractors made here in Britain, two titles The Ford Tractor Story, Parts One and Two, dealing with pre and post 1960s models, written by Stuart Gibbard, takes some beating. ■

Farming Heritage

Words G Pictures Mike Teanby

Ford - the Ten Years Romance

Mike Teanby takes a look at the positive benefits of Henry Ford's involvement in British Farming during the 1930s and led to the creation of his company's famous Institute for Agricultural Engineering.

Henry Ford was an industrial genius who built his reputation, and considerable fortune, making some of the earliest automobiles and tractors. Apart from these, Ford is acknowledged as the inventor of the moving industrial assembly line and engineering component interchangability - both crucial elements required for mass production.

When asked about what Henry Ford did, people will say; the Model T motorcar, the Fordson F farm tractor - most likely in that order too. Indeed, so successful was this little farm tractor that it went on to totally dominate the American market for years and, importantly, re-wrote the rulebook on how everyone else would make tractors thereafter. Whether it was true that he actually recruited left handed fitters to work on his new assembly lines, so they could match the output of right handed men working on the opposite side of the vehicle, I don't know, but attention to detail such as this was very definitely Henry Ford's stock in trade.

Ford Tractor 5000 Gas Abd

As the farm became mechanised men from Evesham were recruited to grow fruit and vegetable crops on intensive rotations.

Landini L55

Dynasty

Much has been written about this great man, often summarising his achievements as energetic, enterprising, ambitious, and even ruthless. What is beyond doubt, however, is that Henry Ford, the farmer's son from Michigan, founded a dynasty and became one of the wealthiest men in the world. Amassing a fortune worth between $500 and $700 Million by the time he died in 1947. Some of this wealth came out of his love for the agricultural industry at a time when farm mechanisation, associated with animal drawn implements, was about to be given a tremendous boost through the introduction of the lightweight design tractor like the Fordson model F - so called because another chap had registered the name Ford already in the embryo tractor business. Our story today, however, takes a somewhat different track, and starts with a journey undertaken by Henry Ford through Essex, a route that subsequently leads to what has been called the 'Ten Years Romance'. A somewhat endearing phrase describing this great man's involvement in British farming during the 1930s that not , only turned land usage on its head but resulted in better pay and conditions for workers here W^ieefri ■ and, ultimately the creation of his company's famous Institute for Agricultural Engineering.

Picture the scene

Henry Ford and his wife visited the Oberammergau Passion Play in 1930 and on returning to London by train from Harwich was struck by the orderliness of the rolling countryside of Essex, noting also the extent of dilapidated cottages, farm buildings and general neglect of vast tracts of arable land hereabouts. He was surprised that such conditions existed in such a potentially fertile county, especially one so close to the capital's busy markets. Ford was later shocked to also learn that the low wages paid to farm workers had precipitated a significant, and continual,

Boreham House A centre of excellence

Picture Ford Boreham

Boreham House became a centre of agricultural study, providing a variety of courses for farm workers, the Women's Land Army were among the first attending to learn tractor driving and maintenance.

Agricultural Land Acumen Tractor

During the war years ladies took to the land in the thousands with many learning tractor and ploughing skills.

The new way during the 1930s that not only turned land usage on its head but resulted in better pay and conditions for workers.

During the war years ladies took to the land in the thousands with many learning tractor and ploughing skills.

The new way during the 1930s that not only turned land usage on its head but resulted in better pay and conditions for workers.

migration, especially of the young, to higher paid jobs with better prospects elsewhere.

With his genius to look beyond, and beneath, the superficial, what happened next underlines something of what made Henry Ford one of the 20lh century's truly great figures. He bought Boreham House, near Chelmsford, together with several thousand acres with farms and woodland that surrounded it. Then he set about improving the land together with the prospects of those who sought to earn a living from it.

A joint stock company - Fordson Estates Ltd - was established with funds provided by Ford himself. Land with buildings was purchased on the open market at the going rate of around £20 per acre. A further £10 per acre was set aside in addition to put the land back into 'good heart'. Tenancies were cancelled, buildings renovated, land cleared of redundant timber and drainage improved.

It took almost two years, and a lot of physical effort, but on completion, the farms were ready for occupation and the number of labourers employed on them was doubled. Soon, in excess of six people were now able to earn a living from every 100 acres under cultivation.

British agriculture was in dire straights and as a consequence workers could expect to earn not much more than 30 shillings a week, weekends off and holidays were unheard of and lay-offs during the long winter months were inevitable. The landed gentry, on the other hand, took little interest in their vast estates save for recreational use, shooting, hunting and fishing.

Ford's commitment towards greater farm mechanisation now sat perfectly alongside his newfound fascination with the experiment in Essex which from the outset he fully expected to take a full decade to evolve. The Ten Year

Initially, and throughout the greater part of the 'Ten Years Romance', Boreham House was, in fact, regarded as a bit of a white elephant. At one time it was gifted to the Essex County Agricultural Committee for educational purposes, but the offer was declined as it was considered by them to be unfit for such a purpose. Henry Ford, undaunted by such commentary, then set up the Trustees himself in 1937, and so was formed the very first institution of its kind in this country.

Lord Perry, who had been involved with the greater farming experiment in Essex from the outset, was now Chairman of the Ford Motor Company in Britain and took a keen interest in the development of the new Institution. Boreham House became a centre of agricultural study, providing a variety of courses for farm workers through to the outbreak of WWII in 1939. The Women's Land Army were among the first attending thereafter and here they learned much about driving and maintaining tractors and how to use an assortment of farm implements.

In 1953, the Ford Motor Company Tractor Division next took over responsibility for Boreham House and the following year their Mechanised Farming Centre was opened as a training establishment for the Fordson dealer network as well as their

Boreham House became a centre of agricultural study, providing a variety of courses for farm workers, the Women's Land Army were among the first attending to learn tractor driving and maintenance.

Romance is a genuine example of the man's capacity for forward thinking, commitment and, of course, financial acumen.

At Boreham he typically ignored the grand house to concentrate his initial efforts instead in growing produce and rearing livestock as rapidly as possible to ship into London's thriving Covent Garden and Smithfield markets - all of this in exchange for hard cash. The money raised was quite literally ploughed straight back into the land and soon began helping to improve the living conditions and prospects of his workers. 3

own Tractor Division staff. Among the many notable products launched here was the 1953 British built Major, manufactured at Dagenham, and the little Dexta, produced four years later.

In 1971 the higher horsepower Ford 7000 Series graced the now magnificent lawns at Boreham and more recently, in 1991, around the time of the Fiat merger, the Series 40 models also made their debut here.

In its heyday, visitor numbers to Boreham House exceeded 1200 a year - and that's on top of 8000 trainees, half of whom would also be involved in territory-based courses too. Many of these students came from overseas as Ford, along with all the other great farm machinery companies with factories in Britain, increased their sales around the world. Product diversity continued expanding to include combine harvesters, haymaking equipment, balers and industrial machinery too.

Under New Holland ownership, the facilities at Boreham went on to cater for even more overseas students easily fulfilling the role as that company's International Training Centre before being sold in 1985, when a purpose built facility was established within the company's massive Tractor Works at Basildon itself.

Vintage American Tractors

Designed mainly for the American market the row crop Standard N was known as the Ail-Around.

A Fordson Model F clearing scrub after Henry Ford had seen the general neglect of vast tracts of arable land in the UK.

Designed mainly for the American market the row crop Standard N was known as the Ail-Around.

A Fordson Model F clearing scrub after Henry Ford had seen the general neglect of vast tracts of arable land in the UK.

Out of the mire

In 1934, Fordson Estates, as it was known, included 2500 acres - but not a single tractor was in use here. As the company prospered and the cash flow increased the situation would change dramatically. That year the land and farms subsequently became part of an expanding cooperative, under the control of Sir Percival Perry, KBE, and managed by George Jones. Theirs was the task of demonstrating that through this new management system and better marketing techniques, they, as well as British agriculture as a whole, could begin to prise itself out of the mire.

The venture began to thrive and then prosper. Men from Evesham were recruited to grow fruit and vegetable crops on intensive rotations; this boosted local labouring opportunities for planting and at harvest time. Dairy products and livestock interests increased in all areas with the exception of poultry (which was specifically excluded from the plan); these together with cereals, fruit and vegetables found eager buyers and the cash continued to roll in.

Remarkably, the workers soon began to share in the literal fruits of their labour, enjoying earnings and bonuses combined to give them an income in the region of 85 per cent above the statutory minimum wage of the period. In order to share in the distribution of earnings, though, every male employee was expected to work at least 200 days, or a minimum of 1600 hours each year and be in the employ of the company when annual earning had been calculated, and, was available for distribution.

It was reckoned that Mother Nature paid her agriculture once a year, therefore any weekly wage paid out between seedtime and harvest was regarded by Fordson Estates as an 'on account' payment. As part of this process some allowance was also made of the different skills of each worker, some of whom were also paid more for their 'faculty of direction and management, foresight and prevision'. An early effort to create a job description perhaps for a person we today would regard as a farm Foreman!

Ford Tractor 5000 Gas Abd

A Fordson Major E1A Major clearing out the famous lake In front of Boreham House, after 40 years of training, Boreham closed down in the autumn of 1994.

Retro Ladies Trainers

Not only did the ladies of the Women's Land Army learn to drive and maintain tractors they also became skilled in machinery settings and repairs.

Two members of the Women's Land Army take a few minutes break to reflect on the work done to date.

Not only did the ladies of the Women's Land Army learn to drive and maintain tractors they also became skilled in machinery settings and repairs.

Two members of the Women's Land Army take a few minutes break to reflect on the work done to date.

An early Standard N, which would have appeared in the blue colour scheme became known as the Waterwasher tractor due to its water bath air cleaner.

Profit sharing

In addition to improving the land and, indirectly, the prospects its own staff together with many more workers in the locality for seasonal tasks, the venture grew into one of the countries first 'profit sharing' schemes.

The organisation also engaged many of its own staff in transport, repairs, maintenance, clerical duties and the all-important buying and selling process. Individual farmers were encouraged to use their own experience in deciding crop rotation and managing labour, but as far as buying stock, seed or fertiliser was concerned had to use the organisations central purchasing and transport system. The latter set up specifically to deliver produce to the best markets at the right time.

Going to these markets to dicker and bargain over every purchase and sale was considered to be wasteful, so this too was also centralised and put into the hands of experts, tasked to secure the best terms possible. The introduction of tractors, during the mid-1930s, quickly helped to improve productivity further as more land went under the plough and crops got sown and harvested in a timely fashion. The Fordson tractor had arrived and along with it the time had come to do something about Boreham House together with 32 acres of surrounding land and buildings, which Ford donated to Trustees to form an exciting new venture in agricultural education. The mansion, of imposing Georgian design, later became the world famous Henry Ford Institute of Agricultural Engineering.

Vintage Women Land Army
Prior to work the Women's Land Army checked all oils, water and fuel under instruction.

The legacy of the 'romance'

The scope of the work done by Fordson Estates was far reaching and went on to include horticultural crops (some of which were grown under glass), cattle, pig and sheep rearing and the eventual expansion to amass over 5000 acres of land; some of which was rotated between vegetable growing, pasture and straw.

During the decade of the 'ten years romance', originated by Henry Ford himself, total sales, after deducting market commissions amounted to £914,630. The total sum of money paid out for labour amounted to £469,634. Although mistakes were made, it remains proven that the fertility of the land, the state of the buildings, the lot of the farmers in general and the working condition and prospects of the workforce in particular was significantly enriched throughout. By using different crops, adding other agricultural and horticultural diversity together with centralised purchasing, sales and transport services, each achievement threw much needed light onto new ways of solving many of the problems afflicting British farming at that time.

Lord Perry, in his review of the experiment concluded that; the fertility of land can be preserved, and in many instances improved; some of the earnings derived from past labour could assist food production and earn a decent enough dividend; farm labour could earn a sufficient wage to provide a good standard of living and also make provision against sickness and old age.

What I regard as perhaps one of the most important legacies of the first 10 years was that generations of people could be raised and educated amid healthy surroundings - a bonus shared by the many thousands who went on to fill the great lecture rooms and workshops at Boreham House and the workings of the Henry Ford Institute of Agricultural Engineering.

There is of course much more to say about Ford, his Ten Years Romance and his educational achievements here in Essex. Of the many books written about Henry Ford, one by Robert Lacey provides a good introduction to the man himself. To those wanting to know more about Ford tractors made here in Britain, two titles The Ford Tractor Story, Parts One and Two, dealing with pre and post 1960s models, written by Stuart Gibbard, takes some beating. ■

Hotbulbtractors r

Words G Pictures Richard Lofting

That Landini Look!

When looking at hot bulb tractors it is usually overlooked that Landini produced their own version, not a licensed Lanz copy as others did.

Giovanni Landini built his first hot bulb semi diesel stationary engines in 1910 producing them in commercial quantities in 1917 following on from the company's portable steam engines. In 1925 they had completed a working prototype of their first tractor by mounting one of their stationary engines onto a chassis with wheels and a gearbox, this soon evolved into a production model of some 30hp. This was followed by a 40hp tractor and then in 1934 by the, now infamous, Super Landini SL50 with its 48hp from its some 12,208cc single cylinder two-stroke engine. This was closely followed in 1935 by the Landini Velite model of 25-30hp with a 7222cc engine.

Production

Although production continued with these early models until 1954, during 1950 the L25 along with its bigger brother the L45 were produced (4312cc and 9503cc respectively) with the L35 being produced from 1953 (7222cc engine) and the most powerful but not the biggest hot bulb produced by Landini, the L55 in 1954 with ll,309cc engine developing 55-60hp. Although the L45 continued to be produced until the early 1960s the writing was on the wall for Landini hot bulb tractors as the company had signed an agreement with Perkins to produce their more modern multi-cylinder high-speed diesel engines under license in Italy in 1957 and

Landini Vintage Tractors

then in 1959 Landini was bought out by Massey Ferguson who also purchased the Frank Perkins Ltd company in the same year. Having been afforded the opportunity to drive one of these fine machines on one of our trips over to Belgium, I leapt at the chance. The engine had already been started when I arrived at the tractor; first impressions were its Fergie colour and similar Fergie size, once in the driving seat things were a little different. The seating position is higher giving a good clear view along the top of the fuel tank, the first thing is the top of the air cleaner coming through the top of the fuel tank very similar to the SFV FVl's and then the fuel filler cap (combustibile).

Tractor Pto Shaft Labelled
Diff lock pedal on driver's right below the hand brake lever; foot brake in foreground.
Tractor Engine
Engine running clockwise from the starting side.

Starting the L25 with blowlamp.

Injection pump on the L25 with control lever and fuel change over tap on display and below that the cylinder lubrication pipes.

The fuel and lubricant fillers are clearly labelled.

Np435 Driver Side Pto

The PTO shaft on the driver's left-hand side.

Specification

Landini

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