The following relatively recent book is a splendid read - do try it!! This is a review of it which I have prepared. It is available from Power Publishing. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org Price £20.95 including post
Inside Massey Ferguson
A Story of Service
Ex-MF employees and people associated with the company and with whom I am familiar, have virtually unanimously acclaimed David Walker’s “Inside Massey Ferguson” as a tremendous record of the workings of MF in his lines of work (mostly in the service department) during his 21 year career with the company starting in 1966. It is no wonder. From my own personal researches into the history of Massey-Harris, Ferguson and MF and over the years obtaining nearly 100 personal recollections for inclusion in my books I had become aware of the great range and depth of experiences and loyalties that still lie in the memories of ex-MF employees which are in dire need of documentation. However those that I have gathered in are only been brief recollections. It has come as a relief that David has put down his whole
career recollections in such a delightful, concise, precise, readable and honest manner. He is the first to do so.
David started work with MF as a technical writer. His writing ability shines through the whole book which intertwines his auto biographical account of his time at MF, the operating atmosphere and politics within MF and its dealerships, and perhaps of most interest to MF and machinery enthusiasts generally, a wealth of briefly stated points of technical information relating to a wide range of MF equipment always presented succinctly in layman’s language. His work is surely the most gripping and “un put downable” of tractor books ever written. I have had many comments on how readers took the book to bed with them night after night until it was finished and then re-read it! So did I.
An ability to shrewdly assess personalities within the company, dealerships and customers at home and abroad shines through every page of the book. This brings the human nature of the company alive and involves the reader in it. All this is founded on David’s immense and detailed powers of recall for very numerous circumstances and events in which he became involved.
David’s career spanned 1966 to 1987 when he was summarily made redundant with many others on a Friday 13th. But such had been his loyalty to, and enjoyment of the company that he departed without bitterness and he looks back with fondness on his time at MF. Tractor wise this period spanned the MF 100 and 1000s to the 300s, 600s and the start of the electronic era with the MF 3000s so the book contains a wealth of experience on this range of tractors and implements for MF enthusiasts to feast upon. His work also included the articulated tractors such as the MF 1200s and the MF crawlers.
Life in his service role is recorded with all the highs and lows of company, inter-departmental and human politics warts and all but always without bitterness and rancour. And why not? No avenue of life is perfect within a company or personal relationships. It is folly to pretend otherwise and David doesn’t.
Long hours of dedicated loyalty to MF, often at the expense of his family and latterly his own health, shines through his career. Service men such as David are a stand alone breed. Always spurred on by the problem to solve, together with the mechanical, circumstantial and human snags of the situation, the problem is never to be walked away from but to be clung on to until solved regardless of the time of day, hours involved, time and distance away from the family The final satisfaction comes with the solution to the problem and moving on to the next.
Readers should think of being like a lump of sugar dissolving in a cup of tea or coffee, such will be your immersion in one man’s life and times of MF. This book is a great first at extensively recording some of the human and technical workings of MF. It should and must be a driver for others to do the same and maybe David has yet more to place on record? I live in hope!