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Massey Discussion Forums :: Massey Talk :: Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten View modes: 
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Posted: 2/12/2013 6:29:33 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

Heartache - Heartache - Heartache!!!!!. 

My Dad and my uncle farmed together all their lives and had a joint retirement sale on February 2nd 1990.

This is a shot down the tractor line at the sale - and I didn't think to buy a one of them!

Besides the David Browns there were in the MF line up several MF 35 3 and 4 cylinders, an MF 135, MF 165, MF 185 and an MF 178.

You live and learn!!  I only know where one of them is now - more on that one another time

John

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Posted: 2/15/2013 5:43:19 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

I've been ferreting in my old photo files and came up with these two.  They are not particularly good but are the only surviving shots of my grandfather's Massey U frame fleet.  The fleet comprised over the years a Wallis 20-30, green MH 25, two MH 12-20s, MH green Pacemaker, MH green wide front Challenger on 10 inch rear steels, and MH green Challenger tricycle style with tip toe steels on the rear and without the optional mudgaurds.  I remember them all working except the Wallis 20-30 which had been disposed of before my memory took hold.

One of these shots shows me maybe aged 4-5 cranking the green MH 25 and the other shows it at the end of its days with one mudguard rotted away.  This would be in the late 1940s.  Stewart Eccleston from next door to our farm is in the driving seat on both photos.

John

John

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Posted: 2/15/2013 6:11:38 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

Two very nice family tractor photographs John and just curious if the bicycle in the bottom right corner of picture number two is a "Massey - Harris"? 

 Malcolm.


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Posted: 2/15/2013 6:52:53 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

I doubt very much that it was an MH bike Malcolm.  Did we actually have any MH bikes come to the UK?- I am not so sure that we did.  Haven't seen any in our British MH catalogues  I think this one probably belonged to the family next door.

However I am aware that there are odd ones in the UK but rarely in Massey men's hands.  I suspect they may have been imported by bike collectors over the years but who knows.  Bike collecting is a reasonably strong hobby here

I'm thinking of strengthening the roof of my shed after that meteorite shower in Russia last night - can't leave anything to chance!!!!!

John


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Posted: 2/15/2013 10:55:46 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

From tractors to a combine.

This is me combining barley on my folk's Massey Ferguson 780 Special combine which took over from the first combine the fammily ever had which was an MH 726.

This 780 was powered by an Austin six cylinder petrol/TVO engine wich really purred.  If I had to identify two single advances on this machine over the 726 which really sold it to me then it was the hydraulic lift (which replaced a wretched electic lift) and the convenient hand operated crank turn device for pulling in or pushing out the reel.  Sheer luxury!!!  Our old 726 was an 8ft 6 in cut whereas this was a 10ft.  It made quite a difference , with the increased power, to the acres cut in a day.  The combine was a bagger when it was bought but Dad and my uncle converted it to a tanker - progress indeed!

This photo was taken on field alongside the Manchester Ship Canal where we farmed - see the ship in the background.  It was taken by a photographer from the Manchester Evening News.  The high level bridge carried the M62 (now M60) motorway over the canal and this had been carved through our farms a few years earlier.

This machine was eventually replaced by an MF 500 which had its faults! This was in turn replaced by a Laverda - an infinitely superior and trouble free machine which saw them through to retirement and ended up being exported to Syria such was their deserved reputation there.  The MF 500 and associated period models marked the beginning of the end of Massey's world domination of the combine market which they are now only just beginning to claw back - ironically having taken over the old Laverda operation! 

John

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Posted: 2/16/2013 9:37:03 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

Was searching through some old pictures and came across this Massey Harris combine.  I know it wasn't ours but could have been a neighbor's.  At first I thought they were assembling the platform but after blowing it up, it looks like it ran into something or something ran into it.  Notice the big crinkle in the right side of the head and the bent pieces on the ground.  Year and model, anyone?

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Posted: 2/19/2013 6:44:42 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

What an interesting and diverse thread this is and some great contributions covering many years and decades of Massey manufacturing, with worldwide memories coming to the fore.

Only this morning I was going into our local news agents shop in our local town of Horncastle to collect a Classic Massey magazine, coming out the door I bumped into one of our old neighbours who farmed land in our village up to the late 1990's, he is currently 94 years of age and very active with a fantastic memory.
I knew they had a M-H 12-20 new in the early 30's and this morning asked him if he had any old photographs of it at work, unfortunately not but he soon started to recall his memories and love for the tractor, his most vivid story this morning was.

As a teenager and the tractor only a few months old, he was out harrowing in the field ready to sow spring barley, it came a heavy shower of rain and stopped him, so he drove the tractor back to the yard and under the cart shed to keep dry, he got off the tractor to turn off the parrafin and realised he was not far enough forward, so jumped back on the tractor and pulled on the clutch, it snapped over centre and before he knew it he had crashed into the shed brick wall and the tractor stalled. On investigation the cast radiator top hose had smashed the corner out of the cylinder head, the radiator was pushed back into the fan and water running out everywhere. His next job was working out how to tell father what he had done. 
The next day they had to take the head, top hose and radiator into Lincoln for repairs, as welding was unheard of in rural areas, this was a round trip of 75 miles in a very early old car, which took most of the day. The radiator received a new core and head and pipe repaired,  then back to Lincoln to collect them and refit to the tractor, in all about a week of work with the tractor was lost but eventually it was up and running and used for many more years, but he was always careful when engaging the clutch.

His next experience was to wrap the harrow stretcher into the lugs and as the wheel turned buckled the fender when turning too tight on the corners.

There are not many people left now who remember operating  these early tractors and both he and I enjoyed the stories this morning and definately a tractor well "remembered, gone and not forgotten"  

Malcolm.


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Posted: 2/21/2013 10:14:19 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

Back home after a few days in the south of England.  One stop we made on the way back was the Oakham Treasures Museum near Bristol.  An astonishing place with maybe 50-100,000 individual exhibits from an ancient tins of peas, cast iron seats, post boxes, stationary engines and about 50 tractors all beautifully displayed.  Very much a museum that the lady folks would like as well as tractor buffs.  He has the 60 inch GP on skeleton steel wheels which won the oldest working Massey prize in UK in 1984, also a nice 12-20 and the largest Ferguson sign I have ever seen - about 12 ft wide and 6 ft tall!!

Anyway tonight here is a shot of myself being a bit stupid posing after my graduation with our old TEF (diesel) Ferguson tractor which was fitted with a Dinkum Digger.  The digger was a hell of a weight and we had cut up railway lines slung on the front of the tractor to supposedly stop it rearing up - but it still did.  Dad and my uncle bought it when they took on a 70 acre pure peat moss farm (70 foot deep peat in the middle).  The drainage system (clay tiles and open ditches) was in a bad way so the first job was to clean out all the ditches.  We fitted the tractor with cage wheels on the rear to stop it sinking.  I spent weeks on probably a mile of ditches and other work.  When the farm was sorted they sold the digger off.  Don't recall where it went to.

John

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Posted: 2/22/2013 3:12:43 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

This is an MF 35 4 cylinder diesel road registration number 232 CTU.  My Dad bought it when it was about 1-2 years old to lighten the work load for our ageing grey Ferguson.  It had the Standard 23C engine.  These were notorously bad starters and this one certainly lived up to its name.  We used the old grey Fergie to start it on so many winter mornings and in fact we had a permanent towing chain on it.    MF never fitted a glow plug to each cylinder for the British market but they did for tractors going to colder climates.  Stupid!

Otherwise it was a reliable tractor and a bit heavier than the grey Ferguson so it "stuck to its job" better when ploughing.

Seen here on the tractor is Jackie Eccleston who worked for my Dad and mostly drove it.  Right in the background you can just pick out the Massey Feerguson Central Parts Operation Warehouse which was just across the road from the farm.  But they would never serve you parts there - rather you had to drive 30 miles to the nearest MF dealer!  Jackie is seen discing at the time - you can just see the two handles for adjusting the disc gang angles behind him.

Not a clue where it eventually went to!

John

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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:47:00 AM
   

RE:Family tractors remembered - gone but not forgoten

Earlier on this thread I posted a picture of my Dad's and uncle's retirement sale.  It showed a line up of all the tractors that were sold off.

This is the only one that I now know the whereabouts of.  In fact it was bought by one of the chaps that used to work for them.  At the time he was developing a smallholding of his own.  He had been the principal driver of the tractor and had spent long hours on it ploughing and baling.  It was particularly favoured for baling as it had Multi Power so you could slow down or speed up on the move according to the density of the swath.

The tractor is an MF 178.  It is the only "8" series tractor not to have a lengthened chassis (by means of a spacer box).  I don't think you had the "8" series 100 tractors over in N America.  Maybe someone can correct me if I am wrong on this. The longer chassis idea was primarily to facilitate easier fitting of cabs and access into them.

Our regular MF 175s had the Perkins A4.236 diesel engine whereas the 178s had the Perkins A4-248 diesel giving it 73 hp as compared with the 66 hp of the 175s.

The tractor left our family in v good condition and it has been similarly maintained to the present day, and is still regularly worked.  It is still with the same person with whom I am in regular contact about its return to this family!  My son is continually pestering me as to when we are getting it back.  Regretably its likely price keeps creeping up as these are a much sought after tractor with collectors.

The photo shows it at its "new" home only a few years ago.  It has pressed steel front wheels but actually was turned out with the cast type.  These are still being kept with the tractor - for when I retrieve it!!

John

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