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johnfarnworth - (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!