Published on 1st April 2016
Guild Members enjoyed an exclusive preview of a special tractor exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum following this year's annual meeting.
The Tractors from Factory to Field exhibition marks the 70th anniversary of the first Ferguson TE20 rolling off the city's Banner Lane production line.
Coventry is dedicating much of the year to celebrating the tractor's historical links to the city – including a summer long series of events.
The exhibition runs from 26 March to 18 September, taking in three school holidays so all generations can discover the ‘mud and glory’ history of the tractor.
It is being kindly supported by Massey Ferguson which generously hosted the Guild's annual meeting and lunch on 17 March at the company's AGCO headquarters at nearby Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.
Massey Ferguson public relations and communications manager Paul Lay (right), who celebrates 40 years with the company this year, gave a special presentation to Guild Members.
Formed in the late 1950s, Massey Ferguson proved to be a global success story at a time when the region's automotive industry started to go into decline, he told listeners.
“It is not just about making tractors, it is about feeding the world,” said Paul.
Massey Ferguson loaned a number of machines to Coventry Transport Museum for the exhibition, including a tractor that crossed Antarctica to reach the South Pole.
The exhibition also features a cabless version of Massey Ferguson's latest 4700 Global Series tractor – an all-new machine designed to be a workhorse for farmers around the world.
Other events planned for the year include 70 Tractors for 70 Years – a procession of tractors through the city that built the TE20 and its successors.
Taking place on Saturday, 30 July, a total of 70 tractors will parade through the city to Millennium Place outside Coventry Transport Museum.
This will be followed by a giant Farmer’s Market on 3 September, an event that will be accompanied by folk music to mark the occasion.
Gary Hall, chief executive of Culture Coventry, which manages the museum, said 2016 would “reconnect the city with a manufacturing icon” that was sold all over the world.
“Without the tractor, the UK would not have become the agricultural powerhouse that it became, and without Coventry the story would have been very different,” he said.
“The events plough a rich furrow of landmark achievements and highlight the city’s role in popularising the tractor throughout the world.”
Main photo shows (l-r): Guild Members Peter Hill, Robin Limb, Ben Briggs (Guild chairman), Jane Brooks and Johann Tasker, Colette Dyer of Massey Ferguson, and Mike Donovan and Paul Lay.