Farm machinery heritage celebrated at Henty field days

Max Hogg, of Pleasant Hills, with his rare Ferguson butterfly plough.

Iconic farm machinery manufactured by Massey-Harris, Ferguson, Massey Ferguson and Sunshine will take centre stage at the popular vintage display at Henty.

Henty and District Antique Farm Machinery Club will present a comprehensive collection of items, including a rare Massey-Harris Pacemaker tractor and self-propelled 585 Sunshine Massey-Harris auto header.

The 1953 merger of farm machinery manufacturers Massey Harris of Canada and Britain’s Ferguson Company resulted in the new name of Massey-Harris Ferguson.

In 1955, Massey purchased the Australian manufacturers of Sunshine harvesters, H V McKay.

H V McKay had been granted exclusive Australian distribution rights of Massey-Harris machinery in 1930 and the company had been renamed H V McKay Massey Harris, exporting over 20,000 Sunshine drills, disc harrows and binders to the UK during WWII.

In Australia in 1958, Massey-Harris Ferguson was shortened to Massey Ferguson (Aust) Ltd and today, it is only a brand name used by AGCO but its machinery remains a major seller around the world.

Henty and District Antique Farm Machinery Club president Trevor Terlich said the theme celebrated the merger of the two companies into Massey Ferguson.

“We will have a touch of Massey Ferguson in the display to give an indication of changes over time,’’ Mr Terlich said.

“We are covering Massey Ferguson, Massey Harris, Ferguson and Sunshine.

“The company was a big organisation and sold a lot of machinery into this area.

“One of the biggest Massey Ferguson tractors at the time was sold by Abbotts in Albury – the 90hp 888 is now a very rare tractor.

“We had a chance of buying a 888 in the drought year of 1967 but it was sold within a day.’’

Mr Terlich will display a four-cylinder red Ferguson 35 plus a 1957 48hp Massey-Harris 744D tractor.

“The highlight of the tractor display will be a rare Massey-Harris Pacemaker tractor from field days chairman Ross Edwards,’’ he said.

“The steel wheel 25hp Pacemaker is the original model of the Massey-Harris range, dates from 1936 and replaced the Wallis 12/20.

“We will also have a power driven binder, Sundial stationery engine, Sunshine gates and signs, Sunshine 7hp stationery engine, seed drill, hay press, ploughs, two-stroke 5hp Sundial engine, bag trolleys and old tools.

“Arnold Schulz is bringing a Massey-Harris 55D tractor, while Col Miller has a single plough and Massey-Harris bag trolley.’’

To mark the 100 years since manufacture of the Fordson Major tractor, the Dale family, of Henty, and John Kilo will contribute tractors to the exhibition.

Pleasant Hills farmer Max Hogg will display a rare Ferguson single furrow butterfly plough drawn by a 1950 TE 20 tractor.

Mr Hogg, a former HMFD director, helped organise the first display of vintage farm machinery at the field days in 1977.

“Over the years we have picked up a lot of old pieces of farm machinery from interested spectators,’’ he said.

“It’s different and appeals to all generations.’’

Mr Hogg said his single furrow reversible mouldboard, commonly known as a butterfly plough, was manufactured in the early 1950s.

“It is designed to dig down to a foot (30cm) or more for potato growing.

“When the machine is lifted, it rolls left or right automatically.

“I acquired it only recently and it will make its debut at Henty – when any other Ferguson collectors see it, they turn green with envy.’’

Mr Hogg will also display a H.V. McKay Massey-Harris Sunshine stationery hay press.

It was a manual tie using wire and was manufactured in the 1930s.

The vintage machinery on display across this year’s field days will include:

Bearing White header – Malcolm Godde

Massey-Harris 744D tractor – Trevor Terlich

Sunshine binder – Andrew Newton

60th anniversary 1950 Ferguson tractor – Rob Jones

Sundial tractor and 400 litre water cart – Stephen Nesbitt

HV McKay gate and sign – Ian Ballentine

Grister Sunshine, Bamford – John Warren

Seed drill and signs – Nick Bedggood

1959 Massey-Harris hay press and Ferguson single furrow butterfly plough – Max Hogg

Self-propelled 585 Sunshine Massey-Harris auto header – Eddie Dale

1925 Sunshine auto header with Fordson motor, hay baler – Kerry Pietsch

KL Bulldog tractor and baler – Len Schilg

Massey-Harris Pacemaker tractor – Ross Edwards

Massey-Harris reaper and Bulldog tractor – Ken Paton

Massey-Harris Sunshine 55K tractor – Steve Palmer

Massey-Harris 55D tractor – Arnold Schulz

Sunshine Sundial 7hp stationery engine – Peter Cochrane

Sunshine road single plough and a Sunshine Bag Trolley – Colin Miller

Spanners, forge tools, lamb marking tools and 7hp stationery motor – Maurice Godde

Massey Ferguson 23C, 4 cylinder diesel engine – Warren Dale

Fordson Major 1954 tractor – W & S Dale

Cooper stationery hit’n’miss engine with Ajax water pump – Stephen Dale

Marshall tractor, Fiat tractor – Peter Creek

Massey-Harris 745 tractor – Trevor Haines

McKay Sunshine hay rake – Ross McDonald

Cooper stationery engines and old tools – Peter Shields