Henty Machinery Field Day News and Current events

  Rare plough has a link with nation’s most notorious bushranger
Descendants of Hugh Lennon, Geoff Powell, his mother Fay and father John Powell, with the rare Lennon plough unveiled at Henty Machinery Field Days.

Rare plough has a link with nation’s most notorious bushranger

It may look like a rusty plough on a pole but a rare collectible installed at the Henty Machinery Field Days has a unique link with the notorious bushranger Ned Kelly.

Ned and his gang used plough discs from single furrow horse drawn ploughs to make their armour and the plough discs carried the manufacturer’s mark of Lennon.

To mark 40 years of the Henty and District Antique Farm Machinery Club, a Lennon single furrow horse drawn plough was unveiled atop a pole at the club’s display site at Henty Machinery Field Days.

Surviving members of the original foundation committee were at Henty on Wednesday, September 21 to see the dedication of the plough on the pole. They were Max Hogg, Kerry Piestch, Rob Jones and Trevor Terlich.

Dating back to 1903-1906, the plough was manufactured by agricultural implement maker Hugh Lennon, of Spotswood, Melbourne.

The Irish engineer emigrated to Victoria in 1859 with a “broken down constitution and a good character” and saw the need for good agricultural machinery in the young colony. He produced a plough suitable for dry farming on the northern places made from wrought iron to minimise repairs.

Great-granddaughter Mrs Fay Powell, Albury, and great-great grandson Geoff Powell, Hobart, were on hand to unveil the plough made by their ancestor.

Geoff Powell was thrilled to see work put into restoring the plough and the installation on its pedestal, saying the model was now quite rare.

“The Lennon plough had been manufactured in our family since 1866 and to see one in this condition is wonderful,” Mr Powell said.

“There is another model at Cambridge, outside of Hobart – in 1996 there was a ploughing competition in Tasmania and won by a Tasmanian using a Lennon plough, which was eventually mounted on a stand in a city park. That was the only other one I’ve seen on display.

“During the 1880s, Lennons were the biggest plough makers in Victoria with Ned Kelly making his armour from mouldboards taken off Lennon ploughs.”

The armour, on display in the State Library Victoria, is marked with the Lennon stamp.

“It is wonderful to be preserving this sort of history at Henty. Before these ploughs were around farmers were using imported ploughs that weren’t really designed for Australian conditions,” Mr Powell said.

“Hugh Lennon and a few others changed all that so this was an important moment in Australian farming.

“Hugh made the plough out of wrought iron for Australian conditions compared to the softer cast iron.”

The single furrow plough was donated to the Club by the estate of the late Colin Schroeter, a vintage machinery enthusiast from Table Top.

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