Bury St Edmunds: Tractor power on show as company marks 60 years

FARMERS taking part in a tractor parade at the Lord Mayor’s Show in London today gathered at the Claas site at Saxham, Bury St Edmunds earlier to show off their vehicles.

John Reynolds, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers, was joined by farmer Andrew Streeter, of Beggar’s Hall, Great Hallingbury, Bishop’s Stortford, who is the proud owner of the 1952 Fordson which will be taking a starring role as part of the Worshipful Company’s bid to highlight the advance of technology in agriculture.

Joining the vintage vehicle will be a Claas Xerion 5000 which will be driven by Frazer Jolly, farm manager of South Pickenham Estate, near Swaffham.

This year marks 60 years since the granting of Livery to the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

The Worshipful Company of Farmers will be using this year’s show to highlight the role of UK farming in feeding the nation over the past 60 years, and how the farming industry is advancing to meet future food production needs.

To demonstrate the advances made over the past 60 years, for the first time the Company has been allowed to have two machines within their section of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show, which is held today.

The 42hp 1952 Fordson tractor, which heralded a time when mechanisation was changing agriculture, and enabling the industry to raise productivity in order to meet the increasing food production needs of a country coming out of rationing, represents the start of the reign of the Queen, who this year also celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.

Most Read

In 1952, the world population stood at about 2.5 billion, rising to 7 billion currently and is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. Not only will this require a rise in agricultural productivity, but this will need to be achieved from a shrinking farmed area.

To achieve this, farmers will rely on increasingly larger and more sophisticated machinery, and to reflect this, the Fordson will be joined in the Lord Mayor’s Show by the latest 588hp Claas Xerion 5000 tractor. Just as the Fordson heralded advancing farm mechanisation in the 1950s, the Xerion 5000, with its high productivity and advanced computerised operating control systems, demonstrates the sophisticated machinery and techniques that farmers will need to meet future food demand.

This year’s Lord Mayor’s Show, which is the oldest and largest civic procession in the world, will celebrate the taking of office of the 685th Lord Mayor of the City of London.

With some half a million people lining the procession route, and many more viewing the parade on television, this massive audience provides the Worshipful Company of Farmers and UK agriculture with an ideal opportunity to promote the important economic role that farmers play in producing food for the nation.

The contrast between the Fordson and the Xerion demonstrates not only how agriculture has advanced over the past 60 years but also the advanced and dynamic industry it has become.

A key role of the Worshipful Company of Farmers is to help promote the better understanding of agriculture and its role in society, but to also provide aid and support for young people within the industry and encourage the development and advancement of agriculture.

John Reynolds, Master of the Farmers Company said: “We are indebted to Claas for allowing us to show the Xerion 5000 and for their support in arranging this entry. Thanks are also due to Past Master Andrew Streeter, who very kindly agreed to drive his immaculate vintage Fordson in the parade. This year’s entry really will be something special.”