East Anglian tractor power takes to streets of London

EAST Anglian tractor power helped to ensure a memorable Lord Mayor’s Show as the Worshipful Company of Farmers celebrated its 60th anniversary.

The company used this year’s show in London to highlight the role of UK farming in feeding the nation over the past 60 years and how the 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 was allowed to have two machines within its section of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show, held on Saturday, November 10.

To represent the start of the Queen’s reign, Past Master Andrew Streeter, of Great Hallingbury, near Bishop’s Stortford drove his lovingly restored 42hp 1952 Fordson tractor, which enabled the industry to raise productivity in order to meet the increasing food production needs of a country coming out of rationing.

To represent today’s challenges, the Fordson was joined in the Lord Mayor’s Show by the latest 525hp Claas Xerion 5000 tractor from the firm’s Bury St Edmunds centre. Just as the Fordson heralded advancing farm mechanisation in the 1950s, so the Xerion 5000 with its high productivity and advanced computerised operating control systems, demonstrated the sophisticated machinery and techniques that farmers will need to meet future food demand.

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 to Frazer Jolly for driving it and Alastair McCallum for accompanying him in the cab.

“The Company’s Senior Warden- Baroness Hazel Byford, Junior Warden-Tony Alston and Liveryman Nick Padwick and I hugely enjoyed being flanked by these wonderful examples of agricultural machinery. Thanks are also due to Past Master Andrew Streeter, who very kindly agreed to drive his immaculate vintage Fordson in the parade, accompanied by Liza Bickerton both dressed authentically of the period! Thanks to all for making this year’s entry so special.”

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This year’s Lord Mayor’s Show, the oldest and largest civic procession in the world, celebrated the taking of office of the 685th Lord Mayor of the City of London, Roger Gifford, The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of London. Around half a million people lined the procession route.

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.

A glowing testimonial to British agricultural machinery was demonstrated by both machines ‘completing the course’. Meanwhile, the Lord Mayor’s 250-year- old horse-drawn gold coach had a mechanical malfunction and the Lord Mayor had to be rescued by the Pageant Master.