Our collection of combines came about almost by accident, in 2006 I was bidding on the 780 special that Howard now owns, the bidding unfortunately went slightly past the figure I had set myself, however as I had previously spoken to seller I contacted him the next day cheekily asking if the combine was going to a good home which he replied it was to a collector amazingly not a mile from my home who had two other combines!! I asked the seller if he would pass my details on to the buyer which he duly did and a couple of days later Howard rang me and asked me if I would like to come up and view the machine as it was delivered to his premises already, and from that day we have become very dear friends and have shared all the trials and tribulations of what combine ownership brings with it.
Howard has a 1966 400 /a 1958 780 special/ also a 1953 Massey Harris 780 that was built the very first year of this model being available also another 780 special 1956/7 that was bought for spares, but this combine could be a future restoration project because it's in such good condition.
Also several tractors Massey of course more details of these to follow.
The 701 baler Massey Harris That is pictured was restored over a 2 /3 year period by Howard and was in a shocking condition when purchased, it literally was a nut and bolt job!!
Howards combines were painted in 2010 his 780/ and 400 along with the baler later that year, I entrusted the decals for all the machinery to Dave Titch Saunders from machinery decals who I admit has been a godsend especially the tricky stuff which required us doing a lot of research on ie.warning decals.
The paint used was 2 pk, in my opinion it offers the best protection for this machinery some people's views are that the machinery should remain in the original patina! and I respect that, but for us the paintwork done should offer protection hopefully for the next 50 yrs, fingers crossed.
Several of these combines are used on display at various shows locally throughout the summer along with there history board.
Owning and restoring combines is a challenge at the best of times there are a lot of issues the main one being storage! And with that said without the kindness of others like Howard this task would be almost impossible.
Although we are fortunate to have 3 customers who we contract cut for with our 860, sadly our own personal acreage we use to keep our vintage kit in action every season is very small and prevents us using all the machines every year!! Of all the challenges we have faced building up this collection securing additional acreage locally seems to be a bridge to far, we believe our equipment can and should be used for what it was intended for and not simply left in sheds just to look at, but unfortunately not everyone has these views, although I would challenge any new combine sold today to a sample test against any of these models !! we have cultivated and planted all our own crops for several years using mainly Massey equipment.
I have met and spoke to so many people regarding these machines who have offered advice and told stories of past harvests good and bad and I have myself very happy memories of driving these machines as a young man, i hope through this website that I can share and cellebrate what was for me the golden years of Massey Ferguson.
Although we work with machinery of the past, our aim is to expand our small acreage here at Stratton on the fosse, for the future we would welcome any additional acreage on a rental/tennantcy agreement or even a share crop agreement, we are happy for the landowner to keep any entitlement, our crops are managed by a local agronomist and spraying is carried out by a licenced local contractor.
We are happy to consider organic crops as we have some experience in this type of crop harvesting.
If you are a landowner in our surrounding area and this might be of interest to you please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
07860 281755 mobile
We are always interested to hear from anybody who has a 400/500 series machine that they have had for a long time and are looking for a good home.
Regards Colin Cloude
Thank you Myles !!
great pictures i have a 530 and 187 lovely combines