For many, happiness is the sight and sounds of an old vintage tractor working the land, a vintage tractor rally on a sunny afternoon, or a line-up of shiny tractors at an agricultural show – a great family day out. We all have a favourite tractor, and many would pick the famous vintage Little Grey Fergie.
Launched in 1946 and manufactured until 1956, the iconic Ferguson TE20 nicknamed ‘grey Fergie’ was the most enduring innovation of Irish-born mechanic and inventor Harry Ferguson. Targeted at farmers with draft horses and little experience of mechanised equipment, it was the workhorse of the post-war period, to get British farming back on track. Lightweight, small, and affordable to the average farmer, the Little Grey Fergie became a global success. Crucial to this success, was its three-point linkage system, enabling ploughs and an assortment of other implements to be attached to its rear. Little Grey Fergie could tackle just about any job.
Enviable durability and mass production has left a legacy of Little Grey Fergies still working our lands or resting quite happily on smallholdings. They are a widely popular collector’s item and a keen restoration project for enthusiasts, so we can all remember their contribution to British agriculture.
One such enthusiast is John who owns a Ferguson TE20– an early 1948 model pictured below, and a beautiful smallholding in West Sussex. This Little Grey Fergie has been on the farm for the past seven decades! It was in use until the early eighties, and then stored for many years under a tree…until 2020, when John purchased it and had Little Grey Fergie lovingly restored by Youngs Agricultural Services in Cambridgeshire. John’s Little Grey Fergie is lightly used around his smallholding for topping the grass with a Winton Topper Mower attachment, and moving manure from his paddocks with a Tipping Transport Box. He plans to take his Little Grey Fergie to country shows and vintage tractor rallies in the future – all the best John!