Archive footage, The Hall & Duck Trust

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    While going through some of our archives the other day I came across this official promotional photo from Ransomes PLC, dated September 1982 (42 years ago)

    It was taken at Saltex(Institute of Groundsmanship) on Windsor Race course.

    Ransomes was celebrating 150 years in grass cutting machinery of which The Hall & Duck Trust took part. The brainchild behind the Trust was the MD Bob Dodsworth and the PR Perry Crewdson of Ransomes PLC.

    In the picture left to right

    Andrew Hall Trustee, Mike Duck Trustee, and the Late David Halford author of the most prolific book ever written on ‘Old Lawnmowers’ produced by Shire Albums


    Those were good days at Windsor Racecourse and the show was far better with plenty of demonstration plots for the hard landscaping contractors and manufacturers. Blec was one that I always used to go to see as they were always out in front with something new like a levelling box on the back of the tractor that was laser controlled.

    At one of the last shows I was working for Ransomes and they had a challenge set up for customers to try their hand at. Ransomes had recently acquired the exclusive rights to import and market the Spider remote controlled bank mower and there was a track laid out for customers to pilot the Spider around against the clock; there was a leader board as well, something like on Top Gear, so the fastest times could be displayed. I forget what the prize was each day but it would have been something like a Ransomes branded coat I imagine.

    Unfortunately the show petered out as the expense of moving vast amounts of machinery into Windsor and back again was just too crippling. Ransomes used to fill six articulated lorries with their stand so you can guess how much the bill would come to.

    Andrew- do you have any more archive pictures from the Windsor days? I may be able to put some names to faces if you have some more. I remember in the late Nineties Brian Carter’s Trusty Steed made an appearance on the Lamberhurst Equipment stand; how it got to be there I’ll never know as the Lamberhurst boys came from Kent and Brian was from Cheshire.

    Oh well, happy days, alas all gone now.

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