by alan

Kubota Premises – Then & Now

July 16, 2023 in Articles, Machinery

Recently I have been looking at the history of Kubota tractors in the UK. Although the tractors were sold in many countries in the 1960s, the first Kubota tractors didn’t arrive in the UK until the early 1970s, and the range has continued to grow and develop over the decades.

Many newspaper adverts from the 1970s showed the 14 hp B6100, 16 hp B7100, 17 hp L175, 24 hp L225 and the 25 hp L245. Additionally, the popular and compact B6000 in the 1970s had a 12.5 hp water-cooled diesel engine, four-wheel drive with six forward and two reverse gears, a three-point hitch and a three-speed PTO.

Kubota Tractors (UK) Ltd in North Yorkshire originally sold the tractors, but eventually, Kubota set up their own division in the late 1970s and, in 1982, moved to Dormer Road, Thame, Oxfordshire.

Photographs exist of the original Dormer Road premises with the ‘Kubota’ name proudly on display. The premises still exist and (in 2019 with Streetview) look almost identical, even the planting with conifers and trees are the same – although they have grown! The 2019 image shows the premises occupied by another company, however, Kubota is shown across the road in a fantastic modern warehouse.

The location is: https://goo.gl/maps/nzoYkjgPu9znocR16

The early Kubota premises on Dormer Road, Thame, Oxfordshire. Newer offices and warehouse are now across the road,
The same premises in 2019

by alan

Norlett Factory – Then & Now

October 17, 2022 in Articles

Searching for the history of a particular machine or brand can be time-consuming. Newspaper adverts, trade reports and brochures are helpful with timelines, machine specifications and also addresses from where the manufacturer or retailer was located, but it does take time to piece everything together!

Thankfully, the internet is often a great resource for locating the required information. In particular, Google Maps and Street View can be used to search for locations, and if lucky the factory or offices may still be standing.

I have been looking through some Norlett brochures, as many will know, a large range of Norlett machines exist. These include a multitude of homeowner lawnmower models, and also a small range of ride-on mowers. Ground-engaging machines include the Versatiller, the TillerMate and the electric or petrol Beaver Powaspade.

Looking at one Norlett brochure, a typical artist’s drawing of the factory and offices along with a Ford D Series lorry is shown. This building is still standing and the two images show the brochure drawing and how the location looks today. Apart from some updating, the location does not seem to have changed much.

The Norlett location, which according to advertising they used in the 1970s and the 1980s, is detailed on brochures as Norlett LTD, Dormer Road, Thame, Oxon, OX9 3UE (although the postcode has now changed). The building can be found along with the Kubota premises on Dormer Road, Thame, Oxfordshire.  

A handy link to the location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/1WLyYF4SQVKaPq9b6

Or on What3words: https://w3w.co/offshore.graphics.unheated

Norlett, Dormer Road, Thame, 1970s, and below in the 2020s.
Copyright Google