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New Holland Basildon Tractor Plant welcomes Essex farmers as NFU celebrates a Century of Success

The New Holland Basildon Tractor Plant recently opened its doors and welcomed Essex farmers and invited guests as the county NFU branch marked its centenary.


Former County Chairmen at the Essex NFU Centenary celebration held at the New Holland tractor plant in Basildon, Essex.

The New Holland Basildon Tractor Plant recently opened its doors and welcomed Essex farmers and invited guests as the county NFU branch marked its centenary. Joined by current county chairman Patrick Wreathall, they raised a glass to 100 years of farming history.

Mr Wreathall, who farms near Chelmsford, told the guests: “This is a chance to celebrate everything the NFU has achieved during a century of extraordinary change for agriculture – but also to look at the challenges ahead. “It’s fitting that the event takes place at a location that has also played an important role in farming – New Holland’s Basildon Plant.”

The factory, based in Basildon, Essex and formerly the Ford tractor plant, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The plant covers nearly 100 acres and employs 1,000 people. It makes tens of thousands of tractors every year using 600 tonnes of material every day. Since 1964, when the first tractors were manufactured, more than 1.6 million high quality machines have rolled off the two-kilometre production line.

NFU Director General Andy Robertson led the toasts, praising NFU members for the long-term success of the organisation. “Our success comes down to all the NFU members. You’ve all done your bit, from the young farmers, who we look to for the future, to the ones who started it all back in 1914. They made it through two World Wars and the Great Depression – that’s pretty impressive”, he said.

Other guests included NFU Vice President and Essex farmer Guy Smith, NFU Regional Director Pamela Forbes, past and present NFU group secretaries and eight former county chairmen.

NFU Essex County Advisor Adam Scott, who organised the event, said: “This was a positive celebration and bringing it to the Basildon site was absolutely appropriate, with both organisations celebrating important milestones.”

New Holland UK & ROI Business Director Andrew Watson said, ‘We are extremely proud to be celebrating our 50th anniversary in Basildon this year.  It was equally exciting for us to accommodate an organisation as important and respected in the agricultural industry as the NFU for their 100th anniversary.  It was our absolute pleasure to welcome the NFU, and our joint Essex roots made for a fantastic day of celebrations.’

Basildon is the only remaining tractor plant in the UK and has been firmly rooted at the heart of British tractor manufacturing and agriculture since its assembly line started production on 15th May 1964.


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