50 Year Anniversary

John Deere Limited started trading in January 1966 from its present day headquarters at Langar near Nottingham. From very small beginnings the company has grown to be one of the biggest suppliers of tractors and agricultural machinery to British and Irish farmers, with a reputation for product quality and performance, as well as market leading dealer service and support.
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1950-1974

1950-1958
Don Macmillan
Devizes, Wiltshire
Sells new parts for above machines, plus used tractors & equipment

John Deere logo 1956-1968 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere logo 1956-1968

1951
John Deere Company Limited incorporated in Scotland under the Companies Act 1948

1958-1960
Fred Myers
Windsor, Berkshire
A subsidiary of Levertons, appoints Don Macmillan first UK dealer; imports John Deere agricultural and industrial equipment from Mannheim, Germany

1960-1962
JD Tractors
Windsor, Berkshire
Also a subsidiary of Levertons, sells John Deere agricultural equipment

1960-1973
JD Tractors
Windsor, Berkshire
Sells John Deere industrial equipment

John Deere Industrial 450 track loader 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere Industrial 450 track loader

1961/2
Deere & Company buys a controlling interest in British company Lundell, a manufacturer of forage harvesters and grain drills

1962-1968
Lundell (Great Britain) Ltd
Edenbridge, Kent
Arranges UK production of John Deere LF fertiliser distributor, and imports 4010 & 5010 tractors from the US for exhibition at the Royal Smithfield Show 1962 in London

4010 New Generation tractor 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

4010 New Generation tractor

The front cover of John Deere's product leaflet printed for the 1962 Royal Smithfield Show 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

The front cover of John Deere's product leaflet printed for the 1962 Royal Smithfield Show

1963
The introduction of the 110 lawn tractor in the US marked the beginning of John Deere's entry into the groundscare market worldwide. A fully restored, working example of this pioneering lawn tractor is on permanent display in the foyer of John Deere Limited’s headquarters at Langar in Nottinghamshire.

An original 110 lawn tractor working in the grounds of Deere & Company's worldwide headquarters at Moline in the early 1960s. 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

An original 110 lawn tractor working in the grounds of Deere & Company's worldwide headquarters at Moline in the early 1960s.

From 1 November 1964
John Deere Company Limited
Edenbridge, Kent & Langar, Nottingham
In 1965 the decision was made to leave the Lundell premises at Edenbridge in Kent and move to Langar.

4020 tractor being demonstrated by dealer Ben Burgess 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

4020 tractor being demonstrated by dealer Ben Burgess

12 January 1966
Company incorporated as John Deere Limited, starts trading from Langar and appoints the first five UK dealers: Ben Burgess, Norwich, Norfolk; Drake & Fletcher, Ashford, Kent; Hill & Osborne, Burnham Market, Norfolk; T M Simpson, Ceres, Fife; & L E Tuckwell, Worlingworth, Suffolk. The first official importer/distributor in Ireland during this time was Power Farming in Cork, owned by the Sherrard family, and managed directly from Europe by John Deere Export.

John Deere premises at Langar 1966 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere premises at Langar 1966

1966
John Deere introduces the Roll-Gard rollover protective structure (ROPS) on its tractors and goes on to make the design available free to all its competitors, emphasising the company’s commitment to product safety

John Deere premises at Langar 1966 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

4020 tractor with ROPS 1966

John Deere logo 1968-2000 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere logo 1968-2000

1967
First John Deere tractors sold by Sherrard Retail Cork in Ireland are a 710, 4020 and 1120

1120 tractor 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

1120 tractor

1970
John Deere Limited awarded the Royal Warrant as suppliers of agricultural equipment to Her Majesty The Queen

John Deere Limited staff at Langar c1972 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere Limited staff at Langar c1972

1971
In Ireland, Power Farming closes and a dealer network is established and serviced from Langar, chiefly through the Sherrard Group & Sherrard Wholesale, with branches initially in Cork, Dublin, Fethard in Co Tipperary, Limerick (briefly), Mountrath in Co Laois and Wexford, plus an independent dealership in Dundalk

1972
The new, enclosed, air conditioned and ultra-quiet Sound-Gard cab is launched in the US and was eventually fitted as standard equipment on John Deere’s European tractors with the opening of the Bruchsal cab factory in 1981

John Deere Limited managing director Doug Walker with the new 4230 tractor equipped with Sound-Gard cab at Langar, 1972 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere Limited managing director Doug Walker with the new 4230 tractor equipped with Sound-Gard cab at Langar, 1972

1972-1974
Ground Control
Surrey
New company set up to import, market and distribute John Deere’s fledgling groundscare equipment range, after earlier imports by Stanhay and a separate parts business in Suffolk

Managing directors

1965-1968
Roy Blakley (Canadian), Fred Gilchrist (US, pictured)

Fred Gilchrist 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

1968-1993
Douglas Walker

Douglas Walker 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

1993-2001, 2004-2005
Alec McKee

Alec McKee 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

2001-2004
Clay Sherrill

Clay Sherrill 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

2006-2014
Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

2014-2016
Antony Scott

Antony Scott 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

2016
Jonathan Henry

Jonathan Henry 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

1915-1950

1915-1919
L J Martin
The Overtime Farm Tractor Company, London E1
About 4000 Waterloo Boy ‘Overtime’ tractors Models R & N are imported from the US

Waterloo Boy tractor Model R 1914 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Waterloo Boy tractor Model R 1914

1935-1950
Frank Standen
St Ives, Huntingdonshire
Sells Models D, A, B, G, H & L (unstyled and styled) tractors, combines* & ploughs in six counties in the east of England from 1937

*The first tractor-drawn John Deere combine was marketed in 1927; 1947 saw the launch of the first self-propelled combine harvester; today the company is the world’s biggest manufacturer of combines.

Model D tractor styled 1941 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Model D tractor styled 1941

  

Model B tractor & No 11 combine 1939 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Model B tractor & No 11 combine 1939

1937-1950
Jack Olding
Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Sells the same machines as Standens in southern England & Wales, and exports Models M & R to the Republic of Ireland in 1949

Model R tractor with No 77 plough 1948 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Model R tractor with No 77 plough 1948

1937-1950
H Leverton
Spalding, Lincolnshire
Sells the same machines as Standens, in northern England

1937-1950
L O Tractors
Cupar, Angus, Perth
Joint Levertons & Oldings company, later taken over by Oldings Sells the same machines as Standens, in Scotland

1974-2000

1974 to 1986
Dealer principal David Lowe of Greenlay Ltd in Northumberland sells John Deere lawn & garden equipment, sourced from France.

1983
Sherrard Group in Ireland is liquidated and a new dealer organisation is set up, mostly through management buyouts.

1986
John Deere Limited establishes a new commercial groundscare division, selling the 55 Series compact tractors – including the popular 855 model with wrap-around cylinder mower – F Series front rotary mowers and 430 lawn tractor; Greenlay Ltd is appointed the division’s first UK dealer

Groundscare division launch in Nottingham, 1986 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Groundscare division launch in Nottingham, 1986

Groundscare division launch in Nottingham, 1986 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

855 compact tractor with wrap-round cylinder mower

1987
John Deere launches the 50 Series tractors in Europe, with MC1 or SG2 cab options

2850 tractor 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

2850 tractor

3350 tractor cutaway 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

3350 tractor cutaway

1992
Pioneering Ag Tech agricultural engineering apprentice training programme launched in association with Brooksby College, Leicestershire

1992
John Deere announces its new 6000 Series tractors, featuring an innovative full-frame modular design that goes on to collect worldwide awards for outstanding design and performance

6000 Series full-frame tractor cutaway 1992 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

6000 Series full-frame tractor cutaway 1992

6400 tractor 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

6400 tractor

1993
New Gator 4x2 and 6x4 utility vehicles are launched in the UK & Ireland, at September's IOG Exhibition in Peterborough.

Gator 6x4 and 4x2 utility vehicles 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Gator 6x4 and 4x2 utility vehicles

The John Deere Limited lawn & groundscare team in 1993 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

The John Deere Limited lawn & groundscare team in 1993; all are still employed by the company today, apart from the then newly appointed division manager Graham Williams (seated behind the steering wheel), who retired at the end of 2010 . Richard Johnson (far left) , then a territory manager, went on to become managing director from 2006 to 2014 (see below).

1994
John Deere’s new 8000 Series tractors from 185hp to 260hp are the first in history to have their design concept patented.

8300 tractor 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

8300 tractor

8400 tractor studio_1994 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

8400 tractor

1996
John Deere Credit Limited was launched as the UK's newest agricultural credit company in November 1996.

John Deere Credit logo 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

1997
John Deere Limited receives National Training Award for Ag Tech programme

NTA logo 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

NTA logo

1998
New combined office premises and training centre at Langar officially opened on 13 May by HRH The Princess Royal

NTA logo 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere Limited staff in 1998, outside the entrance to the new premises at Langar

1999
Novel harvesting technology is introduced on the John Deere CTS combine, which employs cylinder tine separation as an alternative to conventional straw walker and rotary threshing designs

CTS combine harvester 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

CTS combine harvester

The 6910 tractor - Europe's best seller in 1998 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

The 6910 tractor - Europe's best seller in 1998

1999-2000
Deere & Company acquires Finnish company Timberjack to become the world's largest forestry equipment company. Timberjack UK had been based at Consett in Co Durham since 1992; when the business was rebranded in 2005, the John Deere Forestry retail business serving the UK & Ireland moved to its current headquarters at Carlisle in Cumbria.

NTA logo 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere branded 1710D forwarder, 2005

2000-2016

2000
AEA announces that John Deere Limited has topped the UK tractor market share table for the first time (in 1998)

John Deere logo 2000 to date 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere logo 2000 to date 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

John Deere & John Deere Financial logos, 2000 to date

2001
The GreenStar satellite guidance system is introduced on John Deere tractors, using StarFire positioning technology based on GPS signals; this is followed by AutoTrac automatic steering in 2002

Original GreenStar display showing parallel tracking 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Original GreenStar display showing parallel tracking

Aerial view of Langar premises 2004 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Aerial view of Langar premises 2004

2005
John Deere launches the new 2500E, the golf and turf industry’s first hybrid electric greens mower

2500E greens mower 2005 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

2500E greens mower 2005

2006
Royal Warrant extended to include groundscare and horticultural equipment

Royal Warrant 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Royal Warrant

2012
Deere & Company celebrates its 175th anniversary worldwide - blacksmith and inventor John Deere founded the business in 1837.

175th anniversary logo 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

175th anniversary logo

2015
John Deere introduces its first-ever four-track tractor, the 9RX Series, ranging from 470 to 620hp – the flagship 9620RX model joins the Lord Mayor’s Show parade in London in November, alongside a specially restored 4020 tractor from the 1960s, in support of the Worshipful Company of Farmers modern livery company and the National Farmers’ Union’s Back British Farming campaign

9620RX tractor at Langar 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

9620RX tractor at Langar

Lord Mayor's Show 2015 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

Lord Mayor's Show 2015

2016
The British agriculture and turf industry’s first and only purpose-built apprentice training facility is opened by John Deere and training provider ProVQ at St James Business Park, Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire. Designed specifically and solely for John Deere dealer apprentices enrolled on the company’s award winning Ag Tech, Parts Tech and Turf Tech training programmes, the new centre is close to John Deere Limited’s headquarters at Langar

New John Deere Apprentice Training Centre Group 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd

The new John Deere Apprentice Training Centre

John Deere Limited celebrates its 50th anniversary in the UK & Ireland

John Deere Limited UK & Ireland 50th anniversary logo 50 Year Anniversary, are available in the  of dealer Meath Farm Machinery Ltd