JOHN DEERE DEALING IN ENGLAND


| July/August 1982

  • Plowing from Don Macmillan's new model D in 1943
    A view of plowing from Don Macmillan's new model D in 1943, with a 4 furrow IH '8C' plow at Highway Farm, Hilmarton, Calne, Wilts.
  • Model 'L' Tractor
    Model 'L' Tractor, Serial No. 621777, 9 H.P. No test. Unstyled and very rare version of the 10 H.P. smallholders tractor. Deere first 2 cylinder engine, manufactured 1937.
  • John Deere Model 'GP' (Orchard) Tractor
    John Deere Model 'GP' (Orchard) Tractor, Serial No. 15089, 25.36 H.P. Test No. 153. This is one which stayed in Macmillan's collection.

  • Plowing from Don Macmillan's new model D in 1943
  • Model 'L' Tractor
  • John Deere Model 'GP' (Orchard) Tractor

Last fall, Don Macmillan sent us a copy of the catalog for his tractor auction in England. We thought our readers would be interested in the outcome, so we wrote and asked for a more complete story. What follows are Don's reflections on his long career as a John Deere dealer and collector. Don lives at 'Whiterig' in Etchilhampton, Nr. Devises, Wilts, England.

My interest in John Deere started with the arrival on the Cotswold farm where I was a pupil of a new John Deere AR tractor, serial no. 259,254 in the spring of 1940.

Until then all the work on a farm a mile square, 640 acres, was done with horses except for one small Allis 'B' and the occasional loan of brother-in-law's 'WF'.

The new tractor was the only John Deere around those parts, and amazed everybody with its lugging abillity. I was appointed its driver and we were pulling a 4 furrow Cockshutt, 10' plow when Fordson's pulled 2 furrows and International 10-20s and 15-30s looking much larger pulled either 2 or at most 3 furrows. I had learnt to plow with 3 horses and a 2 furrow plow-not a ride-on!



On the petrol tank of the AR it said John Deere, Moline, Ill., so I duly wrote to them telling them of our new acquisition and they replied inviting me to visit them 'after the war.'

In 1942, Aug. 1st, I left the farm to start custom operating with a secondhand Oliver 90, a 4 furrow Ransomes plow, a fuel tender and my motorbyke on a ramp behind the tender.