The life, work and inventive genius of tractor pioneer, Harry Ferguson, have been officially recognised in the creation of a memorial garden less than 50 metres from the farmhouse in which he was born and grew up in County Down, Northern Ireland.
Formally opened on 16 August by Harry Ferguson’s grand-daughter, Mrs Sally Fleming, the memorial garden has as its centrepiece a striking life-sized bronze sculpture of Harry Ferguson leaning on a farm gate with, appropriately, spanner in hand.
The opening of the garden marked the culmination of almost 10 years planning and fund-raising by the Harry Ferguson Celebration Committee, a group of Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractor enthusiasts who wanted to establish a fitting memorial to the inventor of the hydraulic three-point linkage which first saw light in 1933 on the Ferguson Black tractor, now housed in London’s Science Museum.
The various elements which came together successfully in that tractor led to the introduction of the Ferguson System of farm mechanisation which combined tractor and implement as a single entity, working the land in harmony rather than as separate parts pulling against each other as had been the case prior to Harry Ferguson’s invention of his hydraulic three-point linkage.
The Ferguson System transformed agricultural mechanisation, helping achieve Harry Ferguson’s goal of making life easier and better for the world’s farmers. In doing so, he furthered the security of global food supplies by enabling a small proportion of the world’s population to more effectively feed the rest.