Shropshire harvest saw step back in time as machinery rolled on
A unique spectacle appeared across the Shropshire countryside this harvest.
A 60-year-old Claas combine, sold new by machinery dealers Morris Corfield in 1962, worked alongside its modern counterpart.
The SF, which was the first self propelled combine to be sold by the family-owned dealership, has come a long way since its launch in the 1950s, and is thought to be one of very few working examples in the country.
It was shadowed by the Claas Lexion 8700TT, which is the latest machine in a 60-year working relationship between the dealership and the Forester family.
The Forester family, formerly of Willey Park and now trading as Barrow Farm, neighbours Morris Corfields’ Broseley depot. They have owned an impressive 25 Claas combines over the last six decades – a poignant milestone as Morris Corfield celebrates its 65th anniversary as Claas dealers in 2024.
John Corfield, one of the founders of the company, sold the classic combine to Lord Forester at Willey Hall in Broseley in 1962.
In 1965, it was sold on to John Rowson, of Home Farm Cleobury North, then on to George Green in Burwarton, before it completed its Shropshire tour and was bought back by Morris Corfield in 1989.
The original log book is still residing in managing director Norman Duppa’s office. Mr Duppa said: “We wanted to celebrate the SF combine’s 60th anniversary in style.
“She has been stored in a shed at our depot since June 1988 when we purchased it from Mr Green, last making an appearance at our open day in Benthall in 2013.
“After a quick wash down, its Ford engine fired up first time. It required some minor remedial work to get it working in the field this harvest including a cutter bar and header guard refurb and some replacement belts but this was easily completed thanks to the vast spare parts held at the at our depot.”
It helped the job in hand that the family-owned dealership has a colossal collection of 19,500 Claas parts lines ranging from vintage machinery to the very latest harvesting technology.