Machinery dealer Russell’s is celebrating its 100th year of serving the agricultural community by exhibiting two real show-stoppers at this year’s Midlands Machinery Show.
The first is its carefully restored 1970s Russell 3D tractor, which will be shown alongside a special edition New Holland T6.180 – complete with bespoke centenary paintwork.
The two eye-catching pieces of machinery will be on display at both the Midlands Machinery Show (9-10 Nov), and the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show (13-14 Nov), both held at Newark Showground.
“We’re really proud of our heritage and we wanted to commemorate 100 years of our people, customers and trading in a special way,” says Paul Russell, eighth generation and managing director at Russell’s.
Tracing origins back to 1840, the Russell family business surpasses its 100 years of trading as a limited company. Starting out in the blacksmith trade, the business grew into farm machinery manufacturing, until the mid 1980s when production ceased and retail of agricultural and grounds care machinery boomed.
Today, Russell’s is one of the largest agricultural and grounds care dealerships in the UK with 11 depots, 175 employees and a £70 million turnover. “Since the very beginning we’ve been taking care of our customers’ horsepower,” says Mr Russell.
The brainchild behind the Russell 3D tractor restoration is Joe Marshall, an agricultural engineer at the company. “We were looking for ways to commemorate the centenary and Joe had seen the tractor for sale online,” explains Mr Russell.
“We manufactured the model in the late 1970s and it was designed primarily for horticultural use – drilling and hoeing crops like lettuce and cabbage. Being hydrostatically driven it was quite advanced for its time and we only produced 40 of them – it’s pretty rare and represents a poignant part of our company’s history.”
A labour of love for Mr Marshall, the restoration began in November 2020 and took seven months to complete with the tractor being completely stripped down, sand-blasted, rebuilt and finished off with original paintwork.
“It really draws a crowd, and it was featured in Channel 5’s coverage of the Great Yorkshire Show,” enthuses Mr Russell.
Wanting to also represent the present day, Russell’s took inspiration from the iconic Ford 7810 Silver Jubilee and had a special edition New Holland T6.180 dynamic command tractor created. There is also a matching purchasable limited edition model with all proceeds going to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Acquiring the New Holland dealership Platts Harris in November 2020, the company is looking forward to attending the Midlands Machinery Show which is located at the heart of its new territory.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for us and the people we are now serving in the Midlands region to get familiar,” says Mr Russell. “It is really important to us to support the local communities and agricultural events in our trading areas.”
The Russell’s stand will feature a full range of agricultural and ground care kit with knowledgeable staff on hand to answer any questions. “We’ll have a full local team on hand with hospitality so anybody visiting the stand can expect a warm welcome.”
As a true specialist event, the Show boasts an array of exhibitors, seminars and live demonstrations which reflect the interest, curiosity and business needs of visitors, says event manager Elizabeth Halsall.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone in November – it is a delight to have Russell’s celebrating its 100th year with us and both tractors are sure to draw a crowd.”
- The Midlands Machinery Show takes place on 9-10 November 2021 at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire. Tickets are now available. Entry is free but advanced registration is essential. For more information or to book tickets visit midlandsmachineryshow.com