Marshall 175th tracks the history of British farming

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A widely-anticipated feature at this year’s Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show at Newark Showground, held on November 4 and 5, is the celebration of 175 years of Marshall Sons & Co. Attracting over 50 entries, this specially themed class promises to provide a ‘mechanical history’ of local British engineering.

Ian Palmer, head of the Marshall Club, says the popularity of the event is no surprise: The Marshall story started just 25 miles from the Newark showground in Gainsborough, when William Marshall acquired the small engineering works of William Garland in 1848, aged just 36.

“The business soon outgrew its current premises so William bought his first piece of land in 1855: One-and-a-half acres on Beaumont Street, which became the famed Britannia Iron Works,” says Ian.

During World War I, a large proportion of manufacturing was turned over to the national war effort. Ian himself is entering a trench pump, built during that period, into the themed class at this year’s show.

“It was designed for pumping out water in the trenches at the Western Front in Belgium, but as mine was manufactured in 1918, it was never shipped out because of the Armistice. That is why it is one of the few remaining,” he says.

Marshalls again concentrated on armaments during World War II, then in 1945, launched a new corporate range of products which included the famous Field Marshall, Road Marshall, Grain Marshall – and later in the 1950s, the Track Marshall.

Visitors to this year’s Newark Vintage Tractor & Heritage Show will be able to see more than a dozen Field Marshalls on display in the specially-themed class, some of which have returned from a working life abroad in countries as far flung as Australia, Chile and Luxembourg.

Other entries in the class will showcase different aspects of Marshall’s colourful history over its century and a half of production. For example, a ‘William Marshall’ saw bench, believed to be the oldest known surviving Marshall product, will be exhibited by Gainsborough-based agricultural engineers Mark and James Chantry.

Another noteworthy Marshall entry is ‘Teapot’ being exhibited by local enthusiast Stephen Clements, which is an 1894 6hp single cylinder two-gear general purpose traction engine, previously owned by his father Phil, who was a staunch supporter of the show.

There’s also a range of entries from John Bateman and family, including their 1951 Field Marshall Series 3 Contractor. “This tractor was sold new to Ireland. We bought it in 2021 and it’s an ongoing restoration job for us. It’s fitted with a land anchor and a rear winch, which would have been really expensive at the time – and probably why only 48 of the ‘Contractors’ were made of the Series 3 and 3a range,” explains John.

For a limited time only, discounted tickets are available for the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show, on November 4-5 at Newark Showground. Buy tickets here:, or for more information about the show, visit:

The Marshall Sons & Co Ltd. 175th anniversary class at the show is supported by the Marshall Club, which covers all the Marshall products including Fowler crawler tractors. Contact Ian Palmer at [email protected] to find out more about the Marshall Club.