14,000 people attend John Deere’s 50th anniversary event

An estimated 14,000 people from across the UK and Ireland attended the JD50 heritage event to celebrate John Deere’s fifty year anniversary last weekend.

There were over 200 vintage, classic and modern tractors and other heritage machines at the event, spanning 100 years of production, which took place in Langar, Nottingham.

At least one tractor from every year from 1962 to 2011 was present, with this event representing one of the largest ever gathering of John Deere heritage equipment outside the US.

The event represented a nostalgic walk down memory lane for visitors, according to the company’s Managing Director, Jonathan Henry.

“For me the most memorable experience was observing and listening to the emotions and comments of our visitors as they walked down the 100 years of tractor history.

Everyone had different memories triggered by the line-up but one common theme, a passion for John Deere.

“The last 50 years has been a resounding success for the John Deere brand in the UK and Ireland, from new entrant to market leadership, and a testament to our core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation,” Henry said.

The collection of tractors on display
The collection of tractors on display Picture Tim Scrivener

Some of the heritage tractor highlights included a:

  • 1916 Overtime Model R which was imported from the US during the First World War to aid the war effort,
  • 1919 Waterloo Boy Model N the first tractor produced by John Deere in the US after it bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company in Iowa.
  • 1924 Model D the oldest tractor in Europe bearing the John Deere name.
  • 1943 Model BN which may be the oldest working John Deere tractor in the UK, and is still used to hoe sugar beet every spring.
John Deere UK and Ireland's 50th celebration Picture Tim Scrivener
John Deere’s UK and Ireland 50th celebration. Picture Tim Scrivener

More recent examples on show included the John Deere 8000 Series tractors introduced in 1994, the first in history to have their design concept patented, and the 6910 full-frame tractor, Europe’s biggest-selling model in 1998.

Meanwhile a 1996 6400 tractor from the 6000 Series range was driven to the event by contractor Michael Tucker who lives in Devon, a round trip of almost 725km.

The tractor has close to 48,000hrs on the clock, which is the equivalent of working 6.5hrs/day every day of the year for 20 years.