The Aberdeen “Highland” of 1931: the Motion Yard

Earlier in the week we looked at what was new at the Aberdeen “Highland” of 1931. Today we are looking at another aspect of that show: the Motion Yard. This was an element of the show that showed implements and machines “in motion”, hence, they were in the “Motion Yard”. The Scotsman, in its pages of 23 June, carried an extensive feature of the Yard. It focused on one or two of the key Scottish businesses. So what were they exhibiting?

“Machinery in Motion

Large collection

There is no more attractive department in the entire display of implements than that devoted to machinery in motion. Here, at the stands of some seventy firms, all of whom are well known throughout the agricultural world, visitors will find much of general interest, whether or not they are associated with pursuits of the soil. The mere fact that the great assortment of machines can be seen in motion is undoubtedly an appealing factor in itself. To townspeople as well as to farmers, a machine shown in motion is always a much more human interest than an inert exhibit, and, after all, few men have lost that boyish interest in the turning of wheels. A tour of the motion yard is an education, revealing the wonderful ingenuity of the agricultural implement producers in evolving new methods in farming operations. Most of the up-to-date machines are already well known to farmers, but new devices and improvements are always being brought forth, and therein lies the value of an inspection.

Farmers’ emporium

Mr James H. Steele, Harrison Road, Edinburgh, presents at Stand no. 48 his customary varied collection of agricultural implements, appliances, and requisites. The assortment is of such a nature as to justify his motto, “Everything for the Farm”. Here indeed it is a case of “inquire within upon everything” for the farm, from a fencing staple or nail to a tractor, from a scythe blade to a binder and reaper. The articles on view are too numerous to detail, but special attention is directed to the display of tractors of the very latest type, each with power take-off. Alongside are several binders with direct tractor drive. In addition there are numerous engines, mowers, and binders of Ruston-Hornsby make, and a full range of Messrs Ransomes’ tractor and horse ploughs, horse rakes, potato diggers &c. The proximity of the hay harvest makes opportune the exhibition of a collection of modern machines, including new patent crane-pattern hay elevators, triangle rick-lifters, hay bogies, Bamletts’ “Rolls-Royce” mower, swath turners, hay collectors, &c. There can also be inspected here an improved potato sorting machine for power drive, manure distributors, turnip-cutting attachments for carts, cattle troughs, corn bins &c. The Wilder new patent “pitch-pole Minor” grass harrow is a new implement, being shown at the “Highland” for the first time. A combination of a flexible tine harrow with a square-link chain harrow attached, the unique and vital feature of the “Minor” is the patent offset tines, which are self-cleaning. Consequently, tufts and rubbish present no difficulty. At Stand no 120, a special display is made of all the latest dairy equipment. Of outstanding interest here is the complete dairy and wash-house plant, comprising steam boiler, steam sterilising chest, washing trough, bottle-washing turbine, and rinser. There are also an improved bottle filling and discing machine, cream separators, refrigerators, churns, butter-workers, milk bottles and boxes, milk filters, and all the latest Grade A milk appliances. Poultry enthusiasts are likewise well catered for, the stand containing a special range of the well-known Venn Carr automatic dry-wash hoppers together with various sizes of poultry houses, incubators, and all the accessories for the hen run.

Engines and implements

Two specimens of their noted oil engines are shown at Stand no. 44 by Alexander Shanks & Son (Ltd), Dens Iron Works, Arbroath. One is an engine of the cold starting crude oil type, and the other is a horizontal hot bulb engine, also for crude oil. They are to be seen in motion, complete with all accessories. A 36-inch cut water-cooled motor mower is also on view. The firm, are also to be found at Stand no, 324, where they are showing a number of their famous lawn mowers of the Eagle, Britisher, and hawk types, together with motor mowers in varying sizes.

A comprehensive assortment of implements and general requirements for the farm, dairy, garden and poultry establishments, is made by Mr A. M. Russell, 108-112West Bow, Grassmarket, Edinburgh. Cultivators, rototillers, tractors, and oil engines figure prominently on the stand, but there are also binders and mowers, potato diggers and turnip cutters, field and stable bins, troughs, extension ladders, whitewashing and spraying machines, Dairy and poultry appliances, garden tools and requisites. Samples of Mr Russell’s popular hand-made wire netting for sheep and the A. M. R. brand of pig netting are featured.

John Wallace & Sons (Ltd), 34 Paton Street, Glasgow, are to be found at stand no. 74, where they have their customary varied display of implements and machinery. A feature is made of their extensive range of barn machinery, including a chaff-cutter, corn-bruisers, oilcake breaker combined grinder and bruiser, &c. Examples are also shown of the firm’s famous potato-diggers, mowers and reapers, manure distributors, together with a section of Oliver ploughs, food coolers, oil engines, &c. Messrs Wallace have long been renowned for their implements, a reputation built entirely upon quality and reliability.

Gillies & Henderson, 59 Bread Street, Edinburgh, are at Stand no. 55 in the motion yard, where they have a most comprehensive display of machines likely to meet the requirements of every farmer. Here we have a Case tractor of the newest model, as well as binders, mowers, hay rakes, swath turners, and potato diggers. Among other features special mention can be made of the fact that there is the newest telescopic poultry house, a new grid which obviates the necessity for gates on main roads, and an exhibition of the weaving of hand-made sheep wire netting for which the firm are known throughout the country.

P. & R. Fleming & Co., Graham Square and Argyle Street, Glasgow, are located at Stand no 75, where they present an attractive display of agricultural implements and dairy utensils, &c. prominent on the stand is the Waugh patent sheep dipping outfit, comprising a circular catching pen, sheep dipper, and circular dipper. Other exhibits include potato and charlock sprayers, horse forks, engines, mowers, pumping sets, horse rakes, dairy sterilising plant, bins, troughs, poultry appliances, and a collection of wire fencing gates &c.

Sowers and cultivators

Sowing and cultivating machinery is to be seen in variety at Stand no, 80, occupied by J. & J. Ballach, Gorgie Implement Works, Edinburgh. Included in the assortment is the new patent universal expanding disc drill scarifier, adaptable for drills from 18 to 30 inches wide. This machine gained the H. & A. S. silver medal at the 1927 Show in Edinburgh. Manure distributors, combined seed and manure sowers, drill scarifiers, and other implements are to be found in profusion, as well as hay mowers, potato diggers, swath turners, engines, and a selection of galvanised ware.

A general survey

Apart from these particular stands and exhibits, there are many firms represented in the motion yard, all displaying their respective productions and wares. A never-failing feature of this section, irrespective of whether the Highland Show is held north or south, is the collection of heavy traction engines and road rollers on view, almost of not all of which are forward from firms in the English Midlands. These engines are now adaptable to almost every duty in and around the farm, and they are to be seen in motion or stationary at practically every stand in the section. Threshing machinery constitutes another feature in the general display. Many firms have such plant in motion in conjunction with oil engines, amongst those specialising in this department being George McCartney & Co., Cumnock; Barclay, Ross, & Hutchison (Ltd), Aberdeen; Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies (Ltd), Ipswich; Marshall, Sons & Co., (Ltd), Gainsborough; R. G. Garvie & Sons, Aberdeen; James Ferries & Co., Inverness; Garvie, Innes & Scott, Aberdeen; Allan Brothers, Aberdeen.”