Hurricane Harvester fans seek “Bond’s” missing accessory

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Daniel Craig may well have hung up his Walther PPK for the very last time as fictional super spy 007, James Bond.

His departure in the blockbuster ‘Spectre’ was certainly made in style behind the wheel of the most famous car in the world, the Aston Martin DB 5.

The DB initials stand for David Brown the man who not only owned the car company but built Harry Ferguson’s first tractors back in 1936. When Harry shook hands with Henry Ford and moved to the USA, undaunted DB built a tractor of his own design.

As demand increased David acquired the long established and respected implement maker Harrison, McGregor and Guest Ltd, who marketed farm machinery under the “ALBION” trademark.

One of the most successful products of the new DB ALBION range was their forage harvester appropriately called the “HURRICANE”.

First demonstrated at Loughry Agricultural College, it made a big impact on the spectators and the order book soon filled. As time and trends progressed the “HURRICANE” went from a familiar sight on farms to merely a fond memory, at least until last year when a group of DB enthusiasts attempted to find the survivors for a one-off demonstration at the Ballinderry Vintage Gathering. No less than eight machines lined up and when cutting grass simultaneously the distinctive ‘hum’ could be heard a mile away! Visitors came from all over Northern Ireland. Others travelled from Galway, Meath and Donegal to mention a few.

However, matters did not end there, as spectators urged the organisers to repeat the demonstration and stories of other “Hurricanes”, spread. One example has been affectionately dubbed “James Bond”, as it bears the serial number 11,007.

When this particular example left the factory it was equipped with a rather unusual accessory, a hay-making attachment.

It is not known exactly how many were made but safe to say that hay-making foragers were extremely rare! Sadly a previous owner decided that he would produce just silage and the components were set about with a hacksaw. Despite this, some drawings which survived the factory’s demolition have surfaced and it is hoped to restore this unique machine to its original specification.

On Saturday, 17th September 2016, the David Brown Hurricane Harvesters will be put through their paces at Ballinderry Vintage Gathering, two miles from Ballyronan near Magherafelt.

All Hurricane Harvesters are welcome to attend. For further information contact: 07512 374811 or 07802 657685.