The TractorThis type of tractor is known as a “Little Grey Fergie”. It was bought by Eddie MacCallum in 1961, replacing the horses that had previously worked the land.
The tractor was sold when Eddie MacCallum retired in 1963, but remained in Argyll with a succession of owners until we bought it back in 2011. Today, it does much the same work as it did in the 1960s. It is fitted with a revolutionary hydraulic three-point linkage, making it possible for tools like ploughs to be controlled by the driver. This invention had enormous technological significance, transforming the work and economics of farming.
[caption id="attachment_22872" align="alignnone" width="800"] Ploughing the fields.[/caption]
In 1961, Eddie MacCallum was 66 years old and thinking about retirement. By getting a tractor he hoped to persuade his son, Young Eddie, to follow him into farming. The tractor came with ploughs and a mower, examples of which can be seen in front of Martin’s Barn or in the stackyard next to Stoner’s Barn (when they aren’t in use).
Unfortunately, the new tractor wasn’t enough to persuade Young Eddie to become a farmer. He moved away to train as a joiner. With no-one to succeed him, on 2nd June 1963 Eddie MacCallum surrendered the tenancy to the Argyll Estate, bringing to an end a story that had started around five centuries earlier
[caption id="attachment_22873" align="alignnone" width="597"] Young Eddie with the tractor after it returned to Auchindrain.[/caption]
When the time came for the farm’s equipment and tools to be sold, Young Eddie drove the tractor to the ‘mart’ or market at Lochgilphead. There, it was bought by Duncan Neil Munro, who had grown up at Auchindrain but was by then living at St Catherines (on the other side of Loch Fyne).
After many years of use on the Munro’s land at St Catherines, the tractor was sold to a private estate for use as a boat tug, working in and out of the salt waters of Loch Fyne. In 2001 it was traded in for something more modern, but was saved from being scrapped by an enthusiast who kept it. The museum bought it back in 2011.
[caption id="attachment_22874" align="alignnone" width="800"] Martin’s Barn in 1963.[/caption]