Machinery firm's 90th anniversary event aims to fill Norfolk Show void
- Credit: Ben Burgess
A Norfolk farm machinery firm is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a summer event aiming to fill a gap left by this year's Royal Norfolk Show.
Ben Burgess is marking the milestone year with a machinery show on June 23 and 24 at its branch in Beeston, near Dereham, where work was recently completed on an improved showroom.
The event will showcase equipment for the agricultural, construction and grounds care industries which would usually have been exhibited at the Royal Norfolk Show, which was cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Branch manager Robin Pitcher said: "With the Royal Norfolk Show not being held this year which would have usually provided a shop window for these industries, the Beeston open day gives an opportunity for our customers to peruse the latest technology and machinery from a wide range of brands.
"We are hoping to step up to the mark to bring the best of the Norfolk Show to Beeston."
Ben Burgess and Company was founded by Ben Burgess, Edward Burgess and Norman Marshall in 1931, during the depths of the post-war agricultural depression.
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After the success of the first Marshall tractors franchise, other franchises followed such as Turner Tractors, Claas Combines and Lundell Foragers. In 1964, Ben Burgess was appointed as one of the first John Deere dealers in the UK.
The growth of the business brought a need for greater local coverage, prompting the 1962 acquisition of Eric Matthews and Co, a company supplying David Brown tractors in central Norfolk - which has now come to be known as Ben Burgess Beeston.
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Today Ben Burgess has seven depots covering East Anglia and the Midlands. The company is currently based at Trowse, outside Norwich, but has submitted proposals for a larger purpose-built headquarters at Swainsthorpe.
Managing director Ben Turner, grandson of company founder Ben Burgess, said: “Our dedication to our customers and outstanding service has ensured our continued success, but we are also committed to ensuring our employees have an inspiring place to work.
"We’ve added nearly 250 people to our ranks since the beginning and seen hundreds more who have come and gone over the years, whether through retirement or progressing onto greater things.”
Ben Burgess also holds a Royal Warrant as a supplier of agricultural machinery to the Queen's estate at Sandringham since 1931.