Choose our reliable company for all your farming and agriculture needs! At J Parlour & Son, we provide high-quality machinery and a vast range of parts. View a sample of our services below:
Jack Parlour, our founder, started his career as a blacksmiths apprentice in Winston. As well as general blacksmithing he had the opportunity to work with people making farm machinery: ploughs, harrows, scrufflers etc. also maintaining traction engines and shoeing horses. Many farms in those days had their own blacksmiths shop so he would go around the farms on a bicycle with his tools on his back shoeing horses and maintaining machinery. Later he borowed mony and moved to Yarm, took lodgings in a high street pub and rented a shop in the pub yard. The yard entrance was narrow so whenever he made a cambridge roller he took all the parts into the high street and assembled it there. He then encountered the chance to rent a shop in Otterington, so he moved in 1907. He rented at first and later bought the property. After a few years, Jack bought Glebe Farm at Otterington, and later sold it in order to set up his first son, Gordon, on Rand Grange in Bedale. (A 365-acre rented farm.)
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Jack and Jack Jr worked together for quite some time. In the 50s, Jack Jr went into crop spraying with an ex-army Ford Jeep. It had a tank in the back and booms on the front. A Minneapolis Moline tractor pulled a bowser as well, and it was very fast for its time. As time passed, we found that a Land Rover was better at this job, as it had a PTO. This meant that it didn’t need an extra engine to drive the pump. We continued to make harrows at Otterington until they were replaced by power harrows, around 25 years ago.
Our main business then became, and still focuses on, hiring out farm machinery. We started hiring in the late 60s. The first two muck spreaders, both wooden ones, were a David Brown and an Aubrey Ogle. We thought it was wonderful when rota spreaders came along, and we even hired out sacks!
We acquired a David Brown tractor and a machinery agency in the 50s, and we continued selling and maintaining them for many years. We still have two 60s David Brown tractors, which we took in as part-exchange for new ones, and then we hired them out. Although we don't hire them out any more, they are still in regular use around our yard.
Jack and Jack Jr also provided a horse shoeing service. One of our claims to fame involves this service. We were responsible for dressing the feet of a famous race horse named ‘Hyperion’.
Jack has encountered a range of memorable situations throughout his time in the industry. One if his favourites is the story of an Otterington farmer, who was collecting a new plough from Otterington Station. He’d bought it from an agricultural engineer in Darlington. Once in the station, the stationmaster exclaimed: “Why didn’t you go to Mr Parlour for a plough?” The farmer then said: “Oh, this one’s better than Parlour’s ploughs.” The stationmaster was amused by this, as he pointed to a concealed word that was stamped into the iron beam. The word, was Parlour. “I put this plough on the train to Darlington last week” said the stationmaster. This showed the quality of the goods that Jack made, and we still have one of Jack’s ploughs, as well as the first set of harrows that he made at Otterington, sold, when new for £5. Click here for more info about this photo