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Lawrence Museum restores first tractor

Lynne Mowbray | The Lawrence Museum is in the process of restoring the villages first ever tractor. According to press clippings at the time, the Fordson tractor was purchased by Charley Child from the City Motor Garage and Engineering Co, Ltd of Grafton, in June 1921. Mr Child was seen as the pioneer of traction on the Clarence River. It was reported that Mr Child saw the great possibilities of this tractor when he witnessed the demonstrations given by the local agents at the previous Clarence River Show. Mr Child provided a ploughing demonstration on his property at Lawrence to share with local farmers, the endless tasks which could be undertaken with his new machine. These included: ploughing, harrowing, mowing lucerne, chaff cutting and driving the saw for cutting up timber [Charley and his brother Jimmy owned a sawmill in Ward Street, Lawrence]. The new tractor was capable of doing more work than Mr Child’s property would allow and so he began contract ploughing. His first contract was carried out on Miss McBride’s property, ‘Lanark Lodge’ at Lawrence. The historic Fordson tractor was donated to the museum by John Harrison formally of Lawrence, who was given the tractor by Charley. Lawrence Museum volunteer Geoff Bert is currently restoring the iconic tractor at the museum, which is currently in pieces. Lawrence Museum vice president Ros Jones said that they are looking forward to the seeing the tractor restored to its former glory and eventually on display to the public. Thanks to the Lawrence Museum for providing the information for this article. Information was sourced from National Library of Australia – Daily Examiner Grafton.