• Title
  • Reference
    TR BEE
  • Production date
  • Creator
  • Creator History
    Premises located at Rempstone, Loughborough. The following note was written by S.B. Ward, 1973(Mar): Edward and George Beeby took over the business of Angrove and Burrows at Rempstone in 1906/1907. The brothers were noted as steam plough owners in the 1912 Kelly's Nottinghamshire Directory, along with the following farmers, the Allsop Brothers, Mrs. J. Blatherwick, J. Hallam, G. Hibbert, C. Tams, J.E. Voce and R. Wadkin. William Stubbs and Fred Barker were recorded as carpenters. In the trades section of the directory Beeby's were listed as agricultural machine owners rather than as steam cultivation contractors; J.F. Houghton of Nottingham being the only firm in this category. The capital account ledger shows that at the end of 1908, the second year of working, the balance for cultivating operations stood at £1,565. Under George Beeby's guidance this side of the business shows a steady improvement up to, and during the early part of the Great War. The last war years, 1917 and 1918, were particularly prosperous ones, with the account standing at £3,740 in 1918. The withdrawal of the government grant and the onset of depression, however, meant a big slump in profits after 1922. A loss was made in several years, 1931-1933 being particularly grim with the capital account only just topping the £1,000 mark. Thereafter there was a slow and painful recovery, with consequent adjustments in the size and scale of cultivating and drainage as well as threshing operations. Cultivating business was started in 1907 with seven sets of single cylinder engines. The first job to be noted in the register of work done, was the cultivation of 24 acres on the farm of Sillito and Sons, Alvecote Priory, Tamworth. The price of the work at 12/- an acre came to £12. The charge for ploughing seems to have been slightly higher than for cultivating, but the rate was varied according to the size and toughness of the job, and also according to how close a neighbour or relative a customer was. For instance, the charge in 1913 for tackling 32 acres on W. Beeby's farm at Bradmore was 8/- per acre, for a double cultivation and single harrowing. About the same time a much larger contract was undertaken for Mrs. Brawn at Sandhills, when 150 acres was cultivated for £75, with beer money being charged at £3. 1s. As the price of labour and materials rose during the first World War, so the price charged for all forms of cultivating increased, until in 1919 this steadied at between 22/- and 25/- per acre. A considerable amount of work was undertaken for the Leicester War Agricultural Committee in 1917-18; Beebys being responsible for the deep cultivation and bringing into production of well over 1,000 acres. Thereafter the firm was regularly employed by Leicester Corporation throughout the 1920's and 30's for both ordinary and sewage cultivation operations. The prices charged, however, dropped throughout this period and even in 1939-40 were only two-thirds of the 1920-22 level. Edward Beeby entered the partnership in 1907 in a smaller way with special responsibility for the threshing and garden sales side of the business. He did particularly well during the Great War, however, when his capital account improved from £1,752 in 1914 to £4,095 by 1921. He suffered greatly during the depression, losing something like £1,000 between 1922 and the end of 1923. The farm enterprise also under his charge was similarly affected and in 1921 discontinued. There was a gradual recovery starting in 1928-29, but with a trough in 1930-33, with a more definite improvement towards the end of the decade, although the very high profits of the first World War do not seem to have been repeated in the second. Edward Beeby was also instrumental in setting up the Steam Cultivating Development Association. This organisation was started in March 1915 to provide the following services; to keep steam plough owners in touch with each other, to safeguard the trade against unfair and overcautious regulations imposed by County Councils against agricultural locomotives on the roads, and to keep down cultivation charges as far as possible consistent with firms making a reasonable level of profit. The Implement and Machinery Review commended the businesslike way in which the affairs of the Association were conducted, and particularly by `Allen, Stratton and Beeby'. In 1916, however, the Implement and Machinery Review sounded a note of warning. It considered that the Association was ill-advised to quite so immoderately condemn the motor tractor over which `people had gone crazy'. Edward Beeby continued to be active in the concerns of the Association while it survived, and also played a leading role in the National Association of Agricultural Contractors, until his death in 1962.
  • Scope and Content
    The records of Beeby Bros., are of particular note in that they relate to a firm of cultivating and threshing contractors, who prior to the second World War specialised in the use of steam machinery and whose work moreover was held in quite high esteem. The main body of material as well as the most significant items are the account books [TR BEE/AC] which include the private ledger for 1906-1950 [TR BEE/AC1/1] containing useful financial business summaries together with profit and loss accounts, 1907-1910 and 1912-1929. There were originally eight contracts ledgers of which three are preserved in the Institute's custody, namely: i. Cultivating, 1915-1917 ii. Cultivating, 1918-1922 [TR BEE/AC1/2] iii. Cultivating, 1922-1933 [TR BEE/AC1/3] iv. Threshing, 1918-1922 v. Threshing, 1922-1933 vi. Threshing, 1933-1947 vii. Threshing, 1948-1952 viii. Cultivating, 1933-1962; Threshing, 1953-1962; General, 1937-1962. [TR BEE/AC1/4] The contracts work cash books [TR BEE/AC2/1-4] survive as a broken run for 1906-1911 and 1920-1952 and there are also farm cash books [TR BEE/AC2/5-6] for 1908-1911 (petty cash income only] and 1919-1921. The most detailed entries naturally occur in the day books [TR BEE/AC3], which can be used additionally as registers of work done by particular sets of cultivating and threshing tackle. The most notable of these reveals the operations of a set of Fowler tackle, bought as new, during 1918-1947 [TR BEE/AC3/5], including a pair of BB1 steam ploughing engines, an anti-balance plough, a turning cultivator, a mole draining plough, a land press, a large living van and a water cart. (A turning harrow and another mole draining plough were added later). There are also detailed day book entries for general work (i.e. other than cultivating and threshing contracting) for 1937-1965 [TR BEE/AC3/6]. The remaining records include an accumulation of various papers concerned with the regulation and taxation of motor vehicles, 1861-1937 [TR BEE/AD5], including copies of acts of parliament and government statutory rules and regulations; three bulky wholesalers' catalogues of engineering supplies for the 1930's [TR BEE/P2/B1-3]; servicing literature for Ransomes' and Rustons' threshing machinery owned by Beebys [TR BEE/P2/B4-6]; three early photographs [TR BEE/PH3] and six sales particulars and catalogues, 1910-1963 [TR BEE/SP1] for the auction of local personal and real estate.
  • Extent
    47 Documents
  • Level of description
  • Content Subject
  • System of arrangment
    TR BEE/AC1/1-4 Ledgers TR BEE/1 Private TR BEE/2-4 Contracts Work TR BEE/AC2/1-6 Cash Books TR BEE/1-4 Contracts Work TR BEE/5-6 Farm TR BEE/AC3/1-6 Day Books - Contracts Work TR BEE/AC9/1 Instructions to Creditors of Bankrupts TR BEE/AD3/1 Parliamentary Bill - Unemployment Insurance TR BEE/AD5/1-11 Acts of Parliament, Statutory Rules and Orders, Circulars and Correspondence - Road Vehicles TR BEE/AD7/1 Circular Letter - Threshing Work Charges TR BEE/P2/B1 Advertising and Servicing Publications - Various Firms TR BEE/1-3 Engineering Wholesalers' Supplies TR BEE/4-6 Servicing Literature for Machinery owned by Beebys TR BEE/7 Cattle Cake and Meal TR BEE/PH3/1-2 Individual Photographs TR BEE/SP1/1-6 Sale Particulars and Catalogues for Local Auctions TR BEE/1 Personal Estate TR BEE/2-6 Real Estate