A lot has been spoken on factual history of this company and to who has got it correct.I note that Clive Gravitt has suggested MERL as being the start and end all for Ransomes.Although MERL houses many artefacts they do have gaps,in allot of cases coursed by the simple fact of time and storage and movement,Also man power!
Ransomes were a global company for many years,operating in many countries,their main European base were with their Agents Verbeek in Belgium (the same Company which made Fair Organs)
Verbeek went into liquidation in the early 90's.The Hall & Duck Trust was asked by Ransomes PLC here to clear any artefacts,which we did,by the pallet load! To include Directors Ledgers,but even more interesting Publicity Films on Ransomes from 1916 which include footage from the old foundry which got destroyed by fire.The good news is all these films have now been transferred to disk,shortly we will be marketing them,they are so fascinating.
The Hall & Duck Trust was founded in 1982 with the full backing of Ransomes PLC Chairman Mr Bob Dodsworth,also the PRO Mr PWR Crewdson
A note of caution when researching histories especially Lawn mowers,there is out there a chain of letters which were written in the early 1950's which in part was the foundation of the finished report on the invention of Buddings Lawn mower and Ferrabee written for the Newcomen Society in London,(unfortunately MERL does not have the complete collection but we do) In one letter from Shanks to Ransomes it mentions dates of machines,Ransomes reply was when digging around in the foundations you might find a brick,on turning it over, in the frog you may just find the word Ransomes!
The holy Grail for the history of the Lawn mower is of course Stroud, Gloucestershire,much research has been done on the subject,not least by Daniels and also latterly Mr Lionel Walrond both past Curators at Stroud.Recently I have been researching my family tree,so as you can imagine,the skeleton in the cupboard has appeared.Again The Hall & Duck Trust has many personnel papers to include those of Mr L Walrond which are not open for research at this time,Why you ask!,the answer a simple foundation problem! Mr L Walrond happens to be Mr A M Hall's Cousin!
The Hall & Duck Trust
I recently stumbled across a large web site holding a lot of information, history and illustrations of the Ransomes Ipswich works. This is not exclusively about the company but does include several details of the remaining evidence on buildings as you trawl through.
I did not know the web site existed - and I live there! Maybe worth a link on the OLC site.
Either Google Ipswich-lettering or www.Ipswich-lettering.co.uk/ransomes.html
PS - I tested the link, with and without the Https:// bit, no joy when I tried so just google it.