IN recent weeks, we’ve been looking at black leaded ranges which have on them the names of the local ironmonger who sold them. Now Emma Crawley takes off in a new direction by sending these splendid pictures of two Bamfords Patent Perfect Root Cutters.

She spotted them at Newham Grange Farm, which is a family farm with rare breeds, a shop and a café, at Coulby Newham.

The root cutter was made by Bamfords of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, to chop root vegetables such as turnips or manglewurzels (what a joy it is to use the word manglewurzel).

The green one has a plaque on it saying “Teasdale Bros Darlington” and the red one says “Ord & Maddison Darlington” on it. At a guess, they are 1920s.

Teasdale Bros were agricultural engineers who were formed in Burneston, near Bedale, in the 1820s. They moved to Darlington in the 1870s, and at their Bank Top Iron Works, they billed themselves as "engineers, boiler smiths, iron and brass founders, iron merchants etc”.

In 1895, they found time to build the Stone Bridge over the Skerne – the recently-restored bridge beneath St Cuthbert’s Church which still bears their name in blue and gold lettering.

Despite this move into heavy engineering, they kept their hand in the agricultural field – in 1900 on a farm near Bedale they trialled the latest labour-saving device called the Macdonald Turnip Lifter and Topping Machine, which wowed the North Yorkshire farmers.

Meanwhile, Ord and Maddison were formed in Priestgate, Darlington, in 1858, as lime and stone merchants, with much of their materials coming from the quarries of Weardale. As lime was used for agricultural fertiliser, they also supplied other agricultural goods.

In the 1930s, the two companies shared Nissen hut showrooms off Darlington Market Place – where the Dolphin Centre is today – which is probably where the Newham Grange root cutters were sold from.

In 1958, Ord and Teasdale was formed to sell Massey-Ferguson tractors to North-East farmers from their three-and-a-half acre site at Bank Top. In 1966, the company amalgamated with a Northumberland agricultural services business and after 140 years, the names were lost – although their root cutters live on.

BAMFORDS raises an obvious question and the answer is yes. The agricultural engineers was run by the Bamford family from 1871 until 1986, but in 1945, one of their members, Joseph Cyril Bamford, struck out on his own building diggers, or JCBs, as they are commonly known.