Our most unusual LAINCHBURY - the Farm Girl

Farm hoist made by LAINCHBURY and Sons Ltd               Name plate for a similar machine made by LAINCHBURY and Sons Ltd

This elevator is the Superlyte type 1A 30 ft elevator made by Lainchbury and Sons Ltd., of Kingham, Oxford. Date of manufacture unknown. Its purpose is to take the straw away from the thresher and onto the rick. It is powered by a Lister 'D' 1½ horse power petrol engine. Spec. 28DH. No. 1/10300 which was made in June 1947.

Some 600 engines were made in June that year. The manufacturers are R. A. Lister & Co. Ltd. of Dursley, Gloucestershire, who were established in 1867. Stationery engines like this were very popular on farms and it may not be the original one sold with the elevator. It is possible that the elevator was sold without an engine and it was an optional extra. There is a drive wheel, which would take a belt directly off the thresher. It was supplied by W.S.Sparrow of Martock, Somerset. Telephone 3153. (Plate fixed on machine)

C. W. Gibbins, my father purchased it from a farm sale near Membury, Axminster, Devon in 1990 for £15.00. It was "discovered" while walking through the machinery shed on my family farm with a friend, Gerald Evans. He spotted the engine under the elevator and it gave me the thought of seeing if the engine and machine would work. I had the engine started and running for the first time on 20th April 1997 and then on 3rd May 1997 the elevator was pulled out and working. I took it to Honiton Hill Vintage Rally for the first time in 1997 and each August since then, except for 2001 due to the foot and mouth outbreak. It is to be found in the corn threshing display taking straw away from the thresher to the old baler. I was asked to take part in the "Farming through the years" display at Honiton Show on 2nd August 2001.

With the help of Mrs. May Lanchbury of Perth, Australia, I have been able to research the history of the Lainchbury company. May is working on her family history and is interested in all links to her surname.

(Editor's note - Many thanks to Dave Beames for the photograph of the LAINCHBURY & Sons machine name plate. It belongs to a different model than that shown in the other photograph, but would be similar.)

Pretty divider

There is a small booklet about this firm: "Threshers Yard. A Story of North Oxfordshire Steam Threshing Contractors. Lainchburys of Kingham, 1862-1987", by John L. Compton, published by the East Anglian Traction Engine Society, 1993, ISBN: 0 9520318 1 7. (Out of print)

The business appears to have started in 1862 when a John Lainchbury of Cornwell (i.e. 3 miles north of Kingham) bought a portable engine and a threshing drum from Lampitts of Banbury. The yard was moved to Kingham in the 1870s, and to its final location in Kingham in 1882. When he died in 1881, John Lainchbury had acquired two more sets of threshing equipment. John was succeeded in the business by his son Caleb (b. 1845).

During the remainder of the 19th century, agricultural engineering became an increasingly important part of the business, a trend that was emphasized once Caleb's son Ernest John (b. 1868) took over on his father's death in 1918. His eldest son, Ernest John Jnr., started working for the firm in 1914. The telephone number was Kingham 256.

Roberts of Deanshanger nr. Stony Stratford, agric. Engineers, 1821 - 1927 (liquidation). The elevators made by Roberts were taken over by Lainchbury. It seems that the firm expanded in the years before and after the Second World War, when two younger sons of Ernest John Snr. (Charles Edward and Arthur William) joined. But after the war the use of steam ended, and combine harvesters replaced separate threshers and hay elevators. The firm now produced corn elevators and cleaners and started making milking parlour equipment.

The firm eventually closed in September 1987. The old yard was redeveloped as industrial units.

There is a model of a Lainchbury elevator in Chipping Norton museum, and (it appears) a baler and a thresher at Cogges Farm museum (near Witney.)

Written by Phillip Gibbins, (owner of the hoist)
Colesworthy Farm, Feniton, Honiton, Devon, EX14 3DA
You may contact Phillip's mother, Chris, by emailing cmgibbins @ tiscali.co.uk if you have any further information to offer to the family.

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This page was last updated 29th June 2008