Wessex: Fifty Years in the Making

Tony Hawkinsin Industry News

ScrubmasterWessex, the farm, groundscare and ATV machinery company is celebrating fifty years of manufacturing in the UK. Started in 1962, by Henry Browning, thecompany was originally based in Upper Somborne, near Stockbridge, Hampshire and took its name from being in the Winchester area, the old capital of England and the county of Wessex.

The original aim of the business was to provide robust and reliable farm machinery and it soon found success with the first products it made, the Wessex Scrubmaster, as well as the Fieldmaster agricultural toppers it brought in from New Zealand. The reliability and strength of the Scrubmaster led to it becoming very popular in the industry and the development of a close knit dealer network "helped them sell by the lorry load" quotes Margie James who has worked for Wessex since 1978, along with her brother Robert who worked with Henry Browning.

Wessex still sells parts today for Scrubmasters dating from around 1970, good testimony to the strength of the machines. Wessex attributes its success to the relationships with the dealers and the company ethics to provide reliable machinery and bespoke after sales care. In more recent times the development of ATV equipment and the ProLine series roller mowers have made a major contribution to the growth of the Wessex brand, together with the groundscare machinery and Wessex Country range.

Wessex Demo 2 Henry Browning 1960\'s

In 2008 the original Wessex Farm Machinery Sales Co. merged with Broadwood International because it was decided that working with Broadwood would allow the company room for further growth. In turn, Broadwood was already distributing Wessex machinery, sold predominantly throughout the summer months, and SnowEx products for the winter. Combining the brands created a platform for year-round sales.

Arty RMXThere was another connection. Broadwood's Managing Director, Charles Browning, is a close family friend of Wessex and the grandson of its founder Henry Browning. "It was a natural progression and I very much wanted to be involved in a company once owned by my grandfather," he says. "Together we have been able to expand our domestic market and increase our presence in Europe and the USA." As a result the Wessex brand is spreading globally with developments such as the new ProLine Triple roller mower.

To celebrate fifty years in the making of this iconic brand the livery has been re-designed to incorporate green and orange, bringing together the colours representative of the two key sides of the business. Broadwood International 01420 478111 www.broadwoodintl.co.uk

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