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with thanks to the Road Locomotive Society for providing much of the information, and to both the RLS & The Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society for kindly lending me these photographs from their archives, and allowing them to be published here.
KING GEORGE -  A  new 8 n.h.p. Fowler Agricultural Traction Engine purchased by the Orchard family of Woodwells Farm, Leverstock Green.  The engine was built by John Fowler & Co Leeds, and aquired  new by the Orchard family in October 1911.  It was eventually sold on to F J Ginster of Moxley Street, Staffs in 1943. Works No. JF12232, Registration number NK915

The photo shows Woodwell Farm behind the engine, with driver Harry Wyatt (L), accompanied by fitter  Bert Field at the wheel.
The Orchard Family were well know and well respected members of the Baptist community in Leverstock Green from at least the mid nineteenth century. (See downloadable information on the Orchard Family on Families page.)

By the beginning of the 20th Century their farm holdings in the village were reduced to just Woodwells Farm, a farm of aprox. 230 acres.  Other members of the SLIGHTLY wider family were surveyors and auctioneers based in the Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead. Members of the family  were also involved in civic duties in the early 20th century, with both an Alderman Orchard and a Coucillor Orchard involved in the organising and planning of the Coronation Festival in 1902.

The records of the Road Locomotive Society show that they were the only  registered owners of Traction Engines in the immediate locality, and from the details of their records shown on the chart below, it would appear that the Orchards, as well as farming, ran an Agricultural traction engine hire business, as it is inconceivable that they needed all six or seven of their engines just for use on Woodwells Farm.  In fact, photographic and other records  indicate the use of modern farm machinery at farms all around the village, and one such engine was parked on the green on the occasion of the unveiling of the war memorial in 1922.  In 1919 the Gazette reported: 12th February 1919 - An army hay bailer, which had been  “fixed in Bennetts End Lane near Leverstock Green” for over a fortnight owing to heavy falls of snow, was finally  “drawn one of Mr. T. Orchard’s traction engines.” [Gazette 15/2/1919 p.8]
This photo was taken elsewhere around the village, and shows DREADNOUGHT, a Fowler Class B5 7 a n.h.p compound engine operating a threshing machine. (Note steam and blurring of fly-wheel.)The above photograph was taken around 1920, and possibly at about the same time as the one below showing the unveiling of the war memorial in the village, in April 1921. © ROAD LOCOMOTIVE SOCIETY, and reproduced here with their kind permission.
The above photo shows the ploughing lines being set up on the Fowler Ploughing engine RISLEY
© ROAD LOCOMOTIVE SOCIETY, and reproduced here with their kind permission.
RLS Photo: B
RLS photo: C
RLS photo: D
Unveiling of the War memorial Leverstock Green, April 9th 1921
RLS photo E
RLS photo A
The above two photos show the Orchard's pair of ploughing engines. RLS D, shows the two engines working a field at Woodwells, and RLS E shows the pair of engines behind Woodwells Farm House.  JACK STEVENS, is at the rear,  HARRY WYATT, by the firebox, and  BILL LENTON at the front wheel. Made by Fowlers in 1875, the  12 n.h.p. locos (Registration NK 912 Papworth, & NK 913 Riseley)  were aquired by the Orchard's in 1913 from E T Hooley of Papworth Everard in Cambridgeshire, near St. Neots.   As the locos were called PAPWORTH & RISLEY, it is logical to assume that Mr Hooley had them from new and named PAPWORTH after the village in which he farmed.  Both were put up for sale in 1943, but there is no record of their sale.  As they were by that time 68 years old, it is possible they couldn't find a buyer, and so it is probable they were scrapped.
© ROAD LOCOMOTIVE SOCIETY, and reproduced here with their kind permission.
Click image of Woodwells Farm in 1996 to enlarge.
RLS photo  F
This photogrph shows BILL LENTON splicing the rope on PAPWORTH
© ROAD LOCOMOTIVE SOCIETY, and reproduced here with their kind permission.
RLS photo G
Fowler Ploughing engine PAPWORTH with BILL LENTON by the front wheel, and BERT HOWE on the footplate.
© ROAD LOCOMOTIVE SOCIETY, and reproduced here with their kind permission.
RLS photo H
PAPWORTH, with BILL LENTON splicing the rope
The above agricultural Traction Engines (Agricultural Road Locomotives) and Ploughing Engines, were very much part of everyday life in Leverstock Green between 1906 and 1943.  A variety of sources show that they were used by all the local farmers, and were particulaly important during harvest time when they were used to thresh the grain.(See photos lower down this page) It would appear from information I have obtained so far, that Woodwells Farm and most of its traction engines were sold off in 1943.  The two ploughing locos however, were kept on by James Orchard (brother of Joseph) on his farm at High Street Green, until the late 1950's.   In 1954 James donated a series of photographs showing the traction engines he used to work on, to the Berkhamsted & District Local History Society, founded in 1950 and the only local history society in the region at that time. (now the Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society)   They are now lodged at the DHT Museum Store in Clarence Road, Berkhamsted. My thanks to the BLH&M Soc. for allowing me to publish them here.

Several of these photographs were the same as those shown above, but  a couple of them were different.  Where the photos in the RLS collection are also in the Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society's collection, I have added            to the photograph.

We also have other photographic evidence of at least one of the locos and the threshing machine - see below, and War Memorial photo above.
This photograph came from the Steers family album, and was loaned me by Linda Lancaster.  Although unmarked, the photo clearly shows one of the locos working the threshing machine.  It is thaught to be taking place in front of the barns at Chambersbury, with the Bowler Hatted gent being Joseph Bailey Junior.
As you can see from the above, most of the children of Thomas & Elizabeth Orchard were still living, single, and working at Woodwells farm in 1901.  The 1911 census, which is badly damaged (?by fire) on the page for Woodwells Farm and barely readable in places, still shows the pair to be in residence, along with all the children listed above, still single.  Their ages are not recorded, but the Orchard seniors are noted as having 9 children living, and having been married for 44 years.  Their home had seven rooms. (Note - the 1911 census took a very different form from the previous censuses, with a single page entry per dwelling.)
It is likely that they had at least a pair of ploughing engines and one other traction engine as early as 1901, given the occupations of some local residents in the 1901 census.  However, if they had been sold on by 1923 when the engines had to be registered, then they would not have been recorded by the Road Locomotive Society.
The above photo was one of  of several phtographs donated to the Berkhamsted Local History Society by James Orchard in 1954    (DHT accession number: BK6716).  Comparing it to the others in the series, it appears to be the ploughing engine PAPWORTH, and the farm buildings and the threshing machine can be seen in the background.  The men would appear to include Bill Lenton, (in the straw boater), Harry Wyatt, Jack Stevens, Bert Field and Bert Howe.

The archiavist at the RLS felt that the photos were probably taken to illustrate an article in a magazine such as Country Life or Hertforshire Life.  In anybody can confirm this, please contact me.
This photograph (DHT No. BK 6718) of threshing machines in use, appears to be from a different series, though was one of the pictures donated by James Orchard in 1954.

It does, however, occur to me that it may have been taken at the same time as this photograph below right, lent me by Linda Lancaster and from the family photo albums belonging to her mother, a member of the Steers family living and woirking in the village at the beginning of the 20th century.

The horse and cart, seen in the "Orchard" photo to the left of the main group, can be made out behind the row of harvesters, presumably at least in part made up from one or more members of the Steers family.  However, when enlarging all the various photographs and comparing the people in them, it would appear that at least some of the men in this photo, are from the five men mentioned in the various RLS & BK photographs above.  Sadly as is often the case with family photos, no indication of date, time place or personell was given on the reverse of the photograph.
from the 1901 census