13 November 1998

From blacksmith to big business…

ONE hundred years ago on June 24, 1898, Ernest Doe leased the blacksmiths shop at Ulting, Essex, where he had previously been apprenticed.

Since then the name Doe has been synonymous with the rapid growth of mechanised farming in Essex and wider afield throughout East Anglia, Britains fertile breadbasket.

The remarkable growth story from Ernest Does original blacksmith and wheelright business to the present day Ernest Doe and Sons, now with 14 branches and an annual turnover of about £60m, is told with obvious pride by third generation family member and chairman, Alan Ernest Doe*.

Current activities include selling and servicing tractors, combine harvesters, balers and all types of farm implements, grain handling and storage and irrigation equipment.

Diversifi-cation covers industrial and construction equipment, specialised grassland machinery and trading with the general public.

Loyal family and staff have been an integral part of the success story which is studded with presentations for up to 50 years of loyal service.

Illustrated lavishly with black and white pictures, this is a record of farm machinery and tractor development in particular, from the Standard Fordson tractor days, through Does unique Triple D tandem range, right through to the current, Fiat owned, New Holland franchise.

One gets the distinct impression that the now widely diversified Ernest Doe and Sons Limited, will be in business for another century at least. HPH

*A Century of Service by Alan E Doe, from Ernest Doe and Sons Ltd, Ulting, Maldon, Essex CM9 6QH (£14.95).