Our History

During the Second World War, John Deere tractors were shipped to the UK on a Lease-Lend programme, but it wasn’t until 1966 that John Deere set up a full sales and service Branch in the UK and that is coming up to 50 years ago. It was also that same year that John Deere tractors and machinery were available in the Ripon area. Here’s a brief chronological listing of the important historical dates in the Ripon Farm Services story.

1930s Glovers of Ripon were selling Morris Cars in Ripon
1940s Glovers of Ripon took on the Massey Ferguson franchise and also the BMC brand
1961 Geoff Brown, now RFS Managing Director, started as an apprentice with Glovers
1965 The loss of the second generation of the Glover family, left a very young son and his Grandfather, neither who were able to develop the business. So the business was taken over by Appleyards who were predominantly Nuffield Tractors and BMC Cars.
1966 Appleyards lost the Massey Ferguson franchise and took on one of the first John Deere dealerships, selling the brand alongside Nuffield.
1966-69 Geoff Brown was promoted to John Deere demonstrator for Appleyards - a position that previously had been unheard of.
1969 Ripon agricultural depot ceased trading
1970 Nuffield and BMC became Leyland - and were sold alongside John Deere
1973 Geoff Brown was approached by Appleyards to manage the Ripon branch on Borrage Lane, Ripon alongside another branch at Wetherby
1978 Appleyards added another branch at Darrington
1981 Appleyards pulled out of car sales - Land Rover
1982 Appleyards, sold the Agricultural business
1982 Geoff Brown was approached to run the Ripon branch but wanted to start his own business.
1982 October - Geoff, together with Maurice Hymas, Bill Houseman and two other directors, set-up their own agricultural machinery business called Ripon Farm Services and took on both the John Deere and Land Rover franchises. In their first year, they started with 19 members of staff and doubled their initial business plan target.
1985/86 Invited by John Deere to open the Tadcaster branch on a brown field site
1987 Invited by John Deere to take on Tom & Jim Calvert - a John Deere dealer in Ottringham
1991 Moved the John Deere agricultural business in Ripon to Dallamires Lane, leaving the Land Rover franchise at Borrage Lane.
1992 Invited by John Deere to take on the Darrington John Deere dealership of Yorkshire Farm Machinery
1996 The closure of Chesters of Ripon, a car dealership next to the Dallamires Lane site, enabled Ripon Farm Services to double their premises in Ripon
1999 Invited by John Deere to take on the dealership of Smith Bros (Keighley) Ltd at Crosshills
2000 Built new Land Rover premises on a green field site Hutton Bank, Ripon
2012 Invited by John Deere to take on the dealership of EA Clayton Ltd. Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees

Today, the thriving company has some 240 employees - one of the biggest employers in the area and has a turnover of around £100 million.