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Auction of Paul Gunther’s farm machine fleet set to be biggest in Norfolk ‘for many years’

PUBLISHED: 09:47 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:14 31 January 2018

Paul Gunther has retired after 52 years working as an agricultural contractor in Norfolk. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Paul Gunther has retired after 52 years working as an agricultural contractor in Norfolk. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

The retirement of a well-known agricultural contractor has prompted “one of the biggest major farm equipment sales in Norfolk for many years”, said auctioneers.

A Claas 970 forager, part of the farm machinery auction being held following the retirement of Norfolk contractor Paul Gunther. Picture: Irelands. A Claas 970 forager, part of the farm machinery auction being held following the retirement of Norfolk contractor Paul Gunther. Picture: Irelands.

Paul Gunther Contracting was founded in 1965 and spent the next 52 years offering services to countless farms as well as landscaping many of the county’s golf courses.

But after its owner decided to bring the business to an end last year, his entire fleet will go under the hammer next week.

The huge collection of machinery being sold by rural property specialists Irelands on February 7 at Fir Covert Farm in Felthorpe includes 15 Massey Ferguson tractors, two Claas foragers, eight Bunning muck spreaders, three JCB loading shovels, ten Bailey trailers, two Giant loaders and a JCB excavator.

The 500 sale lots also include workshop tools and various farm machinery and equipment such as telehandlers, loaders and forklifts.

Tractors being sold in a farm machinery auction following the retirement of Norfolk contractor Paul Gunther. Picture: Irelands. Tractors being sold in a farm machinery auction following the retirement of Norfolk contractor Paul Gunther. Picture: Irelands.

Simon Evans of Irelands said: “This is one of the biggest sales of major farm equipment in Norfolk for many years and we have interest from as far afield as Poland.

“Paul Gunther Contracting has been one of the biggest names in Norfolk agriculture for the best part of 50 years, and the business was renowned for investing in modern equipment, even working with manufacturers to develop new prototypes.”

READ MORE: Norfolk farmer and contractor Paul Gunther retires after a 52-year career on the land

After starting his business by spreading muck for pig farmers, Paul Gunther branched out into silage and maize harvesting, and the company also spent 40 years mucking out turkey sheds across Norfolk and Suffolk for Bernard Matthews, marketing the litter to farmers.

When a muck-spreading service was introduced for those farms, it prompted a request for a more refined prototype muck-spreader to be designed by Norfolk manufacturer GT Bunning, who eventually built six Highlander machines for Mr Gunther, which many years later were upgraded to eight Bunning Lowlanders.

Mr Gunther also worked on the landscaping of many of Norfolk’s golf courses, including at Fakenham, Barnham Broom, Wensum Valley, Costessey, Weston Park and Dunston Hall.

He announced his retirement and the closure of the contracting business last year, but the family shop, PLG Farm Supplies in Felthorpe, will continue to be run by his daughter and son-in-law, Lizzie and Sean Robertson.

The auction takes place at Fir Covert Farm in Felthorpe on Wednesday, February 7, from 10am. Viewing is on Tuesday, February 6, between 10am and 4pm. For full details about the auction see the Irelands website.

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