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Historic exhibition marks 200 years

PUBLISHED: 14:15 25 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

RANSOMES – one of the most famous names in the farming history of Suffolk and the world beyond – is to be honoured with a new £250,000 exhibition at the Museum of East Anglian Life.

RANSOMES – one of the most famous names in the farming history of Suffolk and the world beyond – is to be honoured with a new £250,000 exhibition at the Museum of East Anglian Life.

A wide variety of farming and gardening machines, and other products cast from the Ipswich company's foundry since it was established more then two hundred years ago will be on display at the complex near Stowmarket.

"A huge number of people have approached us in the past to ask about Ransomes," said Jayne Austin, who curated the exhibition which opened today. "Many generations of the same family worked for them all their life and because of the firm it was, with its busy social and sports activities, it was held it great affection by many people."

One such family was the Bone family. Four generations have been involved with company, which built its first iron foundry in St Margaret's Ditches in Ipswich in 1789. Anthony Bone, who with his father Geoffrey Bone, a distinguished engineer and former chairman of Ransomes, generously funded the new barn-style William Bone Building.

As guest of honour Geoffrey Bone, who once helped design the first jet aircraft, opened the exhibition after conceiving the idea for an exhibition two years ago while he presided over the takeover of Ransomes by Textron Turfcare.

A representative from the new company joined distinguished guests such as the Chairman of Suffolk County Council and Stowmarket Mayor at the official opening today.

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