The records of Beeby Bros. are of particular note in that they relate to a firm of cultivating and threshing contractors, who prior to the second World War specialised in the use of steam machinery and whose work moreover was held in quite high esteem.
The main body of material as well as the most significant items are the account books [TR BEE/AC] which include the private ledger for 1906-1950 [TR BEE/AC1/1] containing useful financial business summaries together with profit and loss accounts, 1907-1910 and 1912-1929. There were originally eight contracts ledgers of which three are preserved in the Institute’s custody, namely:
- i. Cultivating, 1915-1917
- ii. Cultivating, 1918-1922 [TR BEE/AC1/2]
- iii. Cultivating, 1922-1933 [TR BEE/AC1/3]
- iv. Threshing, 1918-1922 v. Threshing, 1922-1933
- vi. Threshing, 1933-1947
- vii. Threshing, 1948-1952
- viii. Cultivating, 1933-1962; Threshing, 1953-1962; General, 1937-1962. [TR BEE/AC1/4]
The contracts work cash books [TR BEE/AC2/1-4] survive as a broken run for 1906-1911 and 1920-1952 and there are also farm cash books [TR BEE/AC2/5-6] for 1908-1911 (petty cash income only] and 1919-1921. The most detailed entries naturally occur in the day books [TR BEE/AC3], which can be used additionally as registers of work done by particular sets of cultivating and threshing tackle. The most notable of these reveals the operations of a set of Fowler tackle, bought as new, during 1918-1947 [TR BEE/AC3/5], including a pair of BB1 steam ploughing engines, an anti-balance plough, a turning cultivator, a mole draining plough, a land press, a large living van and a water cart. (A turning harrow and another mole draining plough were added later). There are also detailed day book entries for general work (i.e. other than cultivating and threshing contracting) for 1937-1965 [TR BEE/AC3/6].
The remaining records include an accumulation of various papers concerned with the regulation and taxation of motor vehicles, 1861-1937 [TR BEE/AD5], including copies of acts of parliament and government statutory rules and regulations; three bulky wholesalers’ catalogues of engineering supplies for the 1930’s [TR BEE/P2/B1-3]; servicing literature for Ransomes’ and Rustons’ threshing machinery owned by Beebys [TR BEE/P2/B4-6]; three early photographs [TR BEE/PH3] and six sales particulars and catalogues, 1910-1963 [TR BEE/SP1] for the auction of local personal and real estate.