page last edited: 28 December 2017
Hay Rake - 27k (324)
I think this must be fairly unique as a subject
for a die-cast as it is a generic implement, not a model of a product
produced by any particular manufacturer and that it is also a model of
an implement that had been adapted from horse-drawn to tractor-drawn.
When the original was made it would have had a pair of shafts for a
horse. It could have been made by any one of half a dozen makers -
possibly Bamfords or Ransomes, but could also have been made by a local
light engineering works.
The purpose of the implement is to salvage hay from a field that has been already cleared. You drag it across the field with the tines down and every 100 yards or so you pull the lever to drop what you've collected and if you are accurate and do it in the same place every time you get a swath the baler can pick up. By the time I was old enough to drive a tractor (1970 or so) we used a thing called a Vicon-Lely Acrobat for this job - which was once available from Britains as a model.
I remember my brother raking up using one of these pulled by a horse, that must have been 1960 at the latest and he'd only be about 12. There was a seat that cantilevered out over the tines at the rear and there may have been a foot pedal to raise the tines. Ours was taken to the village blacksmith when the horse was sold and the wooden shafts were replaced with a draw bar for the tractor. A piece of baler twine was pulled from the tractor seat to lift the tines. The last I remember of it my brother had taken it apart. cut a flat side on the wheels so they wouldn't turn and welded the tines upside-down between them - he made it into a hay rack for the cows to eat the hay from in the winter.
The model has a nice cam arrangement for a realistic, periodic lifting of the tines. This is an old one as it is stamped with the old number (27k) underneath. For me it evokes memories of Christmas morning. I once got one of these in my stocking.