Search

Was this Top Gear’s funniest post-Clarkson episode? A muck spreader made by GT Bunning of Gressenhall demolishes a Volvo.

PUBLISHED: 10:45 22 March 2017

Greg Shepherd, MD of Bunning Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall, pictured with one of their muck spreaders which was used in an episode of Top Gear. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Greg Shepherd, MD of Bunning Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall, pictured with one of their muck spreaders which was used in an episode of Top Gear. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

When the nation’s favourite motoring show asked to trial one of their machines for a segment in its new series, agricultural engineers GT Bunning & Sons jumped at the chance.

Bunning Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall. Pictured, the battle scarred muck spreader after appearing in an episode of Top Gear. Picture: ANTONY KELLY Bunning Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall. Pictured, the battle scarred muck spreader after appearing in an episode of Top Gear. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

But as it was Top Gear asking to put a £100,000 muck spreader through its paces, bosses at the Gressenhall-based firm were not entirely surprised to learn that they wanted to demonstrate its capabilities with something a little more challenging than a load of steaming manure.

The hit BBC show, which has a reputation for doing things a little differently, had lined up watermelons, a garden shed and then, incredibly, a Volvo car to pass through its spinning augers.

But did that matter to the Norfolk company that was founded over 100 years ago?

“Absolutely not,” said managing director Greg Shepherd. “I was 100 percent sure it was capable of the job. Our machines are so over-engineered I had every confidence.

GT Bunning & Sons Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY GT Bunning & Sons Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“They are used all over the world from putting wood chip down on the ice roads in northern Canada to rubber on race tracks in Saudi Arabia. They have even been used to clear landmines in warzones.”

Top Gear’s assistant producer and a researcher brought a Volvo to the Gressenhall manufacturing site to give Bunning’s flagship muck spreader, the Lowlander Widebody 380 HD, a test run earlier this month.

They were so thrilled with the shredded result that they booked it for filming on Sunday, March 12. Two Bunning engineers took the machine to a farm in Surrey, near the studios at Dunsfold Park, where it was filmed decimating its irregular cargo loaded in by presenter Matt le Blanc, and ably assisted by guest Tamsin Greig.

The show aired on Sunday, March 19, with many critics saying it was the funniest post-Clarkson episode yet.

GT Bunning & Sons Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY GT Bunning & Sons Agricultural Engineers at Gressenhall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“You could say the phones have been busy,” said Mr Shepherd. “The machine held up really well, it just lost a bit of paintwork and we’ve replaced the shredding blades.

“It is great for us, in the middle of a little Norfolk village, to be on such a big show. We could not have asked for more.”

He said while it is a boost for the Norfolk manufacturing team - they have around 75 workers at Gressenhall making 300 spreaders a year - the publicity could prove huge for their new US factory where they hope to make 500 machines a year.

Other news

32 minutes ago

Firefighters successfully quashed a gorse fire near Gunton Warren after two hectares of the plant caught fire.

11:04

A celebration of dogs was marked in style as a popular annual event proved to be just “perfect.”

Two teenage cyclists were injured after reportedly riding into the back of a car.

Yesterday, 18:08

A fire in Lowestoft which claimed the lives of two men - described in an inquest as ‘hoarders’ - was started by a ‘daisy-chained’ toaster in the kitchen.

Most Read

Two teenage cyclists were injured after reportedly riding into the back of a car.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:59

An inspirational slimmer lost nearly ten stone and dropped eight trouser sizes after realising the health risks of his lifestyle.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:08

A fire in Lowestoft which claimed the lives of two men - described in an inquest as ‘hoarders’ - was started by a ‘daisy-chained’ toaster in the kitchen.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:53

A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 weeks in prison after assaulting two police officers in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:23

Wildlife experts have responded to concerns over the future of a popular spring.

Read more
Waveney District Council

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 17°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy