Howard Memorial Display

On Saturday the 3rd March 2007, the town of Crookwell came alive as Howard Machinery rolled in from all over the country, as part of the Crookwell Country Festival weekend. All in all, some 300 enthusiasts, along with almost 50 machines crowded into Coleman Park to commemorate the life of Arthur Clifford Howard, inventor of the Rotary Hoe. He was born in the town of Crookwell in 1893 and this day was to celebrate 85 years of rotavation.

Amongst those in attendance were ex-employees and family members, none more so than the Howard Family Historian, Betty Bartley, Cliff's neice, who resides in Dubbo NSW, and her immediate family. They were not only remeniscing the past, but congratulating those keeping the Howard history alive, by preserving the past for the future.

One machine that caught Betty's eye was the Platypus Crawler, which she had never seen before. It was the gem in a journey that has spanned at least three years for Joe Neville and his wife, who travelled all the way from South Australia to gain a glimpse of this machine, still in its working livery. Joe was seen grinning from ear to ear.

Many of the knowledgeable enthusiasts, like John Mullington from the Hunter Region, Graham Clegg - the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney NSW, Julian Calleja - Sydney Basin, Robert Moore and Roy White from Central West NSW, all representing the Howard Register along with Tony Pettitt from Riverstone NSW were seen busily swapping information with fellow enthusiasts for most of the day.

Betty Bartley unveiled the monument / memorial to her Uncle, which culminated in her being inducted as the Patron of the Howard Register (

Howard Australia, part-sponsored the event through the Register, which operates out of Wellington NSW, in having a commemorative plaque manufactured for the day, honouring Cliff Howard's achievements.

Considerable thanks go to Rob Temple and the Southern Tablelands Machinery Club, John Gray of Crookwell, who donated the machine for the memorial, The Upper Lachlan Shire, Ell Tractors, G.C. Mitchell, Rotary Australia, Crookwell Tourism and all those who gave up their time behind the scenes, including those who displayed their much admired machinery.