Background and History of The Trust
Douglas Bomford descended from a long-established Worcestershire farming family, and from a branch of that family which helped pioneer the mechanisation of many basic farming operations. He played a leading role in professional and technical bodies and was President of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers from 1955 to 1957. He was closely associated with the establishment of the National College of Agricultural Engineering at Silsoe, now part of Cranfield University, and continued the family tradition into the twentieth century with leadership in further pioneering work in engineering and mechanisation, and also in encouraging education in agricultural engineering.
Douglas Bomford retired in 1967 when his own company Bomford Bros Ltd merged with Bomford and Evershed Ltd. After his death in 1969 his widow, the late Mrs Betty Bomford, made generous provision for continuing her husband's interests and ideals through the establishment of The Douglas Bomford Trust. It was founded as a registered charity in 1972 for the purpose of advancing education, training and research in the science and practice of agricultural engineering and mechanisation.
In the process of allocating funds the Trustees have sought to uphold the principles that Douglas Bomford would have applied to developing individuals, knowledge and innovation to meet the ever changing contribution that engineering can make to agriculture and the rural environment.
The funds available to the Trust were boosted by a substantial donation arising from the closure of the Silsoe Research Institute. This has allowed the Trust to fund more research projects over the most recent period but this unlikely to be sustained at the same level over the longer term.