In 1974, Stephen Allen, the company's founder, had a meeting with the manager of a Farmers Weekly farm at Easton Lodge, Wittering. The conversation was about the FW justifying the purchase of a new combine harvester. The gap between cereal and machinery prices had grown so fast the manager stated, that farms the size of his could no longer justify the purchase of new combines. Stephen Allen saw the need for hire, and as a result of that meeting Agricultural Plant Hire Ltd was formed. 45 years on from there, APH has become the UK's leading specialist in combine harvesters.