Vintage Ploughing Match at Sulgrave

Chris Peel-Yates (left) and Donald Taylor (right) at the beginning of the vintage ploughing match

A vintage ploughing match was held at Dial House Farm, Sulgrave on Sunday 12th September, organised by Brackley Sodbusters. There were twelve competitors on a beautiful late summer’s day with good dry conditions for the tractors.

The event was held under the rules of the National Society of Ploughmen and proceeds from the entrance fees, less expenses, were donated to charity. Last year over £500 was raised for charitable causes in this way, the recipient of the donations traditionally being chosen by the hosting farmer.

A perfect venue for the event, in Roger and Ian Cherry's Dial House Farm fields between the village and the Old Windmill

Brian Palmer

The tractors line up at the start of the event

Donald Taylor from Sulgrave with his Ferguson 20 tractor from the 1950s

Donald adjusts the machinery to get the right height for the plough shares

Henry Prince with his Fordson 'N' tractor and Ransome RSLD No. 9 plough (trailed)

Donald and Henry discuss the finer points of the machinery

Gerald Bootman with his Fordson Major diesel tractor

Gerald prepares for the off

Colin Russell from Sulgrave with his 1939 Fordson 'N' tractor and Ransome RSLD 9 plough

Colin at the wheel

Colin about to set out his line. Each competitor is allowed three red and white surveyor's ranging poles to ensure as straight a furrow as possible

Pete Jarvis with his Ferguson

Brian Palmer at the start line

Ollie Turner with his Ferguson....

...and tractor mounted type plough

Pause for refreshment...

...and then back to the job in hand

Chris Peel-Yates with his Ferguson 'N' tractor (with a Perkins L4 diesel engine)

Chris sights carefully along his marker poles....

...and checks behind as to the quality of the furrow

Seeing this smoke and smelling the burnt paraffin (TVO) fuel (and hearing the characteristic drone of the engine), older villagers would be instantly transported to their childhood days, when these were practically the only tractors working the local fields

Host farmer Ian Cherry and colleague watch Colin Russell make some fine adjustments

Event judges Arthur Walters (left) and Richard Fonge (right) begin their assessments...

...they are looking for straightness and uniformity in the furrows, firmness of the soil (no air pockets) and a good seed bed left for the following crop. The "ins and outs" must also be in line (positions where the plough shares are dropped and lifted)

Don Baisley with his International B250 tractor from the 1950s....

....helped by his grandson

The winner of the “Vintage Trailed Plough” class was Henry Prince, with Colin Russell second. The winner of the “Mounted Plough” class was Dave Hemmings.

See further details of villagers Donald Taylor and Colin Russell at a similar event in March 2008.


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