Annual Vintage Ploughing Match at Sulgrave

Colin Russell with his 1939 Fordson Standard

Compared to the bright sunshine of the previous year, September 17th 2017 was a rather grey, cool and cheerless day. However, the air was soon full of the nostalgic sound of tractors from 60 to 80 years ago (when they were small and travelled at a walking pace!) As usual, the venue was Dial House Farm, courtesy of the Cherry Family. Comments in italics for the rest of this entry are by Richard Fonge, village website agricultural correspondent.

More pictures on the following page:


With the arrival of the reversible plough in the sixties, where you started at one side of the field and ploughed to the other, this centuries old way died out, and is now thanks to organisations like Sodbusters only seen at matches like this.





This competitor is closing his ridge. He has turned the soil to the right and then to the left, so all the ground has been ploughed and is now turning it back inwards to form a ridge. Marks are awarded for the opening and closing.


This competitor is 80 plus and still enjoying his ploughing.





On the right, villager Donald Taylor, owner of a 1955 Ferguson TEF, with which he competed until fairly recently. See Donald at a ploughing match at Rothersthorpe almost ten years ago.


Mr Duncombe our local greengrocer from Helmdon in a yellow jacket.


An appropriately decorated mug of tea on the tractor mudguard!




Yours truly with friend and sometime co-judge Martin Wadland from Lower Boddington.


A really good example of closed ridge with only a little stubble showing and the start of a potential winning piece. The aim is to bury all the trash from the previous crop to a minimum of six inches, in a straight line and level across the whole piece.



The youngest spectator by about fifty years!



Colin Russell with his Fordson Standard and Ransomes RSLD No 9 plough.



A closer view of the comfort provided for the driver of a 1939 Fordson!


A well decorated tool box.


Graham Trower of Sulgrave. One of the leading organisers on his Fergie, checking on the opposition.


These little machines are used in horticulture and form their own class.



This gentleman has come all the way from Leighton Buzzard. Will he wake up in time to return?



Frequent measuring of the width of plot, to make sure ends are of same width. Ploughing can then be adjusted accordingly, so that the finish is straight and true.


The refreshment trailer…..


…selling the much appreciated bacon sandwiches.

See here for photographs and videos of the 2016 event.


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