Craftsmen All

Most of these photographs were taken long before lockdown, when people could gather together and share their ideas, crafts and skills without facemasks and “distancing.”

In the last few weeks I have been very aware of the amount of work taking place on the land. Several times, when cycling round the lanes, I have had to head across the grass verge and in to the hedgerow in order to avoid a very large and very wide modern hi-tech tractor, driven by a contractor which roared down the road past me spewing mud and dirt in every direction from the field from which it had emerged.

What a contrast.

The previous Autumn I visited a ploughing competition and watched numerous farmers and possibly retired farmers wheel their tractors across a rough field creating furrows in such neat lines.

There were of course judges at the competition, who apparently knew their stuff, but the real critics were the farmers themselves. They were all the guys who knew “how to do it properly.”

Good humour, critical banter and quite a lot of teasing went on among them. Of course they all knew each other and they knew their skills and they all roared with laughter when things didn’t go according to plan. It was a good humoured meet.

Ideas were shared, familiar stories were re-told and in reality no one actually bothered about whoever it was that “won the competition!”

I did try asking and after a lot of thought they named one of their number – adding – “but he don’t win every time … today he have a bit o’ luck!”

Pictures this week are intended to be a tribute to a jolly morning spent with everyone there and an appreciation of how much work and care had gone in to the fascinating pieces of machinery.