Early in my working life I was involved in farming and I still have an interest in agriculture and rural affairs.
Whilst I have never worked with horses or steam I was part of a team using an old threshing drum. That does no mean that I don’t find horses and steam interesting but I am not one to romanticise those days, steam engines are dirty, smelly, noisy machines. Horses do not have a key to switch them off at night.
Here we have a collection of pictures taken on 35mm film. It is an eclectic mix.
- On the left this Burrell engine was being used to drive a Ransomes threshing drum at the Autumn Country Show at Barleylands in September 2015. Facing the engine you can just make out the nose of an E27N Fordson Major with a Perkins P6 Diesel engine. Exposed on Ilford HP5 film using Minolta Dynax 404i camera and printed onto 8 x 10 glossy paper.
The threshing drum on the right I discovered lurking in an olive grove on Lesvos, Greece on my first visit there in 1997. I have no details of make or model of the machine. It is in a pretty dilapidated state. It is interesting to note that all the belts seems to be in place. We worked on these machines, a team of 7 or 8 people were involved all ducking and diving around the exposed belts during operation. This sepia 8 x 10 print was enlarged from Kodak TMAX 100 negative exposed using a Minolta 7000 camera.
- It always saddens me to see old work horses left to rot in some forgotten corner. These two tractors were at the same location as the threshing drum above in 1997. It would not surprise me to go back today and see them in the exact same place. Left: A Deutz tractor with a Volvo engine. The Deutz decal is not very visible on the side panel but it is there. Right: An unusual Allis Chalmers ED40 tractor. Both exposed on Kodak TMX100 film using Minolta 7000 camera.
- On the left a pair of Shire horses pulling a single furrow General Purpose plough. For those more used to modern tractor pulled ploughs it is interesting to note the longer mouldboard (body) of the plough which reduces the draft of the implement. Exposed on Ilford HP5 film using Minolta Dynax 404i camera and printed onto 8 x 10 glossy paper.
On the right a well kept example of a corn cart at the Barleylands Autumn show in 2015. This wagon was painted dark green with yellow detailing. Note the ladders at either end of the cart which allow the load (normally hay, straw or corn sheaves) to be build outside the body of the wagon. Exposed on Ilford HP5 film using Minolta Dynax 404i camera and printed onto 8 x 10 glossy paper.
The following pictures have been taken during the early 1960s when I got my first camera – a Kodak Brownie 127. I expect they are all on Kodak film because I cannot remember buying any other sort of film but beyond that I have no knowledge. The Brownie 127 had fixed exposure at something like 1/50 sec at f/11.
- Two pictures here of the same scene but at different angles. From the age of 11 I was brought up opposite a farm on which I spent a lot of time aged between 11 and 14 following which I then worked a considerable amount of my holidays. The scene here is of combining cabbage seed. About 2 acres of cabbages were grown for seed which when ripened were cut by hand to dry out before combining. The combine is an Allis Chalmers All Crop trailed combine and for this purpose the knife and reel were removed and the crop placed by hand on the feed belt. There are three people in the photos all of then I now expect are no longer living so I will name them. Far left is Vic Rowe, a GPO engineer who worked spare time on the farm; Walter Westgate, who mostly spent is time looking after a small herd of Jersey Cattle; and on the right Vin Westgate, who spent most of his time working the arable side of the farm. Both photos printed on Ilford MGIV pearl (left (21s at f/11) and right (20s at f/11)).
- Around 1962 I made my first visit to the Essex County Show, when County shows were the opportunity for suppliers and breeders to showcase their goods. I took this picture of a Massey Ferguson 65 which I think was the first of these I ever saw. Most farms in those days would have had a Fordson E1A Major and a grey Fergy so the Massey was unusual. Half of a rear wheel of a Fordson Major can be seen in front of the Massey bonnet. Printed on Ilford MGIV pearl (18s, f/11).