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The future, how do we make sure there is one?

Discussion in 'Competition Ploughing' started by Ley253, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Ley253

    Ley253 Member

    Location:
    Bath
    So, how do we? Well, we could make matches more interesting to both the public and the converted by staggering the start times of the classes, that would fill in the dead time between the end of ploughing and the prize giving.Information posters at the end of the plots, explaining the different types/ styles of work, and how match ploughing started would give people an idea of what is going on. Fill in blank plots where possable, to leave the site in a tidy condition for the landowner,and for the same reason stop any competitor who is making a mess. This is very important if the match is on grassland.
    Those are just a few ideas, lets have a lot more please.
     
  2. Whilst ideas to make ploughing more attractive to the public are admirable and may have a limited effect on attendances and therefore sponsorship opportunities - I believe we have to look to some of the larger matches and further afield (Irish Republic) to see how we make these events more successful. Basically, ploughing is a side show that interests those of us who are involved in it - it is of very little interest to the paying public and to them one plot looks very much like another. What they need is something other than ploughing to attract them to the event - I think of the Brailsford or Cheshire matches as examples of how a show has been built around the match and is essentially now the attraction that draws the paying public rather than the ploughing. Arts, crafts, displays, fashion show, machinery parades etc etc. Our National match is on a downward spiral unless this is addressed - I believe we should be aligning ourselves with a up and coming / established country show (or establish our own) and accept that we are a side attraction that will be to some extent a novelty rather than the main attraction - this would at least allow it to remain a viable event with visitors numbers less reliant upon the weather. Sadly, this will not happen until after 2016 when the current man in charge has said he will step down.
     
    Ray996, Nearly and Ley253 like this.
  3. Ley253

    Ley253 Member

    Location:
    Bath
    The Irish Republic is a special case, agriculture being the economic mainstay.Over here it is a poor relation, and as such has very little following. The National Match is too big, too expensive and gives nothing back to the competitors. If you are "lucky" enough to win, your award is the chance to bankrupt yourself if you accept the prize! In my view, it should contract to being a qualifier for those classes which go on to represent England in the world/european events. At the moment, it seems to exist solely to promote the world match, which will do nothing for the avarage ploughman.Why are they paying the world organisation? They should be paying us, and if they wont, they can go elsewhere, and some of the money saved can go to paying for our represatives attendance costs.
    Joining forces with a local show has much to recomend it, but these shows tend to be too early in the year, and In the nationals case, would almost certainly mean a permement site, no easy thing to find, though perhaps an accomadation with the Royal could be arrived at.
    However, it really is not the national that we need to save, it is the activity, from the smallest match upwards, and its at those matches we need to start. We need to tempt some tractor owners away from upsetting motorists on road runs, and towards the "horizontal sculpture" that is a well ploughed piece of land.
    In a few years, age will take its toll and I will have to retire, I would really like there to be an upcoming ploughman who could take on my kit and do a job with it. At the moment, I cant see where he/she would be coming from.
     
  4. arcobob

    arcobob Member

    Location:
    Norfolk
    In Notts there are three local shows in late summer that run ploughing matches. Unfortunately in some cases they insist on ridiculously early starts and late finishes (delayed prizegiving) for reasons best known to themselves. These shows are a two hour journey for me and I am afraid at my age I don`t enjoy twelve hour days. Besides, they are held in the"black" country.
    The show idea makes a lot of sense but I am afraid there is a lack of suitable venues at the right time of year. Another problem is that the farming community have lost interest and the number of competitors from farming families is practically nil in my area. Local shows are turning more to providing attractions for non farming types and some of the true agriculturalists are fast losing interest.
    I a nutshell I don`t think there is a lot we can do other than to try on an individual and organised basis to interest youngsters in rural crafts in general such as hedge laying, hurdle weaving, stone walling as well as ploughing. I found that stone walling and ploughing in the same locality don`t mix well !
     
  5. I encouraged both my boys to have a go at ploughing and they have both competed at the Nationals and one has represented England. One has decided he doesnt want to continue whilst the other has his mind focused on work. When there are so many other far more 'exciting' activities they could be doing it is difficult to see how new entrants - other than immediate family - are to be encouraged. Sarm ploughing society bought a plough to give on free loan to youngsters to encourage them and we have seen a couple of lads have a go and we all encourage them by offering advice etc but cant think of one who has gone on to compete reguarly.
    SOP has a rev plough ( Ithink it might be 2 but no-one can tell me where the second one is?) that it loans to Young Farmers to encourage. Lets face it - we are a bunch of old farts enjoying playing in the dirt and no-one else cares :whistle:
     
  6. Selectamatic

    Selectamatic Member

    Location:
    North Wales
    The time it takes the Caravan to add up some number always baffles me... why oh why does it take so long?

    Perhaps there is a genuine reason in many cases, but to my mind, once the judges have filled there sheets in, the hard work is done, the rest is adding up, and putting some names on certificates etc?

    The bit in between finishing ploughing, and handing prizes out is an excellent time to do something to draw a crowd, but, what...?
     
    Ley253 likes this.
  7. Ley253

    Ley253 Member

    Location:
    Bath
    Down here they fill it in with"speed ploughing" at a couple of matches. Entirely the wrong thing, it turns a sporting event into a boyracers day out. There could be a novice class/ school run at this time, that would be much more usefull.
     
  8. Selectamatic

    Selectamatic Member

    Location:
    North Wales
    Aye, something that would draw he crowds, and keep them (and the ploughmen) interested while the judging and caravan work is going on...

    Even something as silly as a car boot sale, autojumble etc?

    I remember Anglesey (or Sarn?) Had a Sheepdog Trial type of affair one year.
     
  9. rick_vandal

    rick_vandal Member

    Location:
    Soft South
    I have heard clay pigeon comps attached to Matches. In Ireland they do hedgetrimmer agility with a clamped ring and a wire rope and hook a goose in a hay feeder. Tug-of-plough might work a few times. Seed and tool identification can be fun. Welding comps are always under-subscribed. Terrier racing, dog agility, whack a rat, bale stacking, bale tossing, welly throwing, 360º chairaplane, tractor see-saw, post fencing? Raptors and axe men are played out but Halal sheep trials could be an education! Threshing demos are a spectacle (but hard work) and junior lamb leading contests in a ring is sweet.
     
  10. Mikeysuds

    Mikeysuds New Member

    Location:
    Caithness
    Matches up north are well supported . We have Hot Meals and bar open all day and then live music and occasionally a charity auction between times then presentation and the bar stays open. The tractors are often collected from the field the next day or if local nipped home and back to the field for a beverage. hahhaa works for us !
     
    Ray996 and MrNoo like this.
  11. Ray996

    Ray996 Member

    Location:
    North Scotland
    Easter Ross match a prime example! Caithness vintage club match we drink the bar dry by 10.30pm ,host farmers wife supplied excellent home made curry to who was still standing and was an excellent evening of banter,hope it continues !
     
    Mikeysuds and tomlad like this.

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