This Was England

Y Fan Wen

N W Snowdonia
I watched an interesting little film on Talking Pictures TV this weekend, This Was England 1936.
It started out talking about the ebb tide of prosperity in farming, (nothing new there then) and showed a standard Fordson ploughing with no mudguards.
Went on to show a flint miner who had a shaft 50 feet deep to get flints for building and flintlocks. Next was digging drains by hand using the special spades needed and using brushwood from hedges instead of the stone that we use now.
A tractor drawn horse mower was cutting green oats to be loaded on a cart and ensiled in a pit which was earthed up later to seal it. Commentator said that it smelled like tobacco and the cattle were very keen for it. Shots of the farmer cutting blocks out with a hay knife brought back unpleasant memories of my pre coll year in ‘66!
There was an interview with an 80 year old farm hand (ex sailor) whose skill was hand sowing grain, claimed to be able to sow 10 acres with 10 pints of seed.
Other things we saw was mole catching, house thatching, a saw pit and threshing using a portable steam engine, horse drawn.
Modern machinery was in the form of a Gyrotiller by Fowlers of Leeds. It was fitted with a 6 cylinder diesel (probably MAN?)
The film ended with horse ploughing in a snowstorm, I could feel the chill the ploughman was suffering!
It will probably be repeated soon if you are interested.

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...