Ploughing Matches/Tractor Days

The Big Ford 6 Cylinder Tractor Register Working Day, Bromham, Wiltshire - 06.05.19.

I popped to see this event on Bank Holiday Monday.

Co-ordinated with help from the Big Ford Tractor Register and hosted by kind permission of A J Butler, the land owner, the gathering is supported by T H White and New Holland, as well as the Devizes and Malmesbury Young Farmers Club.

A celebration of Fordson/Ford/New Holland and Ford Conversions was held at Conscience Lane, Wiltshire.  This year the following themes were held: 100 Years of Roadless, 90 Years of County, 40 years of Ford TW Range, 30 Years of Ford 30 Series, 30 Years of Ford Gen III 10 Series, 25 Years of Ford 70 Series and 20 Years of NH TM.

There was also ploughing and Cultivation Vintage/Classic/Forestry Working Areas.  In addition, all models were welcomed to display in the Static Display Area.

All proceeds raised were in of Dorothy House Hospice, Freewheelers EVS & The Forever Friends Appeal RUH Bath Neonatal Care Unit.

Whilst at the working day, I came across a very rare tractor.  Details as follows:

40 years ago in the Bedfordshire village of Silsoe this was the place to go if you wanted to see the latest and greatest agricultural inventions.

Bizarre-looking apparatus could be seen hooked to fledgling machines, monitoring their performance and looking for precious improvements that would make them work that bit better.

1919 – President of the board of agriculture appointed a committee to test and develop agricultural machinery, in 1942 it was Renamed National Institute of Agricultural Engineering (NIAE) and moved to larger temporary premises at   Askham Bryan in Yorkshire to help with the war effort.

In 1948 the NIAE moved to Wrest Park in Bedfordshire and was in 1991 Renamed Silsoe Research Institute.

Then in 2005  Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council announced it was withdrawing funding and Silsoe’s machinery fleet was sold at auction and in 2006 – Silsoe Research Institute closed.

Most of the equipment was sold, re-purposed or scrapped. But as luck would have it, one of the institute’s more impressive contraptions has just come up for sale.

The Single Wheel Tester was conceived in 1969   by the then Institute of Agricultural Engineering – and was used for developing agricultural tyre technology throughout the 1970s.

Based on a Forward Control County 1164, it was fitted with a hydrostatic transmission from Lucas, had a control centre-cum-office bolted on the back, as well as an elaborate tyre-testing rig trailing at the rear.

It played a pivotal role in the development of radial tyres for agricultural machinery as well as studying the effects of tyre pressure on soils. It was later modified, getting a separate testing rig for rubber tracks, and it is thought it was last used in earnest in the late 1980s.

The rig used force transducers – devices that convert pressure into an electrical reading – to measure how well tyres gripped in different conditions. It also had a weight rack on top for testing the effect of different loading.

A key feature of the design was that tyres could be switched relatively quickly before the weather changed. And it was usually accompanied by a Ford 5000, complete with loader and A-frame to speed things up further.

At the time the system was cutting edge and tyre manufacturers across the globe looked to the results generated by this machine before putting their latest rubber offerings into production.

The County-based machine was not the institute’s first tyre tester, though. Previously it had a Case Farmall M, but rapidly increasing tractor size and horsepower meant something beefier was required.

Wimborne Saint Giles Ploughing Match - 02.03.19

The Wimborne Saint Giles spring ploughing  match was held  on Sat 2nd March 2019 at Long Crichel, by kind permission of Neil Edwards and Coppid farming enterprises.

The event was organised by Mike Goodlife and his team and as usual was very well supported with 70 entries.  No less that 37 of these entries being in the vintage classes.  Classes for vintage trailed and mounted, as well as classic two and three furrow ploughs.  Also awards for under 21s, novice and Ferguson tractor and ploughs.

The predicted bad weather did not arrive on Saturday and the match was blessed with some warm bright spells, after some overnight rain.  The ground did however have some very large flints showing in the surface.  Several of the ploughman could be seen carrying these to the edge of the field as they were pulled up by the plough.

STC (Sarum Tractor Club) 2018 Ploughing Match - Chitterne - 30.09.18

This event is run by Sarum Tractor Club with the very kind permission of Mr Eric Babey, the Farmer who owns the fields, and other sponsors.

The club members were on site Saturday at Chitterne Farm, Chitterne, near Warminster, setting up the site and also had senior members on hand, to allow the novices some training and practice.  Some of these novices also entered the match on the Sunday.

This is a competition where ploughmen (and plough women) pit their skills against one another, and has become over the years very competitive.

There are different classes, for different types of ploughs e.g. trailer ploughs (pulled behind tractor) also mounted ploughs (those attached to the tractor).  They also break down to how many furrows they plough (two, three, or four plus)

With over 6 events taking place in the area over the past week and 3 on the same day, it was always going to  take its toll on entry numbers, but with 38 entries it still made it a well attended event, for the local club.

Somerset Ploughing Championship Association Match - 29.09.18 

This match took place at Hinton Farm, Mudford, Yeovil, Somerset and included a National Vintage Area Final.   


The Mendip Vale Ploughing Match for the 149th Meeting - 160th Year 1858 – 2018 - 26.09.18

The Mendip Vale Ploughing Society organised this match.  The Mendip Ploughing Society was formed circa 1858 by local Mendip Farmers after a competition between them and Salesmen from the North Country.

The annual competitions are held on the last Wednesday of September and are dependent on the goodwill of local Farmers to supply land for the next match as they have no permanent site.

The Society is affiliated to the Society of Ploughmen and the Somerset Ploughing Championship Association. There are 14 separate ploughing classes, 3 hedgelaying and 2 dry stone walling, plus a variety of farm produce exhibition classes.

There are refreshments supplied by the “ladies’ committee” which are open to the public together with a bar. An extensive draw is held and there are a number of trade stands and the Society is well supported by local businesses.

This year the event was held by kind permission of Lionel and Stuart Clothier and Julian Clothier on land at Franklyns Farm, Chewton Mendip.

There were over 100 entries of various types of ploughing.  Entries included horse ploughs, horticultural ploughs, tractor and all classes of ploughs and steam plough teams.  There was also a dry stone wall and a hedgelaying competition.  There were also entries of pumpkins, sunflowers, fodder beet,  bales of hay, straw and cereals.

A lot of the competitors who have been competing over 4 matches in the last week, will now be heading for the nationals. 

Ploughing Through The Ages,  Badminton - 22.09.18

The 3rd “Ploughing Through The Ages” took place at Lygrove Farm, Lygrove, Badminton Gloucestershire, by the Kind Permission of the landowner R P Sainsbury & Sons.

This is always a fantastic weekend full of fun, ploughing, steam engines, working exhibits, modern machinery, rural crafts, working horses, tractor & trailer rides, fully stocked bar, evening entertainment and much much more.  Unfortunately, the weather that arrived was not invited, which did put a damper on a few things.  Saturday being the better day, despite the poor light conditions and trying to keep the water out of the camera, I did manage to get around the site and most of the hardened exhibitors carried on and managed to still put on a show, while others hid under what shelter they had with them.

Richard "Turbo" Vincent of Scrapheap Challenge fame, not only brought along his steam engine, complete with very loud whistle,  he was also seen out in the pouring rain turning over the ground,  what he called ploughing !!  A very brave effort Richard!

Just round the corner in the work area was John White, the owner of Independence, which was also on display, John was demonstrating a very loud machine, that he apparently has used in his village late at night!!!  Each side of this was a stone crusher and James Buchan, who was cutting up fire wood and making sawdust with his stationary engine driven saw bench!

Admission is free to this event but donations are welcomed for Parkinson's, which is the main charity and also 'Friends of Huck,' a local charity to support those having had motor cycle accidents.

Here's to a drier 2019!

Frome Young Farmers' Ploughing Association, 60th Annual Match - 18.09.18


The 60th annual ploughing match took place at Dean, Near Cranmore.  Permission to use the land was kindly given by Mr & Mrs C E Jerram.

A real surprise was that not only was Ian Craddock ploughing, with his trusty mate Scrumpy Jack, the most photographed dog in the ploughing world, but also present were Ian’s two sons Benjy and Ashley, with Granddad Bob’s tractor and plough.  Ian then mentioned that his Father might make an appearance.  Sure enough Granddad Bob arrived a few minutes later.  Bob is 90 and will be 91 in February next year having been born the same day as Bruce Forsyth - 22 February 1928!

The Family very kindly posed for a photograph next to Bob’s tractor.  We then went to the other end of the site to meet the other Grandson Benjy Craddock.

Bob was telling me over a cup of Coffee, how this week he had been out with the tractor and harrows on the farm where they live.  He is quite a character and remembers how things were and how they have changed since he first farmed the land with his Brother.


Also on the field was David Chappel from Doncaster who is ploughing round the country for the charity Breast Cancer Now.

Extract taken from David's fundraising page with a link to his fundraising page. 

Aim - to raise awareness and money to help in the fight against Breast Cancer

In this past year, my daughter was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It was an awful time for everyone, but worst of all we all felt so helpless to do anything to really help. Thankfully she has made it through her treatments, but I firmly believe that if she had been diagnosed with this 40 years ago she would not have survived. Today, One in Eight women will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime and the percentage who survive goes up all the time, though not without vital research into new treatments and medical advances.

So, looking to the future, how do we make a real difference in the fight against Breast Cancer? I’m launching a new campaign #PloughForLife - to help raise money to ensure that within the next 40 years everyone survives Breast Cancer. We will be running a variety of events to raise awareness, including raising sponsorship at national agricultural events. Taking part is easy, donate here, wear pink or if you’re taking part paint your plough pink! All funds raised will be donated to Breast Cancer Now, the UKs largest charity dedicated to funding research into new ways to fight breast cancer.

Help us make a difference, help us #PloughForLife

Bath & Trowbridge Ploughing Society's 72nd Annual Ploughing Match - 07.04.18


This match, which was to be held at Newton Meadow, Bath has now been cancelled due to weather conditions. 


The photographs were taken on 05.04.18.

Wimborne St Giles Vintage Ploughing Match - 24.02.18


The ploughing match took place at Bowerswaine, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 5ES.  


Organiser Mr Mike Goodlife and his team, had as usual put together a wonderful event.  The land used was by kind permission of Ian Friend and Anthony Davey.  The temperature never really got above zero all day, although the sun did make it feel  a little warmer.

Wimborne St Giles Vintage Ploughing Match - 22.10.17


The Wimborne St Giles Vintage Ploughing match took place in Cashmoor, Dorset by kind permission of the land owners Mr Brian Foxwell & Mr Richard Heath.


Mike Goodlife and his team had put together quite an impresive entry of vintage machinery for the event.


Despite heavy rain and strong winds the day turned out to be quite a pleasant calm day, even the ground conditions improved during the day.

Chittern Ploughing Match - 01.10.17


Old agricultural skills came to the village of Chitterne on the edge of Salisbury Plain.  


This is a competition where ploughmen (and plough women) pit their skills against one another and has become over the years very competitive.


There are different classes for different types of ploughs e.g trailer ploughs (pulled behind tractors) also mounted ploughs (those attached to the tractor).  They also break down to how many furrows they plough (two, three,or four plus).

The weather on the day was showery, despite very heavy rain the night before, the ground conditions were very heavy and sticky, however being high up on Salisbury Plain with chalky ground, it dried out quickly.

This event was run by Sarum Tractor Club, with the very kind permission of Mr Eric Babey, the Farmer who owns the fields and other Sponsors.

Mendip Ploughing Society Ploughing Match - 27.09.17


The annual ploughing match was held at Priddy Hill Farm, Priddy, Nr Wells, Somerset, BA5 3BR by kind permission of Yeo Valley Farms Ltd.


The annual competitions are held  on the last Wednesday of September and are dependant on the goodwill of local farmers to supply land for the next match as Mendip Ploughing Society do not have a permanent site. 

Frome Young Farmers' Ploughing Association 59th Annual Ploughing Match - 26.09.17


Held at Branch Farm, Mells, Somerset, by kind permission of Mr Ken Lock.


The annual ploughing event takes place on a different farm every year in the Frome area.  It marks the start of the Somerset Ploughing matches, usually with the Mendip ploughing club event taking place the same week. 


The Somerset events always attract very good entries, with many competitors taking part in all the events over the two weeks. 

Wiltshire Agricultural Preservation Group Annual Ploughing Match - 17.09.17


WAPG annual ploughing match was held at Galteemore Farm,  Beckhampton by kind permission of N Hues and Son.


It was quite a cold, damp morning in the valley near to Silbury Hill, on the A4 between Calne and Marlborough.  Just over the south side of the hills, it was bright sunshine, but to the north, the plough field was blanketed with damp misty conditions and a cold breeze.


It was early season for ploughing, so many members were out getting in some practice and setting up for the season.

Celebrating a Century of Ford and New Holland - Rowde - 01.05.2017


Large Crowds gathered at the event with over 100 entries.


Bank Holiday Monday, 1st May saw a sensational gathering of tractors to celebrate a century of Ford and New Holland.  The event took place in Rowde, just a couple of miles from the T H White Group Office, the event showcased many memorable tractor models.


Co-ordinated with help from the Big Ford Tractor Register and hosted by kind permission of A J Butler, the gathering was supported by T H White and New Holland, as well as the Devizes and Malmesbury Young Farmers Club.


Alongside ploughing and cultivation demonstrations there were vintage and classic tractor working areas, while the Tractor Ted bouncy castle proved popular with the children.  The event raised funds for charity, with collections during the day for the Dorothy House Hospice, Julia’s House Children’s Hospices and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

If you have any queries or wish to purchase a photograph, please contact me:


+44 7831237759


If you wish to send a donation to the Alzheimer's Society, please print out and send with a form from their dedicated page.  This will inform the Society that your donation came via this website!  

Get social with us.


Please enter the code
* Required fields
  • Sarah Mitchell (Wednesday, September 11 19 10:31 pm BST)

    Hi there is a wonderful picture you took of a dear friend of mine on his journey to the gdsf this year. It is in the western daily press dated 22/08/19 Carl Brown roading the Marshall to gdsf. I cannot locate this picture on any website to purchase and was hoping i could purchase through yourself many thanks Sarah

  • John Baines (Friday, April 05 19 03:45 pm BST)

    Have you any photogaphs of James & Crockerills yard in Durrington? Their MD Peter Barber owned the Burrell Scenic Road loco 'Prince of Wales@ and other engines including Burrell roller 'Daffodil'

  • Zoe Read (Saturday, March 02 19 07:08 pm GMT)

    I see you already have dates for this one but I wondered if you would consider adding Purbeck Rally to your event list?
    9th -11th August
    worgret road, wareham, dorset, BH20 6AB
    Raising funds for Forest Holme Hospice Charity & other local causes.

  • Andrew Gray (Wednesday, February 20 19 07:55 pm GMT)

    Is that Mr Dimmer and the train made at Durrington Sec Modern, I started there 1963 and left 1968. Mr Dimmer (Regg) was such a great teacher. Wonderful set of images to treasure. p.s we met today at the Boscombe Down Tornado fly past.

  • Jamie (Saturday, September 01 18 01:39 am BST)


    I am Jamie. One of the coalomen from last weeks steam fair. I know you mentioned taking lots of photos of us and it would be lovely to see them. Please get back to me when you can with prices ect i will most certainly purchase a few! In the meantime i will admire wgat you have on your page here already, hope you enjoyed the show! Speak soon


  • Don Russell (Friday, August 17 18 08:51 am BST)

    Hullo, found your site when looking for GDSF info. I was wondering if you had any information regarding engines travelling to the GDSF. I read engines will be raising money for cancer on there journey but I cannot find any info regarding route and timings.Thanks

  • Brian Moore (Saturday, August 04 18 12:40 pm BST)

    Thanks David: Brian

  • Peter Freeman (Thursday, May 10 18 09:56 pm BST)

    Fantastic site, easy to read and great pics! Keep up the good work.

Print Print | Sitemap
This website and its content is copyright of DCRH - © DCRH 2019 All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following: • you may print or download to a local hard disk extracts for your personal and non- commercial use only • you may copy the content to individual third parties for their personal use, but only if you acknowledge the website as the source of the material. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.