67th British National Ploughing Championships were held at Bishop's Lydeard, Nr Taunton, Somerset, 14 and 15 October by kind permission of K S Coles and family
Jane Broomhall reports: FFA plans for the Championships got underway back in March with the help of James Poole, Fred Anthony and Mike Mitchell, our local representative. As with many events there is much more involved than you might initially think.
We are allocated ten plots and whilst it took many phone calls and emails with James and Fred and lots of form filling, we succeeded in finding ten experienced ploughmen with good credentials. Sue Frith of the Society of Ploughmen was a great support with helpful advice too.
After speaking to each of the FFA ploughmen and realising the scope of the event I decided I needed to see this ploughing extravaganza, which encompassed 14 classes and 268 entries, including 20 pairs of horses, so I quickly booked accommodation.
Keith and I met Mike Mitchell and set up the FFA marquee on Friday pm and Jim Farrant, Edward Underdown, Paul Mancini and John Sparkes, all FFA members local to the event, kindly provided their tractors for display on the stand.
With record attendance over the two days the various refreshment and retail outlets were very busy and we too enjoyed lots of interest in the Association. I have never seen such millimetre precision ploughing before; what a tribute to this great agricultural skill, enjoyed by young and old, with both machinery and wonderful heavy horses.
Our stewards for the FFA Class were Fred Anthony and Pete Ovens whose responsibility was to ensure 'fair play'; I don't believe there were any issues!
Our ploughmen - Peter Timms, Martyn Smale, Michael Lock, Ross Hext, Malcolm Trott, Raymond Govier, John Lewis, Robert Ball, Andrew Gell and Russell Soper
all enjoyed the competition
with John Lewis of Meiford, Powys taking 1st place
Robert Ball 2nd place and Andrew Gell 3rd place.
What a spectacle.
Next year's British Championships will be held on 13 and 14 October at Orton-on-the-Hill, Atherstone, Warwickshire.