A true country event

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A trip through farming history - the Romney Marsh ploughing match

The annual Romney Marsh Ploughing and Cultivation Society’s ploughing match took place at Ham Mill, near Hamstreet last Sunday, with over 500 people enjoying what is a true country event organised by the local agricultural community.

Tractors, horses, and ploughs of all shapes and sizes contested the nine classes, with the Jury family from Icklesham dominating the novice class. Father, two sons and grandfather Jury represented three generations of the family, with father Kevin, taking the honours at the end of the day. Son James said: “It’s a great family day out for us all. We love it.”

James Jury (foreground) competes against grandad (background) in the novice class at the Romney Marsh ploughing match.

Ploughing is an ancient craft and the ability to plough a straight and even furrow is still highly prized. Judged on factors including straightness, uniformity, firmness and general appearance, over 60 competitors went past the eagle eyes and rulers of the scrutineers, using a range of machinery telling a story through farming history.

“It’s funny old ground today,” said more than one competitor. “Stay up high and it’s dry and you bounce all over the place – go deeper and it gets wet and heavier and is harder to work.”

A fun dog show was open to every dog (and owner), and proved as popular as ever, while craft stalls and agricultural trade stands promoted a range of rural skills.

All proceeds go to charities, this year’s beneficiaries are the RNLI and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex air ambulance.

Other ploughing matches coming up:

September 5 – Swale Area ploughing match – Greenway Court, Hollingbourne ME17 1QD

September 18 – Weald of Kent ploughing match – Honey Farm, Pluckley, TN27 8SU

September 25 – East Sussex ploughing match – Piesthawes Farm, Pevensey, BN24 5BL

September 29 – East Kent ploughing match – Upper Venson Farm, Eastry, CT13 0JH

Image Credits: Chris Lawson .

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