Speeding the plough

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The ever popular Heavy Horse display team, with ‘Arthur’ and ‘Alfie’, ploughing their own furrow, at the 2018 Romney Marsh Ploughing Match held at White House Farm, Brookland, Kent.

More than 300 people turned up on Sunday September 2 to enjoy the first of the season’s area ploughing matches, the annual Romney Marsh Ploughing and Cultivations Society’s competition at White House Farm, Brookland.

Nineteen year old Elsie Hogben from Canterbury, winner of the Novice class
Fourteen year old Jack Wrout from Lydd, Kent, ploughs his own furrow in the Novice class

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, weed control and general appearance, more than 60 competitors contested nine classes with a range of machinery that resembled a journey through farming history.

Entries ranged from horse ploughs to steam ploughs, and vintage tractors to the state-of-the-art machines sene on most farms today.

2018 Romney Marsh Ploughing Match held at White House Farm, Brookland, Kent.

Alan Higgs, chairman of the RMPCS, said: “We try to keep it a local affair. It’s good that so many take part and it’s important to see youngsters entering the competition, they are, after all, the future of farming.”

And some of the youngsters are doing very well – nineteen-year-old Elsie Hogben from Canterbury took the Bob Marshall Cup for victory in the Novice class, while also claiming the Rye Oil Cup for the Best ‘Under 25’ in the process. “I’ve only been ploughing about five years,” she declared. “I learnt on my grandad’s farm, but sadly he doesn’t have it any more, so it’s just a bit of a hobby now.”

Two more ploughing matches are set for September in the South East:
Swale Area Ploughing Match, September 8;
Home Farm, Borden, Sittingbourne ME9 8JR
East Kent Ploughing Match Association, September 26
Malmains Farm, Waldershare, Dover CT15 5BG

Image Credits: Chris Lawson .

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