Southern Ploughing Championships

The FFA was invited to join the East Anglian branch of the Ferguson Club who were holding their annual ploughing match at Hall Farm, Fornham St Martin, Bury St Edmunds on the 6th & 7th October by kind permission of Andrew Long.  They had a good turn out with plenty of TE 20’s with several MF 35 & 65 tractors also at work.
The event was organised by Henry Castle who made us very welcome and some £345 was raised for The East Anglian Air Ambulance, an excellent cause.  Henry has invited us back next year it will again be the first weekend in October, I will remind you in good time.  All entrants were given attractive plaques courtesy of Silver Fox Tractor Spares, who sponsor us.
The Ferguson Club Suffolk area representative, John Selley, has very kindly invited any of our members to attend their Club meetings that are held on the first Thursday of the month at Hawstead Village Hall, assemble at 7 for a 7.30pm start.
John may be contacted on 01359 271032 or at .The Theme of the next few meetings 1st Nov. J Parker with a film on making a tractor tyre; 3rd Jan. is a film evening; 7th Feb. a film showing  what happens at the end of a vehicles life.  Please contact John for further details.
Saturday was a practice day with good sunshine following heavy rain overnight, but it is light land and everything was fine.  Those that stayed overnight woke up to fog and you couldn’t see across the field. Still the starting gun was fired at ten and the show was on the road.
The FFA had a good turn out of tractors Philip Warren was there with his push pull County and one of our members Max Cherry was the Guest champion with his iconic Fordson F and trailed plough, unsurprisingly he won also the Vintage Trailed class.  Other FFA class winners were as follows:

Vintage Trailed:

                                                              1st - Max Cherry                       
2nd - M Bullen                             3rd - Barry Dear

Vintage Mounted:

                           1st - Roger Starling                                       2nd - Ken Bailey

Classic Mounted:

1st - Terry Stinson                               2nd - Mick Debenham   
My congratulations to all our winners but I must single out both Ken Bailey and Roger Starling for both it was their first match, I think Roger has done rather more ploughing than Ken but both gave a very creditable showing.  I think tractors should be used for what they were made for; you will get plenty of help and support, come along and have a go!
It was a great weekend and my thanks to Conrad Hopkins for organising the FFA Southern Area Championships, he did a grand job, Conrad presented the winners with their rosettes.   I personally had not thought much about getting involved with ploughing matches having farmed all my life, but found that the weekend really was thoroughly enjoyable.  I am now fired up and will pull at least one plough out of the bushes and have a go next year.
Words & Photos - Pat Pawsey