68th National Ploughing Championships
Held at Atherstone, 13th and 14th October.
The weather was unkind with high wind and some rain on Saturday, the rain stopped in late morning, but the wind kept blowing and we had to give up trying to erect the Club marquee. By afternoon, the sun shone, and it turned pleasantly warm even though the wind persisted, and we had a good look round. I was particularly taken with the Foden steam tractor coupled to a Ransome trailer plough and also by the double drum Howard 8 hp built around 1876 that was demonstrating 'windlass' ploughing, you don't see one of these working very often.
There were some interesting tractors on the stand especially Ben Hassel's imposing and practically unique County HSH 140 that was originally exported to Africa where it languished for many years on the dock side before working in Zimbabwe. David Suttons Howard trencher fitted to a Ford 5000 on rotor pads also drew a steady throng of observers throughout the weekend; these combinations were quite a common sight on Majors but more unusual on the later Fords.
The Club's ploughmen had all qualified at earlier events but unfortunately mainly due to mechanical problems three were unable to attend. They were due to perform on Sunday that turned out to be both cold and wet but nevertheless I thought they made a splendid job in adverse conditions.
The results were:
Champion: Stephen Jones Ford 4100 and Ransome TS 59 plough
Second: John Lewis Fordson Dexta and Ransome TS 59
Third: Terence Stinson Ford 3000 and Ransome TS 59
Stephen's 4100 was the only tractor fitted with a cab and I expect he was pleased about having some protection.
I must say I liked John Snape's E27N and TD 59 outfit and felt for Harry Williams with his lovely P6 powered N and RSLD 9 combination as his plough's lift mechanism failed and he was forced to wind it out after each run that made for hard work in unfavourable conditions. It was the sort of day that sorts the men from the boys, and they all passed with flying colours. Our thanks to ploughman's wife Michelle Partridge and Raymond Govier.