Sun shines on Laughton Ploughing Match

Ploughing match, Alciston
Ploughing match, Alciston

ALCISTON Court proved to be a fantastic site for the Annual Ploughing Match of Laughton and District Agricultural Society.

The panoramic views, lovely sunny weather, the good ploughing by both tractors and horses, and the camaraderie around the site added up to a great day out for everybody.

Entries for the ploughing came from far and wide. The Joseph Harper Trophy for the Champion Ploughman of the day was won by Graham Piper, from Portslade, who also collected the Lower Barn Trophy. Graham was using an International B275 Tractor and Ransome TS59 Plough.

The reserve Champion Ploughman was Chris Fryer, from Brede, near Rye, who received the George Coleman Trophy.

This year’s event saw one ploughman under 21 competing from Plumpton College. Society Chairman Duncan Ellis commented: “We all must continue to encourage young people to enter our ploughing competitions as they are the future of the Society and the farming industry.”

Other results: Class 1 – Tractor & Trailer Plough – open – two furrows or more, K E Hammant; Class 2 – Tractor & Vintage Mounted Plough – open – tractor and plough pre 1960 – two furrows or more, G Piper; Class 2a - Special class or Ferguson Tractors and Ploughs – open – Tractor and vintage mounted plough – tractor and plough pre 1960 – two furrows or more, R Cottington.

Class 3 - Tractor & Mounted Plough – open – two furrows or more, C Fryer; Class 4 - Tractor & Reversible Plough – open – two furrows or more, A Clark; Class 5 – Tractor & reversible Plough – local – two furrows or more, M Butler.

Class 6 – Classic Mounted Class – tractors from 1960 to 1976, I Linch; Class 7 – Special Class for persons under 21, T Hill; Class 9 – Best Maintained Tractor and Plough built pre 1960, C Turner; Class 10 – Best Maintained Tractor and Plough built 1960 onwards, I Linch; Class 11 – Horse Ploughing, G Winter.

Many of the dealers who supply the agricultural industry with machinery, together feed firms, insurance and estate agents, attended the event to meet customers and exhibit their goods and services.

The Society’s education section, now into its third year, invited primary schools within the vicinity of the Alciston Court to learn about the countryside, with many hands on activities. This year the whole of Firle Primary School attended.

The activities included planting seeds, a tractor ride, grinding of wheat, making corn dollies and learning all about eggs - including an ostrich egg. This section of the day was organised by Mrs Liz Rea, from Ashcombe Farm, Lewes, together with many other helpers.

The ever-popular family section attracted competitors who had been busy cooking, painting and sewing their entries for the craft competitions as well as flower arranging. Firle Primary School and Ringmer and Lewes Young Farmers’ Club also entered many of the classes.

The whole day and year was rounded off with the Annual Dinner at Glyndebourne by kind permission of Gus Christie. There was a full house to listen to guest speaker Julian Sayers, Chairman of The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

He described the important work of RABI as a grant-making charity that supports members of the farming community facing need, hardship or distress.

The dinner saw the presentation of many of the Society’s trophies, including the Golden Jubilee Trophy for farmers with more than 501 acres and the Yeoman Trophy for farmers under 500 acres.

Both trophies are for the most points in all the Society’s Competitions throughout the year. The former was won by Jeremy Courtney, from East Hoathly, and the latter by Andrew Barr, of Firle.