(October 2016) Harvest time

The following is an extract from a piece written by Joshua Lamb in 1937 when he reflected on country life in the previous 70 years:

“Up to the year 1872 no introduction of machinery had taken place on our father’s farm, (Grounds Farm, Sibford Ferris) and we remember how during hay time we loved to go and watch the string of mowers following each other across the field of grass or clover, laying low the beautiful flowers and exposing the nest of the partridge, landrail, quail and lark and disturbing the little grass mouse in its cosy home; or in the harvest time assisting with a sickle in reaping the corps of golden wheat. When the corn was all cut by hand, every available man, woman and child, including many of the local tradesmen, were in the habit of assisting and very considerable sums of money were earned especially when the work was done by the “piece” and days of sixteen hours were frequently made. The introduction of the reaping machine in 1872, followed by other horse-drawn implements, gradually took the place of the farm labourers, until at the present time (1937) not more than about one-third the former number are employed.”