Talk on history of Isle farming to the members of the Epworth Men’s Society

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Aubrey Lindley, who farms at Church Farm, Owston Ferry, gave a talk entitled History of Isle Farming on the changing methods of farming - illustrated with slides of old and more recent photographs.

Mr Lindley, who was speaking at the March meeting of the Society, covered the period from when corn was still cut by hand, using a scythe, and sheaves of wheat were manhandled into stooks to dry out, up to the latest combine harvesters seen today.

Horses featured in a lot of his slides - be they working farm animals or pulling a smart looking trap, the type of which would be used to travel from place to place by doctors or the more opulent farmers.

Mr Lindley said it was not unusual for some working farms to be quite small - some of only 40 acres up until three decades ago - but nowadays only the big farms continue to exist.

His slides showed that even with the introduction of mechanisation - in the 1880’s - it was still down to horses to pull agricultural machinery such as binders.

He concluded with a word on the plight of the farm labourers, who were hired on an annual basis and often lived in deplorable conditions in tied cottages. Mr Lindley illustrated his point with a slide of a husband, wife and their five children all living in a small corrugated-iron hut in the 1920’s.

For more details about the society phone Ken on 01427 872288.