Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online West Yorkshire
 
 
 
Amazon Advertisements
 
Letters Pages

HARVEST TIME

ADDED 7 FEBRUARY 2006

May I be allowed to correct a couple of small errors made by Ian Swift in his 'Memories of Knottingley 1947-1957, which is featured on the Knottingley website and also appeared in the February 2006 issue of the Digest magazine.

Firstly, may I point out that hay was not cut at harvest time - it would have been any one of several cereal crops, wheat. barley or oats. These were cut by a machine called a binder, drawn by two horses when I was a lad and later by a tractor. This machine tied the cut crop into sheaves ready for stooking.

The person doing the stooking would pick up two sheaves, one in each hand, and carry them to where they were to be stooked. Lowering the cut ends of the sheaves to the ground they would place a leg between the sheaves to keep them apart, whilst the eared ends of the sheaves were brought together and persuaded to balance and stand alone. The next two were placed next to them and so on until eight sheaves had been put in place and the stook was complete.

Depending on the weather, these stooks were left standing in the fields, sometimes for several weeks as the ripening and drying process carried on. The next step was to lead the sheaves on carts and trailers into the stack yard where they were built in to stacks - hence the name for the yard.

In due course the threshing machine would arrive - not a combined harvester as stated by Ian Swift. The threshing machine was indeed driven by a belt and I can just remember when this belt went to a steam traction engine which drove the said machine. The bailing machine was separate from the thresher but stood behind it collecting and bailing the straw.

Everybody must be familiar with the sight of a combined harvester going round and round in a harvest field enveloped in a cloud of dust, one man driving the machine that does everything except bale the straw. The coming of the combined harvester revolutionised this branch of farming.

I can remember the thresher coming to the farms of both George Downing, who's farm was at the top of Common Lane, near what used to be the bus terminus, and the farm of Mr. Garnett, who's premises were on Englands Lane.  From farm to farm the steam traction engine towed everything including the engineman's living accommodation.

Sorry for going on a bit but the people who can remember such things are getting fewer in number each year.

Kenneth Burden
7 February 2006


<PREV | NEXT>



Site constructed and maintained by Michael Norfolk
This website is Copyright 2000-2009 [Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online] All Rights Reserved
Any correspondence regarding this website should be addressed to Michael Norfolk, 21 Bassett Close, Selby, YO8 9XG, ENGLAND.
| HOME PAGE | SITE INDEX | LETTERS | MEMORIES | PHOTO GALLERY | GENEALOGY | LATEST PHOTOS |
| YORKSHIRE ANCESTRY | PONTEFRACT WEBSITE | IMAGES OF YORKSHIRE | AJB PERFORMANCE |