ADDED 7 FEBRUARY 2006
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
for going on a bit but the people who can remember such things are getting
fewer in number each year.
7 February 2006