Keeping ploughing engines, implements and skills alive
The Steam Plough Club Great Challenge took place on 13/14 October at the British National Ploughing Championship at Atherstone, Warks. 12 sets of engines and ploughs competed for a series of trophies awarded for the best work expertly judged.
While good weather on the first day allowed excellent progress to be made by all teams regrettably heavy rain and ground conditions caused the event to be curtailed on Sunday morning and no further work was done. The results were judged as they stood.
The first Challenge took place in 1994 at the suggestion of Michael Davies and has been held eight times since. This year 12 sets competed consisting of 23 engines. This included the unique surviving Howard roundabout set by Richard Vernon. Other engines included a rare Maclaren, and Fowler AA, BB, BB1. K7 and Z7 classes with shallow and digger ploughs. Each team was given about 5 acres (about 2 Ha) to complete.
The original aim of the Challenge was to produce the highest quality of cable ploughing through competition and this has certainly been realised. There has been a vast improvement in the standard of work since.
Speaking of the weekend SPC Chairman Mark Jones said “This showed the club at its best. Following a very successful first day everyone hid their disappointment at the curtailment and set to loading engines and equipment and away with a will and determination. The ground conditions were atrocious but it was all successfully achieved without fuss”.
16 October 2018
All photos John Billard
2018 CHALLENGE RESULTS
As you will be aware the event was curtailed on the second day, Sunday 14th October, because of heavy rain. Considerable thanks are due to the judges who were able to produce the outcome in these adverse circumstances.
The winning team of the Challenge Cup was Set 5 on Plot G. The crew consisted of Tracy Vine, Douglas Fitzpatrick, Ian Stewart and Andrew Pierce with Peter Denham on the plough. Richard Pierce and Peter Stanier are the owners of Fowler 2861 and Fowler 3195, the two 8hp singles at work.
Second overall was Set 2 / Plot B, The engines were 15182 ‘Achilles’ and 15183 ‘Ajax’. The 4 furrow semi-digger plough number 12861 is one of two ploughs on loan from the Nottingham City Museum to Mike Beeby. The crew consisted of David Nourish, Peter Wilson, Charles Teall, Archie Sains and Joe Nourish.
Third was Set 7 / Plot L – the team of Peter Stanier, Colin Wakeford, Jon Maynard, Paul Ransley, Duncan Pierce , Roger Luck, and, ploughman Mark Fisher. The engines were Fowler-Burrell number 1050 and Fowler AA6 number 13877 owned by Richard Pierce and Peter Stanier respectively.
Charles Teall and David Nourish in Set 2 were both participants in this year’s Hands On.
Peter Denham wins the Mike Beeby Cup awarded to the ploughman producing the best work by a shallow plough.
The Gold Medal is awarded to the Richard Pierce and Peter Stanier - owners of the 4 furrow, shallow, bevel frame, balance plough number 1514.
Joe Nourish wins the Beeby Brothers Memorial Cup awarded to the ploughman producing the best work by a digger plough. Joe was ploughman in Set 2 on Plot B described above.
The John Bush Tankard is awarded to Jim Clark, the driver of the engine judged to show the highest standard of skill and ability during the course of the competition. Jim was a member of Set 10 on Plot D and was driving Fowler 15145 “Rusty” for Alan Sparkes.
The trophies will be presented at the Club’s biennial lunch on Saturday 1st December at the King’s Arms, Polebrook, Near Oundle, Peterborough PE8 5LW.