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”.
A further announcement will be made shortly of the winners.
16 October 2018
All photos John Billard