Eighteen months of planning paid off when we
held our sixth Great Challenge in Sussex on 22-23 August. Held
in glorious late summer sunshine, seven sets competed for the Steam
Plough Challenge Cup in a close contest.
The club was grateful to David Exwood for
offering a site at Weston’s Farm near Christ’s Hospital school.
This proved ideal with wide spaces within a pretty English
landscape. The oats crop had been harvested in good time and
the stubble was mainly ideal and short. Great help was
provided by local people including Simon Feakes and Clive Charman by
providing refreshments, water tankers and tractors and Julie Chick
was hand with not just her AA ploughing engine but a burger van too.
James Lowther and Andrew Semple provided barrels of beer as did
Behind the scenes great efforts had been made
by engine and tackle owners to be there. Just a week before
Bob Jameson’s plough was in a completely dismantled state being
painted. Guy Debes was able to bring two ploughs from
Nottinghamshire as well as his own engine. Because of
unforeseen circumstances at the last minute Robin Daniel was unable
to attend to drive his lorry with the Cornish BB1 on board.
Assisted by James Lowther, Sean Symons stepped in to travel to
Cornwall to do the job and then returned immediately to pick up his
own engine in Dorset. Heroics indeed! Thanks to all these and
everyone else who put themselves out for the club.
We also learned on the Friday that Richard
Metcalfe was prevented from coming by an accident in the family.
This left Basil Gibbons’s diesel with no sister engine.
However he was able to step in when Jeremy Walker’s own diesel was
unable to work in Set 7 while an oil leak was dealt with.
Despite the “southerly” nature of the event
Tim holt travelled down from Cumbria to be our safety officer as did
Jim Bownass to film the occasion officially on behalf of the club.
I hope that all members will repay his efforts by buying the DVD
when it is complete. The work was expertly judged by Les
Goodwin and Barry Evans who had travelled from Wales. The
Clerk of the Event was our old friend Robert Oliver.
The committee decided early on that the 2009
Great Challenge should be for members and friends only. This
gave the event a pleasant peaceful feel with just the sound of the
engines at work. The club provided the majority of the
finance, but we are also grateful to a committee member who met the
cost of the coal, member’s donations on the day which amounted to
several hundred pounds, and the printed programme sponsorship by OLD
GLORY. Thanks are due to Bob Jameson who did much local organising.
However most appreciation should be given to the engine and tackle
owners who so willingly participated with no promise of recompense.
When again? I am sure there will be
another Challenge but not for a while. We all need time to
recover from this one!
August 2011 - the next
Challenge is being planned for summer 2013 see
news page for
COMPETING PLOUGH SETS
Fowler 8 hp single
cylinder No 2861 of 1876
Fowler 8 hp single
cylinder No 3195 of 1877 both owned by Richard Pierce and Peter
Stanier of Hadlow and Gravesend, Kent
Fowler 4 furrow balance
plough No 1514
single crank compound of c1875 owned by Richard Pierce, Hadlow, Kent
hp BB compound No 14712 of 1917 owned by J Burgess, Cross in Hand,
furrow anti balance shallow 5 furrow bevel frame plough No 11700
owned by Richard Pierce, Hadlow, Kent.
hp AA7 compound No 15257 of 1918 owned by Robert Jameson,
hp AA6 compound No 13877 of 1917 owned by Peter Stanier, Gravesend,
balance shallow 6 furrow bevel frame plough No 10457 owned by Robert
Jameson of Billingshurst, Sussex.
hp K7 compound No 14256 of 1916 owned by Colin Wait, Failand, Avon
hp BB1 compound No 15222 of 1918 owned by Alan Sparkes, Bristol
furrow plough owned by Colin Wait, Avon
hp AA7 compound No 15363 of 1919 owned by Julie Chick,
hp BB1 compound No 15164 of 1918 owned by Mike Smith, Okehampton,
balance deep digger Z frame 4 furrow plough No 11326 owned by Mike
Smith, Okehampton, Devon
R J H
Wilder 12 hp single cylinder single cylinder No 1 of 1926 (rebuilt
Fowler 1281 of 1869) owned by James Hodgson, Stockbridge, Hants
hp single cylinder No 2528 of 1875 owned by Guy Debes, Chesterfield,
balance semi digger bevel frame plough 3 furrow plough No 12215
provided by Mike Beeby, Rempstone, Leics
hp compound No 15164 of 1919 owned by Charles and Robin Daniel of
works converted 6 cylinder diesel ex Fowler BB 14380 owned by Jeremy
Walker, Witney, Oxon
balance 5/6 furrow bevel frame plough No 13689 owned by Michael
Davies, Avon Dassett, Warks
The Challenge Cup awarded to the team
that has in the opinion of the judges adapted its equipment to the
conditions to produce the best work at an acceptable work rate.
WINNER SET 2 Roger Luck.
The Steam Plough Trophy (for best
Fowler Burrell Aveling single crank compound
owned by Richard Pierce and Fowler 14 hp BB1 compound driven by Bob
and Sally Watts with Roger Luck taking the prize with the 5 furrow
plough owned by Richard Pierce