A Brief History of Cruckton Ploughing Society

The first Cruckton Ploughing Match took place in 1927. The Society had only been formed that year as a result of two local farmers having a bet, as to who could plough the straightest furrow. This wager took place in the Hare & Hounds public house at Cruckton, where the society continued to hold their meetings for many years. The prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd were £5, £3 and £2, amazing really because wages at that time were the equivalent of £1.50 fora 56 hour week!

Tractor ploughing classes were introduced for the first time in 1939. Within a few years the number of these grew rapidly overtaking the number of horse ploughing classes, but Cruckton retained the honour of staging the British Isles Championships for Horse Ploughing. After an enforced break during WWII, Cruckton once again became a major fixture in the farming calendar. The other times the Society was unable to hold a match was in 1967 due to a Foot & Mouth outbreak in the county & more recently in 2020 due to the Covid outbreak.

Hedge laying competitions & Sheepdog Trials have been a regular sight at many matches and organising these events rely on the suitability of the match site. Both events are very impressive to watch. For many years we have members who have represented Cruckton at the National Ploughing Matches and also picked for the England team to represent our Country Ploughing. Cruckton has produced many Champion Ploughers over the years, which is an amazing achievement. Some of our members, are more than willing to Judge at other Ploughing Competitions, Domestic and International.

Usually, the match is held on a Saturday in September and attracts more than 90 competitors alongside vintage machinery and classes for roots & grain and more besides. please download the schedule for a full list class list and descriptions. Total prize money exceeds £1600 and trophies valued at over £25,000 are up for grabs.

The Society has always been well supported by local companies’ trade stands and sponsorship, for which their support is very much appreciated. In 1958, the Prime Minister, Harold McMillan, visited the Cruckton Ploughing Match, At Upper Eyton, Alberbury. As part of his ` Premier sees the People’. This visit was captured on film and can be seen by following the link below to view the Pathé news clip.

To view a video clip of the Cruckton Ploughing Match from 1958 click here.