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! This photo was taken in 1927 at the 1st Cruckton Ploughing Match.
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 only other time the society was unable to hold a match was in 1967 due to a Foot & Mouth outbreak in the county, hence in 2017 we will be hosting the 85th match.
Hedge laying competitions have been a regular sight at many matches and organising these events relies on the suitability of the match site. Unfortunately, this year we are unable to hold a hedge laying competition, hopefully it will return in 2018.
We are very pleased however that a sheepdog trial will be held this year in the adjacent field to the main ploughing match. Everybody is of course encouraged to come and watch, it is very impressive. By the 1950's members had represented Cruckton at the British Championships and also at the International's.
On the "Achievements" page there is a list of our members successes. We also have very keen members who are more than willing to judge at other ploughing competitions, domestic and international.
Usually, the match is held on the last 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 there support is very much appreciated. In 1958, the prime minister, Harold McMillan, visited the Cruckton ploughing match! Follow the link to view A Pathé news clip of this can be watched below.
To view a video clip of the Cruckton Ploughing Match from 1955 click here.