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A List of Vintage Farming Implements

farm implements

If you want to converse amiably with a farmer, there are really only sixty or seventy arcane farming tools whose names you need to memorise. Frank provides a handy list…

Regular readers will know that I am a keen listener to BBC Radio Four’s early morning Farming Today programme. I am not, of course, a farmer myself, but my daily listening habit has made me wonder how I would acquit myself if I happened to fall into conversation with a farmer. Obviously I would want to be able to hold my own, and to demonstrate a familiarity with rustic ways. To this end, I recently memorised a list of vintage farm implements, and have been practising dropping several of these casually into my conversation. So, if and when I do engage in a chinwag with a bona fide farmer, I will be well prepared. You might wish to commit the list to memory, too.

A churn, some bindles, a bean stubble rake, gorse pincers, a clodding mell, two Kentish binding rakes, a disc coulter and a subsoil pulveriser plough, a potato grading shovel, five Morris’s turnip fly catchers, two hand-cranked threshers, a seed rusky, an automatic sheaf tying mechanism, a whin bruiser, Keevil’s cheese-making apparatus, a mouldbaert, fan tackle and chogger, a Nellis fork, a plough graip, half a dozen liquid manure pumps, a pair of hedger’s gloves, Gilbert’s improved iron sack holder, four American butter separators, a cauterising iron, a mouth cramp, a charlock slasher, eight barley hummellers, an adze, a curd agitator, grinding stones, Drummond’s iron harvest sickle, a dairymaid’s yoke, a clod knocker, Biddell’s scarifier, Fowler’s self-adjusting anchor, a bitting iron, fifteen creels, two caschroms, a dung hack, a Crees lactator, five horn trainers, a fagging stick, a pea hook, two Lipmann glass stoppers, a trenching fork, Gilbee’s horse hoe, a drain ladle, hackle prongs, a flax brake, Hall’s smut machine, a heckling board, three flauchter spades, a hay tedder, an Ivel three-wheeled petrol-powered machine, Finlayson’s grubber, a potato riddle, four root pulpers, paring mattocks, Morton’s revolving harrow, Samuelson’s cake-breaking machine, a foot pick, sheep netting, two oilcake crushers, Reade’s patent syringe, various instruments for destroying moles, a barrow turnip slicer, a Paul net, a Sandwich clean-sweep hay-loader, probangs, castrating shears, Hannaford’s wet wheat pickling machine, a scutching board, a swath turner, a plank-drag harrow, and Blurton’s tumbling cheese rack.

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About Author Profile: Frank Key

Frank Key is a London-based writer, blogger and broadcaster best known for his Hooting Yard blog, short-story collections and his long-running radio series Hooting Yard on the Air, which has been broadcast weekly on Resonance FM since April 2004. By Aerostat to Hooting Yard - A Frank Key Reader, an ideal introduction to his fiction, is published for Kindle by Dabbler Editions. Mr Key's Shorter Potted Brief, Brief Lives was published in October 2015 by Constable and is available to buy online and in all good bookshops.

One thought on “A List of Vintage Farming Implements

  1. johngjobling@googlemail.com'
    malty
    July 31, 2015 at 10:10

    Farmers don’t hold conversations, they have whinge-in’s……weather, price of feed, CAP, aren’t Range Rovers getting expensive.

    If you must then you will need to study sat-nav ploughing and grant milking, the price of tups and how to sell land to the wind farm gravy train. Easiest way to upset them, I have found, is note that their machine is a Mengele and, by the way, they do know, don’t they, that’s the doktor death Mengele family who, allegedly, aided the laddo during his South American jaunt, works every time.

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