A combine harvester

How farming has changed. Here we have an early combine harvester. It is so different from today but many people will remember this style of combine or similar looking devices which were tractor hauled, not to mention the earlier reaper binders. These, incidentally, are still seen close to the Lavingtons for they do not trash the straw and that can then be used for thatching.

A combine harvester at Vicarage Farm, Easterton

This combine – we guess in the early 1950s, is at work at Vicarage Farm in Easterton. The people on board are the contractor, who probably owned it, Phil Roberts of Drove Lane in Market Lavington. To this side are Bob Merritt and Seymour Merritt is the lad. I suspect he was really on there for the ride, or to learn what had to be done.

Younger people might be surprised to see people on the side of a combine. Back then, combines had no tanks to store the threshed grain. Instead. The grain poured out of chutes and into sacks. Usually there were two chutes and when one sack was full a shutter was put across so that the grain went into the other sack. The full sack could be sewed up to close it and then allowed to fall onto the ground so that another person could pick it up and put it on a trailer.

The driver and crew are all out in the open, exposed to the dust which flies around when a combine starts work.

This photo was one of several given to Rog, the curator, at the recent Museum Miscellany. Thanks very much to those people who brought items along. Sadly, Rog was busy that evening and can’t remember who it was who gave him some whole school photos of pupils and staff at Lavington. If that person could get in touch, Rog would be delighted.

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