We have seen something of this occasion in a blog post in September 2012 but this colour snap catches the dust and grime of the threshing process.
Now let’s be clear. This was not normal back in 1976 although it would have been back in the 1950s. By 1976 tank combines, similar to today’s leviathans but much smaller, held sway. But a few farmers then (and now) saw a profit in the straw which could be kept neat and tidy and bundled for thatching. One such farmer was the redoubtable Roger Buckle and this is his threshing kit in use alongside Spin Hill back in the summer of 1976. Threshing wasn’t usually a summer job but then 1976 was the year of the drought and there was no need to leave stooks out to dry and then stack them for attention later. Sheaves of binder cut corn were carted straight from field to threshing machine. A part of a trailer with sheaves can be seen behind the thresher.
It was a labour intensive process. Roger Buckle is the big chap up top and he was feeding the sheaves into the thresher. A chain of chaps were making sure sheaves arrived as needed by Roger, some pitching them up of the trailer and Roger’s assistant would have them ready so that he never stopped feeding them into the machine.
The sacking man made sure sacks of grain were filled and fastened and then joined the stack of sacks.
At the far end of this thresher there is a device called a reed comb which gathered the de-grained straw, made sure it was neat and tidy and tied it into suitable thatching bundles. Another person was needed to manage that end of the machine.
And some poor chap had the grotty job, working in the dust of the chaff which fell out of the bottom of the threshing machine. It was important to keep that under machine space clear so that the threshing drum did not clog up with rubbish.
What a grand sight.