Saturday, 16 July 2011

Memories from my youth.

A few days ago the farmer collected the straw bales from the field behind our house. It was significant to me as the method used was the same as I in my youth when I helped my uncle collect his hay bales. The only difference was that in my time (Circa 1970's) there were no loading machines as used here. ALL bales had to be manually lifted or forked to the top of the load.

The main problem with this arose due to a conflict of interests. My uncle used to have to pay an agricultural contractor to bale the hay and was charged by the bale!! The old style small baling machines were quite basic in operation, the hay/straw was picked up at  the side and carried through to a ram with a cutter on the input side which trimmed the excess material each time the ram went forwards to compact the bale.  The bale tension and weight was controlled by two screws at the back of the baler. The tighter the screws, the more material was in the bale and hence less bales per acre. The downside to this was the bales were heavier. So it was always a good idea for the collecting staff to get there before the field was baled to ensure the bales were liftable!!


All done and by my reckoning a good secure load. When you have loaded a load by hand the last thing you want is for it to fall off on its way back to the barn. So a good knowledge of the tracks and bumps was also of major importance. We did lose a few over the years.

It was hard work but I enjoyed every minute of it!! Great fun!

Nowadays this method is little used. Most farmers opting for large round or large square bales that are all handled by machines.

No fun in that!!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Great memories of going 'hay making' as a child :-) followed by ham and English mustard sandwiches and strawberry cordial for supper :-) plus the tummy turning hump in tje road at Dinkley surely you must gave some old pics of us all!