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Devon County

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Alongside the many entertainments, social gatherings and sporting meetings so enjoyed by our ancestors, were events which embodied the work of the countryside. The work of local farmers and their  agricultural labourers was genuinely appreciated and skill was much admired. 

Today, those skills are just as admired and efforts are being made to preserve Devon's countryside skills. The language of these countryside skills may need interpretation today so you may like to go to



to read about the skills, and the tools and implements which were used in the past and, in the preservation of  old skills, are being used again today. 


All kinds of activities took place at events like the one described below. Although, those described here were all for men, for women there were the delights of such competitive classes as trussing ducks for sale, home made butter, the presentation of 6 white eggs or 6 home-grown cooking apples and so on.

Ploughing Matches are still important events on the countryside calendar throughout Devon and sometime include classes featuring ploughs of yesteryear - it's surprising how many have survived!


From a local newspaper account of a Ploughing Contest at Liffton:

"There were 308 entries - a record - for the annual competitions of Lifton & District Agricultural Association in Stone farm, Lifton, on Tuesday 20 November 1928.  The standard of work, together with the produce shown was very high.


The results of the various contests were as follows:

Ploughing - Men over 25 using any one-way Coulter Plough:

1.W. Hawke, Bosongham, Colan St Columb

2. A. Reynolds, Oatmill, Sourton

3. J. F. Davies, Kersford, Bridestowe

Ploughing - Men under 25 (Coulter Plough)

1. J. R. Davies, Kersford,  Bridestowe

2.  M. Pengelly, Billacombe, Kelly

S. Bickle, Wstcott, Lewdon

Ploughing - Men over 25 (Digger Plough)

1. J. H. Woodland, Tregada, Launceston

2. T. Rindle, Colan, Barton St Columb

3. H. Batten, Satherleigh, Lifton

Ploughing - Men under 25 (Digger Plough)

1. S. Downing, North Tamerton, Holsworthy

2. R. Lawrence, Rawcombe, Bradstowe

3. Charles Parnell, South Petherwin

Ploughing - Youths under 18 using a one-way Coulter plough

1. R. Gillbbard, Norton Barton, Stoke Climsland

2. W. Greening North Thrusel, Sourton

3. J. Reynolds, Oatmill, Sourton.

Ploughing - Youths under 18 using a Digger Plough

1. William Parnell, South Petherwin

Special Prize for best work using a Digger Plough.

J. H. Wadland

Best kept horse's harness:

1. A. Woodrow, Broxcombe, Beaworthy

2. C. Parnell, South Petherwin

3. J. H. Reddecliffe, North Tamerton, Holsworthy.

Turf-hedging - men over 25

1. G. Hill, Lifton

2. W. Glover, Lewdown

3. R. J. Shovel. Trevovis, Callington

4. A. Harris, Hornabrook, Cleave.

Turf-hedging men under 25

1. C. Jewell, Coatacre, Broadwood

2. R. Voaden, Broadwood

3. R. Voaden, Goveton, Okehampton

4. F. Davies, Kersford, Bridestowe

5. J. Lashbrook, Raddon, Lydford

Turf-hedging - youths under 18

1. W. A. Barriball, Tamar Town, Werrington

2. S. Shopland, Broadwood

3. Wilfred Pearce, Venn Farm, Broadwood

4. J. Hill, Hayne farm, Stowford

5. P. Brendon, Billacombe, Kelly

G. Hill of Lifton won the silver sup for turf-hedging.

H, E. Medland won the silver cup for stone-hedging.

The remainder of the day was spent in judging the produce classes. "



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