A Day in the Life -  Another day, another bigger machine



A Nonpareil Seed drill  manufactured by James Smyth & Sons Ltd. 

It is not known when this particular drill (serial number 33209) was made but James Smyth started making his drill in the early 1800's in Peasenhall, Suffolk, Examples like this one were known to be used in 1910's and this drill was used by Bill Cragg at Brooker Farm from 1951 until 1970. It is under this very drill that Bill met his future wife, Pauline, at Squires Farm, Newchurch while she was working for the Ministry of Food, conducting a survey on Colorado Beetle. It is rumoured that Bill was lying under the drill making a repair and said "Get down here and pass me that spanner would you?"

Bill Cragg and Peter Cripps and Massey Ferguson Combine, 1965

Bill Cragg and Peter Cripps in front of a Massey Harris combine at Brooker Farm in 1965.

This is some 8mm cine film taken at Brooker Farm in the 1960s showing haymaking, grass seeding and spraying.



Smyth seed drills were the first in which the coulters could be adjusted to different widths. The rate of sowing could be adjusted, and it had an improved fertiliser box, fitted with cups, for sowing fertiliser with the grain. Read More Here

50 years later, compare this old drill with a 12m drill purchased by Brooker Farm in 2019. Apart from its size, its does very much the same job as its predecessor 200 years earlier!

Andrew Cragg, Darren Moulding, David Wilcoxon, Ross Leech and a Case Combine, 2014

50 years later, Andrew Cragg, Darren Moulding, David Wilcoxon from Brooker Farm with Ross Leech from machinery dealer Ernest Doe in front of a new CASE combine.

Another 8mm cine film taken in the 1960s showing field cultivation at Squires Farm using crawler tractors and harrows.


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