This day fifty years ago 31 May 1961.
Just browsing through an old diary looking at what I was doing this day fifty years ago 31 May 1961.
We had just finished silage carting having done a 118 loads of grass off 15 acres, the trailers, two of them, being three ton hydraulic tippers that were just becoming popular then, most of them a near copy of the Ferguson trailers. The village wheelwright had made five foot extensions on top of the side boards with a half hood over the back half and a long swinging rear gate.
At that time we were using a David Brown tractor to drive a David Brown Hurricane harvester which was direct flail cut 42 inch wide ( the width between the tractor wheels) and being directly in line with the tractor you had to drive the opposite way each bout in order to pick up the wheeling left in the standing grass. Looking back a few days 29 loads seemed to be the best day we had some day’s only five loads, over just over a week.
The pit was rolled for a couple of days to bring up the juice and 8 tons of ground limestone was wheel barrowed up on top to form the seal, plastic on silage was not heard of back then.
A few days ago we had gone through the kale with a steerage hoe and it was now ready for singling. It was marrow stem kale and grew up to five or six foot high, the majority of the feed being in the marrow of the stem. In winter it would be cut by hand, loaded and fed out to the cows on a dry turf field.
I see the day before 30th May 1961 we had to go down to the local station top pick up 4 ton of sugar beet pulp directly out of a railway goods wagon, ordered through our local merchant. This came then, in one and a quarter hundred weight (62.5 kilo) hessian sacks stitched at the top, when it was fresh from the factory the sacks and there contents were flexible but if it was stored for any amount of time they would go solid particularly the one at the bottom of a pile. When these had to be humped on ya back up loft steps there was no dirty a job, bits of black grit went down your neck and stuck if you had a sweat on.
All the whole barley , sugar beet pulp, flaked maize, and all other bulky items that made up a dairy ration were taken in through the loft door, the opening below was where bales of hay and root crops such as mangols and Swedes were dropped down into the shed .
In the drawing below the pop hole in the wall on the right is the one below the loft door in the picture above. A wall ladder in the corner and a root cleaner and slicer and the other doors lead to the cow shed
I see also a few days prior to that date we had a cow with foul in the foot, our local vet would come and examine the foot, not pick it up or anything dangerous like that, but from his years of experience he knew what it was and how to treat it.
This amounted to a glass syringe and needle in one smock pocket and a glass bottle of white liquid in the other pocket, and from our view point no matter what you rang him up for out would come his syringe and white bottle, and a jab would put everything right, and it often did.
I see I had recorded the man who worked for me was costed in at three Shillings and eight pence an hour (3/8d would be 18p in new money)
In an earlier Blog http://bit.ly/h6g9fs I spoke about the 200 day winter that we always had to account for as far as winter feed was concerned, and more often than not the winter dragged on to the end of April.
So fifty years ago I was a lot fitter than I am now, although we now have more powerful tractors and most other handwork such as singling beet kale and mangols, and hedge cutting now mechanized, we do not seem to be any better off, although pride and job satisfaction make it a very rewarding job. A job worth doing is worth doing well