Harvest Time 1948

Cutting the Wheat

Wheat in the Shock

A Shock of Wheat

Bobby Amongst the Wheat Shocks

Straightening the Barley for Cutting

Barley Turning in Progress



The Finished Stack

We pay a nostalgic visit to Rookery Farm to see the wheat and barley being harvested the old-fashioned way with tractor and binder, during the late summer of 1948 and well before the onslaught by combine harvesters!

Many thanks to Mrs Betty Gallagher for the use of her precious family photographs.


Another tractor’s jus’ gone by,
A rea’ ole row that med;
A looded trailer tew, there be,
Wi’ barley, bor, fer beer, maybe,
Or wheat fer daily bread.

That don’t seem long ago, that don’t,
Since we had diff’rent ways,
An’ stacks o’ corn stood in a row,
A-waitin’ t’be threshed, y’know,
Like in my younger days.

An’ yit, though things ha’ wholly chaanged,
The haarvest, so that fare,
Ind up the saame, so we are fed,
Wi’ wheat what maake ar daily bread,
An’ barley fer ar beer.


September morn, an’ a cule, clear dawn,
Wi’ the sun a-shinin’ on fild an laane;
An’ there on the hedge a haarvest hang –
Blackberry time ha’ come again.

There they be, an’ they’re good t’see,
Rich an’ black on the brambles high,
An’ all around ’em the hedgerow leaves,
Show signs o’ chaange as the days go by.

There’s sloes there tew, all wet wi’ the dew,
An’ crab-apples shine in the Autumn sun,
An’ evrawhere in the countraside,
God’s gifts’re waitin’ fer evraone.


There be the Haarvest mune…
No waads caan’t really tell,
How beautiful that look up there on high.
Even the lovely stars
Tarn paale when that dew shine,
An’ brighten up the arth an’ sea an’ sky.

There be the Haarvest mune …
No artist couldn’t paint
A pitcher showin’ all the glory there.
That seem the whole warld’s baathed
In silver an’ in shaade;
No wind … no sound…
an’ I jus’ stand an’ stare.


The cornfilds’re empty bar jus’ a few baales, bor,
What wait for the trailer t’taake ’em away,
An’ all gathered in are the wheat an’ the barley.
The laast lood o’ Haarvest they’a caarted t’day.

Now down go the sun; see the gold an’ the glory
Touchin’ the stubble as evenin’ draw in.
That seem like the ind of a wonderful story,
But when one story’s inded, another begin.

Copyright © John Kett

FOND Archive Fearvruts

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  • Our President, Peter Trudgill, wrote a series of articles for the Eastern Daily Press from 2012-2016 - we have archived them all here for your enjoyment...

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