Turn Back the Years Volume 9 DVD



Threshing like it used to be.

This film takes a look at how Irish land was farmed in the 1950’s and 60’s and how different farming was before the introduction of sophisticated modern machinery.

There can be no doubt that the work was tough, but it was also rewarding and we find that many farmers enjoy returning to the old ways and enjoy the social aspect of when communities pulled together to get the job done.

There is a fascination for the old machinery that had replaced the horse on Irish farms, but was so far different from the modern high powered state of the art tractors, combines and other machinery available today.

We visited two farms by the River Bann in Northern Ireland. Peter McEvoy’s farm near Katesbridge Co. Down is beside the upper River Bann, which flows from the foot of the Mourne Mountains into Lough Neagh, and the McErlain farm at Newferry
in Moneyglass Co. Antrim is alongside the lower River Bann, which flows from Lough Neagh out to the sea.

These farmers showed us how the land was farmed in the old days when the horse was starting to fade away on the farm to make way for the Tractor to appear and make life a little bit easier for them.

Peter McAvoy still loves to work with the old machinery and sows a field of corn every year and with the help of his friends, threshes it on boxing day and raises money for a local charity with the crowds who come to watch. Cathal McErlain demonstrated how to prepare the ground with the old time tractors and made the strenuous job of sowing the corn with an old time fiddle, look like an art form.

At Ballydown on the outskirts of Banbridge in Co. Down we called to a field belonging to local contractor Ernie Mathers, who along with John Finney was cutting a crop of Wheat with a binder. This Old Time Farming Demonstration also raises money for charity. These men have been running the event for 22 years.