Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Hay Elevator


The hay elevator

 
I save it just in case, nothings ever chucked away,
Piles of it every where, It might come in one day.

 
I Remember the old cast iron wheels

  Long old elevator, use to pitch the corn,
High in the hay barn, before the combine born,
After harvest it was thatched, with straw all long,
Stood out all the winter, next harvest came along.
 
When it became redundant, thatch it rotted away,
Right through the timber, and start off decay,
Eventually a match was put, and burned the timber out
The iron was scrapped except, the wheels they’re still about.
 
Countryman  (Owd Fred)

  

 There is four of these wheels off the old elevator, two large and two a bit smaller.
  
As long back as I can remember loose hay was pitched onto the wagons with pitch forks by hand, and then from the wagon drawn by the shire horses to a hay barn or built into a hay stack in a convenient spot in the corner of the field. Then hay loaders came in they called them pitchers, and at the stack came elevators. 
This pitcher was towed behind the cart that was being loaded, the example above was capable of loading green crop as well as hay.


When I took over this farm twenty six years ago at the end of the hay barn was what remained of an old elevator. The previous farmer’s father had purchased it a good many years ago being one of the first in the area. At the end of hay and corn harvest all the inside storage was full, so it was folded away into its transport mode pulled round to the end of the barn and thatched.

Batons (as opposed to bales) are straight straw after it has been threshed and put through a binder, tied with two bonds of string and around five foot long. These were laid length ways all the length of the elevator pyramid fashion, then further batons of straw were straightened and used to thatch the whole of the elevator. Being made of wood with cast iron wheel and cast brackets and pullies it had to be kept dry when not in use. However when pickup balers came in the elevator fell out of use it just stood and stood year after year with its old thatch rotting away, and as rain soaked through it rotted the timbers until it resembled a muck ruck with wheels.
It came to me to clear up the old elevator in my first year here, and before next harvest started we stuffed more dry straw underneath and chuck a match in to burn it out.

All the ironwork was sorted out of the ashes and chucked onto the scrap ruck save the wheels, the engine had been removed a long time ago and sold, it had been a Bamford single cylinder water cooled petrol engine with an open flywheel and a flat pulley on the drive shaft.

 
I know I’ve used this one before but it just fits the bill in this slot.

 
The Scrap Ruck
 
I got a pile of scrap iron, and it builds up real fast,
And another round the corner, where I dropped it last,
I save it just in case, nothings ever chucked away,
Piles of it every where, It might come in one day.
 
Broken bits of tractor, and its off cut bits of steel,
Some is thick and some is thin, and some a bit of wheel,
Angle iron in six foot lengths, some point was a bed,
Other bits chucked into the rucks, some still painted red.
 
Nettles growing through it, and it makes a nesting site,
For rats and mice and vermin, who are only out at night,
Disturbed they run like mad, get away from you or me,
And where do they head for, their scrap ruck home with glee.
 
I’m looking for a bit of metal, the size ta mend a gate,
Seen some in the scrap ruck, but I can’t locate,
Remember when I chucked it, don’t know which pile it’s in,
Turn each pile over and see, praps neath that pile of tin.
 
It’s rusting in the winter, when the snow and rain soaks in,
It’s rusty and it’s flaking, and its no use for welding,
Don’t know why I saved it, cus the price of scraps sky high,
Have to have a clear out, home for rats and mice deny. 
 
Countryman  (Owd Fred)


   A harvest of peace is produced from a seed of contentment.
American Proverb