Saturday, 26 April 2014

At a ploughing match in 2006 'The Elusive Cup'

I must point out here that this poem  The Elusive Cup was the very first one that I ever wrote, some eight years ago, all the writing of the books and blogs and all the poems on this forum pages have been written since them. 
It's all brought on, with the disappointing outcome of the Stafford ploughing match 16 September 2006,   Using the E27N and Elite trailer  plough for the first time. 

 The Elusive Cup

Off to the ploughing match with great intent
Good weather helps but the land is wet
Off down the field on the first run
Back up the second the twists begun.

Tipping in the third as though no skims
Blocking up the plough and the trouble begins
Coming up the fourth won’t bury the stubble
Land wheel slipping and we’re in trouble.

Off up the side of the neighbouring plot
Tape measure out to see what we’ve got
To start the cast it must be parallel
Or the finish, odd sized will give you hell.

Even furrows with good in’s and outs
Firm for a seed bed well turned over each bout
No hand work or gardening is ever allowed
But it happens quite often when the judge turns around

To measure the land each bout is a must
As narrow it gets down to three or bust
The penultimate run is always shallow
It’s to hold the plough firm as it turns its last furrow

Everyone’s an expert who watches your last run
But get in the seat to feel how it’s done
They block your eye line at the end of the stint
All standing astride, its all wavering and bent

Everyone says we must not blame the tools
Not everyone there, that we can call fools
Experience shows by the polished plough
Who puts it away with a tinge of rust now

Never again, and the thought that it’s rotten
When the next one comes along and you've forgotten
Try once more for that elusive red card and cup
The knees will go weak, when you’re eventually called up.

Owd Fred

You always get plenty of advice at these ploughing matches there was upwards of 40 competitors

You're all spoiled these days what with all the modern equipment, this old Fordson E27N does not even have diff lock, and with a trailer plough, you have to wind the handles like fury to shallow the plough to keep moving or trip it to lift it out and that will only lift with forwards movement. Neither of these actions help very much when your competing at a ploughing match  

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