Our 2015 Antique Machinery Show started out beautifully. The weather was going to be near perfect and the grain was ripe and ready to be harvested. On the Wednesday before the show, Mark Burnham headed out to our field with their huge combine. Only twice around the field, right at the entrance way to the road it broke down big time. So now we were in real trouble – no field for our show!
Well, as luck would have it, Burnham’s had a hay field right beside the gain field. Ah, but it was not cut. So a call was made to Ian Sculthorpe to see if he wanted hay. Yes! So Ian came and cut the hay on Wednesday afternoon.
Earl and I heard about the situation and started to worry. Can Ian get the field ready for us in time to allow us to setup the show? Things were not looking good. We phoned the layout crew and said nothing could be done Thursday night as we may be working around hay bales but we can start Friday morning. I talked to Ian, asking if there was anything we could do to help? Why yes, how about Bare driving a tractor and raking the field while Ian drove the round baler. No big deal for you guys but for city kid Bare this was a challenge. I had great fun roaring around the field at the right speed and finding the rows to put together. By about 4:00 pm it was done. Ian said he would finish and then I asked if he could move the bales to the side as much as possible.
The crew arrived early on Friday morning to layout the field and there were no bails at all. Ian worked into the late night to get the field empty for us. Now we had a beautiful grass field. Imagine, no corn stocks, just clean grass. We had acres of grain to play with, including a place to demonstrate plowing.
The sun shone, the machinery came and the fields filled with equipment. We had more equipment than ever, but the public attendance was down (due to other things going on in the area was what we guessed). As the weekend went on, things just got better. Sunday afternoon Burnham’s’ got their massive combine working. This gave us the opportunity to have 3 ways to demonstrate the harvesting the wheat.
First, we had the a old wooden binder cutting an 8 foot swath and throwing out nicely wrapped stoops to be forked on to the wagon. These were then taken to the thrashing machine and then into the grain wagon. Next came Paul White’s 1970’s self-propelled combine cutting a 10 foot swath and storing the grain in its own grain bin.
Last to come was the new modern Mammoth Caterpillar combine, cutting a 30 foot swath and filling a grain buggy in one dump. Oh, how time has changed things. This was hard to capture on my camera, so you will have to see it on Jerry’s video to really get the scope of this parade.
Thus from a lemon with no field, to the lemon aid of the best field ever with the most grain we have ever had, this was a great show to be a part of. Although our paid attendance was down, equipment displayed was up and everyone there enjoyed the show.
Next year is our 25th show. It is expected to be held on County Rd 2, across from Burnham’s Market which is a great public viewing field.
See you there ….