The Story Of The Beet Harvester with Jonathan Whitlam and Stephen Richmond.
Using contemporary, archive and manufacturers footage, Stephen and Jonathan guide us on a journey through the development of the sugar beet harvester, from horse and man power to automatic, electronically controlled mega machines.
The development of the early harvesters is shown as we see many famous names at work, such as Standen, GBW and Catchpole. Self-propelled machines make an appearance with the Standen Solobeet and the later Cyclone and Tornado, while the Ransomes Hunter was an early attempt at something a little more sophisticated. The story continues with the development of six-row machines from firms such as Moreau, Matrot and Riecam.
The six-row harvesters became eclipsed by the arrival of the tanker harvesters that soon became enormous! We follow the development of the early machines from Verveat and Standen to the monster twelve-row machines of the 21st Century.
Four special features also put the sugar beet harvest into perspective. We see how the land is prepared, the beet crop drilled and cared for before moving on to the harvest itself and how trailers have developed to keep up with the ever evolving beet harvesters. We take a quick look at sugar production through the 1970's, 80's and 90's, using British Sugar's own archive film and with the aid of promotional footage kindly on loan from Agrifac, we show in detail their range of the latest monster machines.
Both classic and modern tractors feature heavily in this unique programme, specially filmed at the Glinton Working Weekend near Peterborough and the Beet UK demonstration near Lincoln during 2005. It also features material from Stephen and Jonathan's own collection going back to the mid 1980s, making this a glorious tribute to these magnificent machines ? from the smallest beginnings up to the Monsters of the Beet Field.
Running Time: 60 minutes
Release Date: 16/10/06