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Farming on the Sussex Downs in the 1950's was farming as every story book tells it. More than 30 men were employed on the Downland farm at harvest. Stacks were made and thatched by hand, with the aid of a boom and grab to lift the hay from the carts, and silage was produced in pits cut from the native chalk.

At least half a dozen tractors are seen at work, including a Caterpillar, Field Marshall, Little Grey Fergie, International Harvester and Fordsons, as well as binders, reapers, a threshing set and a very rare flax puller.

A range of crops are followed through the year including cereals, flax, grass, clover and sainfoin for hay and silage and mangolds and fodder beet as winter feed for the Guernsey, Shorthorn and Sussex cattle.

The film shot over those few years of change was taken by the farmer himself, first as the farmer's son, fresh from agriculture college and then as a farmer in his own right. Those films, and his memories of Manor Farm, have been combined to give this unique record of a time gone by in a beautiful part of the country.

Written & narrated by Alan Stennett.

DVD Info

Region: 2
Running Time: 60 minutes

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