100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - The Book
£9.99 (UK)
  • ISBN: 978-0-9559625-5-4
  • Size: 225mm x 248mm
  • Extent: 96 Pages
  • Illustration: Black and white photographs
  • Format: Softback

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range

Farming has changed enormously in the past 100 years. Older farmers recall milking and shearing by hand, harvesting using threshing machines, building a haystack, ploughing with horses and the purchase of their first tractors. In contrast, modern farms are highly mechanized and fewer hands are needed to run the farms. Tractors and harvesting machinery have grown in size, cost and complexity but the deep affinity between farmers and the landscape in which they live and work remains unchanged.

This book celebrates the rich heritage of farming in the Clwydian Range. The story is told largely through the use of evocative photographs, coupled with personal memories from local farmers. Whether you have a farming background or just appreciate the rural landscape, you will enjoy dipping into this beautiful book.

The book was produced in partnership with the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with grant aid from the Sustainable Development Fund.

Farming Photos and Memories (Click images to enlarge)

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Shire stallion outside Hope and Anchor pub in Denbigh, 1920s (courtesy of Dilys Jones)

'Walter Langford, the landlord at the White Horse, Cilcain, kept shire stallions to sire the local farm horses. One particular stallion, Robin Hood VII, was renowned as it served 390 mares in a season and was given a bottle of Guinness after each one!'

Vincent Vaughan

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Hay rake image: John James Parry on hay rake (courtesy of Olive Parry)

'As a lad I used the hay rake pulled by a horse to gather the dry hay into rows. My sister used to help by pulling off any hay that became tangled in the machinery with a long fork. Our hay rake was later adapted so it could be pulled by a tractor.'

John James Parry,
Maes y Garnedd Farm, Tafarn-y-Gelyn

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Crushing bracken on the Clwydian Range overlooking Ruthin, 1955,(courtesy of Gwyndaf Davies)

'In the early 50s, I went on work experience to the Ministry of Agriculture to learn about machinery. Bracken crushing was one of my jobs on a Fordson County Crawler with a Holt bracken breaker. We worked on both sides of the Clwydian Range, often on very steep slopes. By chance a vet from Mold, Stanley Jones, was coming to see a sick cow on our farm and had seen me working on a slope below the Clwyd Gate. He mentioned that he had seen some fool driving a tractor down the steep slope and when my father said it was me, he exclaimed, "You want to get the silly bugger from there – he’s going to kill himself!" - I was mad in those days!'

Gwyndaf Davies

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Ken and Geoff Lewis threshing, 1950s (courtesy of Ken Lewis)

'During the war, there was a great shortage of threshing contractors as far more crops were being grown. In 1940, my brother and I bought a small American Case Model R tractor and leased a threshing machine from the ‘War Ag’. We went from farm to farm, mainly in the Cilcain area. More machinery was being sent by ship from America through the Lend-lease scheme. In 1942, we bought a larger Case LA tractor and leased another that had been shipped to Liverpool on the SS Montevideo. They were the only Case tractors in North Wales and were really good machines. By the end of the war, we were running three threshing outfits across a wide area.'

Ken Lewis,
Cyfnant Uchaf, Llanarmon-yn-Ial

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Threshing at Maes-y-groes, Cilcain

'As you neared the bottom of the rick, lots of rats would always run out. We tied string round the bottom of our trousers to stop the rats running up! I remember helping threshing in the stackyard at Ty Ucha farm, where the rats used to run to hide in a granite wall at the back of the stackyard. My uncle, Si Langford, was a hard man. He put his hand into a hole in the wall, pulled out a rat and either squeezed it to death with his hands or banged it on the head – reputedly he killed 81 that day!'

Vincent Vaughan,
Cilcain

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Video Montage

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Photo Gallery

100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Ifan Tudweiliog 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Horse and Women 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Aelwyd Uchaf threshing machine
100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Hay rake image: John James Parry on hay rake (courtesy of Olive Parry) 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Landgirls group in shorts 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Old Shearing 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Rays Grandfather
100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Sam Evans and Adam Woodward 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Sheep Dipping 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Stoddard Family farming 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Threshing Machine
100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - William Parry Penymynydd 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - 1978 Christmas Fatstock 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - blacksmiths trem 100 Years of Farming in and around the Clwydian Range - Glyn Jones