Ploughing Match at Torr Farm PDF Print E-mail

The match took place on Saturday 17th March at Torr Farm, Auchencairn near the head of Balcary Bay. A good turn out of hardy souls braved the horizontal rain to take part in this annual event.

Follow link below for details, photos and results.

Some in their modern machines had some protection and comfort in their tractor cabs, but there was no such luxury for the men on their vintage machines or the hard men on foot with their horses.

There were two horse teams in the match.

Jimmy Wilson and Clydesdales battle the weather.


Auchencairn's own Jimmy Wilson from Screel was there with his two magnificent Clydesdales. Jimmy kindly took time to explain (I hope I've got it right) how by using his 'general purpose' plough he started his ploughing by 'forming the crown' (several furrows with tops that set the height for the rest of the run of work). Altogether the judges would be looking for the top level across the ploughed area to be level, uniformity in their form and good covering (hiding all the grassy bits that have been turned over thus exposing just good planting soil).
Jimmy has also got a plough made as locally as possible by Harkness of Ruthwell (Dumfries) who in their day were famous in blacksmith circles for their creations and their ploughs are much sought after today.

Jimmy's rival for the day was his good friend David Broll from Twynholm with his two Percheron horses (French breed and much bigger than Clydesdales) called Harris and Lewis.

Lewis on the left , Harris and a very wet handler.

Joe McQueen and the 1957 Fergusson 35.

In the vintage tractor class was Joe McQueen from Dalry (St.John's Town of) on his 1957 Fergusson 35. This was a tiny machine compared to the modern beasties but a real reliable workhorse. Joe has had the machine a few years and like most of the enthusiasts has done much restoration work himself. His task had the same requirements as that of the horse section.

Now Joe had travelled a fair distance from Dalry but that was nothing compared to Robert Irving who set off on Thursday from his home in Cornwall. Robert is an ex-Auchencairn man who last ploughed in this competition 39 years ago while living locally. He just couldn't resist coming back (the place does that to you). His ploughing style reflected English ways with the distinctive 'high point' furrows. The points are forms 4inches above the furrow so that when the seed is placed in the bottom and a harrow pulled across the tops, the first two inches of soil drop into the furrow leaving the seeds with a two inch covering of soil and a nicely finished level field.

Robert Irving cuts his 'high points'.

Now we come to the winners and the prizegiving that was conducted by Lee Paton from Old Torr.

2 Furrow   3 Furrow 
1stBill McCoskey 1st Brian Wilson
2ndAndy McCulloch2ndBrian Burgess
3rdRichard Gilston3rdRobert Gilst.
4thStuart Wilson  
 Reversible  Vintage 
1stJames Baird1stBilly McClelland
2ndD. McTaggart2ndA.Irving
3rdJ. Baird3rdBilly Carnohan
  4thJoe McQueen
  6thColin Muir

Horse   Overall
1stDavid Broll 1stBilly McClelland (Gelston) 
2ndJimmy Wilson2ndBrian Wilson (Rascarrel)


Note: First ever
lady competitor
 Joan Brown   

PS - Sorry about the indistinct photographs but I don't own an underwater camera (yet).