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Horse Ploughing Day at The National Folk Museum at Cregneash 8 October 2008

On Saturday 11th October from 10am the National Folk Museum at Cregneash is holding a ‘Plough Day’. Skilled ploughmen and their teams of working horses will practise their ploughing techniques in preparation for the highly competitive 2008-2009 ploughing match season.Traditional Ploughing techniques practiced at Cregneash.

Ploughing matches were first promoted by the Society for Agriculture in the early 1800s and were great occasions where the turn-out of man and horse were just as important as the quality of the ploughing. Today matches are still held throughout the Island and provide the perfect opportunity to see highly skilled ploughmen and women pitting their wits against one another to plough the best butt. The season starts in earnest on the 18th of October with the Royal Marown Ploughing match at St Marks and will finish at the National Folk Museum, Cregneash in April 2009.

The Cregneash Plough Day will give the horsemen and women a chance to shake off the cobwebs and get their ploughs in the ground making sure all is well with plough and horse before the main competitions of the season begin.

MNH Farm Manager Pete Kelly demonstrated ridging A hundred years ago horsemen were hired by farmers at the end of September to begin the cycle of traditional agricultural work. Between autumn and Christmas the muck was spread and stubble fields were ploughed ready for sewing. The ploughman was considered one of the most skilled of the farm workers and they took a great pride in the quality of their furrows.

The Cregneash Plough Day provides the perfect opportunity to find out more about the ploughman’s skill, his preparations, including the fine tuning of his plough and the way he works with his team of horses. The Cregneash Blacksmith and Joiner will both be on hand to make any running repairs required to the ploughs throughout the day.

This will be an exciting day for all the family including all budding ploughmen/women, with the chance to see the old art of ploughing with horses in the traditional landscape of Cregneash.

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