Traditional harvest demonstrations at Autumn Countryside Show

Robert Sampson and his Percheron horses ploughing at the Weald & Downland Autumn Countryside Show SUS-150710-110758001
Robert Sampson and his Percheron horses ploughing at the Weald & Downland Autumn Countryside Show SUS-150710-110758001

EXPERIENCE the sights and sounds of a traditional harvest at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum this weekend.

The Autumn Countryside Show at the Singleton museum on Saturday and Sunday features traditional working demonstrations, including heavy horses and vintage tractors ploughing, steam-powered threshing, plus a horticultural show, rural craft demonstrations, displays and competitions.

The 40-acre downland site is an ideal location for this annual festival, which celebrates and showcases many traditional countryside activities.

Working plough horses are a favourite with visitors of all ages, with the museum’s own shires among the teams of draught horses at work.

Vintage tractors will be busy preparing the ground for sowing after the harvest and there will be a display of tractors and farm implements for visitors to enjoy.

The celebrations will also include a fun dog show, dog displays and falconry, and a chance for visitors to enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride.

The threshing of the wheat crop – separating the grain from the straw – is one of the main attractions during the weekend. In the days before combine harvesters, the ‘threshing train’ was a common sight – working the farms and travelling the lanes during the autumn and winter months. It usually comprised a steam traction engine, threshing drum, elevator, and living van used by the engine driver and his mate.

The sixth annual horticultural show will take place as part of the event, with classes to suit all ages, ranging from vegetables to woodwork, marmalade to miniature gardens.

Alongside the class entries will be displays from local clubs, societies and the museum’s gardening team, plus traditional craft demonstrations.

The Autumn Countryside Show runs from 10.30am to 5pm. The normal museum entry charge includes admission to the show.

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