Most striking and unusual, perhaps, amongst this year’s acquisitions is a wonderful collection of material featuring the inventions of a local engineer who lived for many years in the Stamford area. These included a boat which folded flat for ease of transport, and a shopping-centre vending machine for coal.
This season, we have two new Archive DVDs of exceptional interest to offer you, compiled and narrated as usual by Alan Stennett.
Farming in Father's Day
A family farm, on the Fenland border of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, was a busy place in the 1940s and 50s. The farmer was an enthusiastic user of new machinery, including an International tractor bought in 1928 and a Cockshutt combine acquired in 1947, but he was also a great fan of heavy horses, particularly the traditional East Anglian breed, the Suffolk Punch.
Fortunately for history and for us, the farmer was also a keen cameraman, who filmed life and work on the farm. With the help of his sons, who farm on the same land today, this film shows their father’s farm at a crucial stage in its history. Gangs of men and women are seen hard at work in the fields, doing jobs that have now long since been mechanised. Horses are still plentiful, and a steam threshing set was hard at work, but Farmall tractors, IH crawlers and the combines are gradually taking over. The cropping included grains for sale and for the livestock; beet, peas and potatoes as cash crops, and fodder beet for the Lincoln Red cattle kept on the farm.
As the ‘boys’ look back at Farming in Father’s Day, we too can enjoy a unique glimpse of a style of farming that has gone for ever.
Draining the Fens
Lincolnshire is now one of the finest agricultural areas of Britain, but the 'natural' state of much of it would be a boggy wilderness of swamps and wetlands. Hundreds of years' work by an army of engineers and labourers drained the swamps and reclaimed land from the marshes and the sea.
LOST FILM – HELP WANTED
Does anyone know the whereabouts of either the original or any surviving copies of the film Under Lincolnshire Skies, made by Lt Cmdr G W Wells in 1955, and shown throughout the county in the later 1950s in aid of the Lincolnshire Old Churches Trust?
One of the 'Friends' of LFA, who saw the film at the Boston Grammar School Hall in November 1957, has kindly donated an amazingly detailed 8 page programme giving full particulars of the production. From this, it appears that the film was made on 16mm in sound and colour, and ran for about 90 minutes, including a wide range of scenes and topics from many parts of the county.
Lt Cmdr Wells is believed to have worked for, or been otherwise connected with, the Appleby Frodingham Steel Company at Scunthorpe.
Any help you can give us in tracing the film itself would be very much appreciated. Do please email us if you know what became of the film or have any idea where it might be.
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