This DVD follows on from Primetime’s very popular Farming on Film series which is written and narrated by Alan Stennett.
The 1960s were a fascinating time in British agriculture. The years of hardship during WW2 and the big changes that came then and in the 50s were leading to a new kind of farming. Tractors and combine harvesters were the norm on most arable farms, mechanised handling was common place and manual labour was gradually being replaced by new machines that lifted potatoes and beet.
In this production, filmed on just three farms by the farmers themselves, those changes are obvious and well recorded. Ferguson, Fordson, Massey-Harris, John Deere and International tractors abound and combines and balers from our Canadian and American friends can be seen at work alongside a German Lanz and a rare British built Ransomes. Mechanised muck-loading and spreading feature as well as sequences on the industrial processes involved in canning vegetables.
The old had not completely disappeared, though. Horses make a number of appearances at work and in the show arena and man-power is still key when it comes to dealing with livestock. The old-style threshing set was still preferred to the combine by many farmers, despite the large team of workers needed to operate it, and the potato gang was still a familiar sight on many farms. All can be seen here.
Farming in the Sixties is a fascinating recollection of a key time in British agriculture, and one that will awaken many memories for a lot of people.