Film ID: YFA 3843 Video of YFA_3843 Arras Farm in Market Weighton ARRAS FARM IN MARKET WEIGHTON c.1952 Visitor TabsDescription This film documents some of the activities involved in looking after Arras Farm in Market Weighton. Included is footage of the tractors and combine harvesters used as well as aeroplanes used for crop dusting. The film opens with men who are working in the fields using tractors and combine harvesters to tend the crops. Geese and ducks are walking together in the farm yard and swimming in the pond. Sheep are gathered in pens waiting to be sheered. The farmer holds a sheep in his arms as he uses hand sheers to cut away the sheep's coat. Ewes are contained in pens with their offspring. The farm workers sit in the fields together eating sandwiches in the background an aeroplane is parked in the same field. A young boy rides one of the tractors with a trailer attached containing dead rabbits. Cows grass in the fields and turkeys and chickens run about the coops in the farm yard. An aeroplane flies over the fields spraying the crops with fertiliser. Aerial shots of the farm are captured from the cockpit of the aeroplane. A red tractor drives through the fields ploughing the crops, and sheep are sheered in the farm yard. Men driving a red combine harvester are working the crops in the field. Men and women walk through the field collecting potatoes into baskets. The aeroplane (G-AMPX) takes flight and sprays the crops with fertiliser, and again aerial views of the film are taken from the aeroplane. The farmers ride the combine harvesters in the field collecting crops as tractors are driven to plough the soil. Potatoes are hand collected by women in the fields, and the farmer and his son help each other collect bags from the field and load them onto the trailer of the tractor. A party of men gather with guns to go shooting. The potatoes are unloaded from the trailer and put into piles. Men dig up hedges and load the branches on to a large trailer. In the garden a man mows the lawn as a boy watches him as a woman in a purple dress comes out of the house holding a baby in her arms. There are lambs in the field. Potatoes are collected on a large tractor by women as they sit of the back of the trailer and sort out the produce. The yellow delivery van for the Burma Poultry Farm drives up the road at Market Weighton. Chickens and ducks run in coops. Budgerigars fly in outside aviary. Sheep graze in the fields. Men work the farming machinery on the land, loading sacks marked "London & North East Railway". The aeroplane is flown across the farm land showing large farms from above, and again there is a party of men out hunting A variety of ploughs are turning the soil in the fields. The film closes as farmers load bags marked "Stephenson Fertilizer" onto trailers, and then spreading it on a field. Context The post-war transformation of the British countryside is vividly illustrated as new machines vie with the old, and hedgerows are ripped out on a still labour intensive farm. The film shows the highly diversified Arras Farm in Market Weighton, with women collecting potatoes by hand, sheep shearing, and chickens and ducks running free. It shows the developments in agricultural machinery, clearing hedgerows and aerial crop spraying. The plane also provides a bird’s eye view of many other local East Riding farms. The farming family of Stephenson, which took this film, along with lots of others around this time, had been running the Arras Farm since the early nineteenth century. At that time it was owned by William Constable Maxwell and was devoted to farming rabbits before William Stephenson ploughed and hedged the farm in the 1840s. Then, after the Second World War, in an effort to make Britain self-sufficient in food, governments gave financial incentives to remove hedgerows, making larger fields for the introduction of much bigger agricultural machinery. The aerial crop spraying may be some of the earliest in Britain: the plane was owned by the family between March 1951 and August 1953.