Film ID:
NEFA 21977

STEAM AT WORK 1973-75

1973-1975

Visitor Tabs

Description

An amateur film made by John Martin Jackson of a number of steam rallies taking place at Nafferton in Northumberland between 1973 and 1975. As well as steam and petrol powered agricultural machinery in action, the film also captures horses ploughing the field. Large crowds wander the site looking at the various steam powered machines on display including a large circular saw as well as a threshing machine.

The film opens in a field where two large Clydesdale or Shire horses are attached to a plough. Three men work with the animals leading them up and down the field turning the earth. A small crowd of onlookers watch the horses do their work, in the background can be seen a number of marquee tents and other showground attractions.

In the distance, at the far end of the field is a steam ploughing engine. Slowly making its way across the field is a balance plough that is attached to the far steam engine and a second machine at the other end of the field by wire rope. General views show the balance plough moving up and down the field ploughing the earth watched by a small crowd of onlookers.

The film cuts to show a more decorative traction engine, it’s nameplate reads ‘Lightening II’. A vintage tractor with plough is parked in the middle of an unploughed field, the film cuts to show a modern tractor ploughing another part of the field.

An unusually shaped grey coloured traction engine with red wheel spokes drives onto the field, the number 16 attached to the front. The film changes to show a man and two boys walking together around a display field looking over various historic farm equipment and tractors.

The film returns to the field, the vintage tractor seen previously is now ploughing the field. Another tractor is seen ploughing the field followed by a caterpillar-tracked machine that is also ploughing the field.

General views follow of various traction engines at full steam including one that is powering a saw. A small crowd watches as the machine cuts through a tree trunk. At another larger machine, a crowd watches as a man puts logs through a steam powered circular saw making timber.
The film cuts to show a number of men using pitchforks to load wheat or other cereal crop into a steam powered threshing machine. A general view follows of a steam powered crane with hook. The film returns to the steam powered circular saw and the crowd watching the man turning more wood into timber.

The name plate on another engine reads ‘Highland Lass’, the film cuts to show the colourful livery on a steam wagon that reads ‘H.P & F. Thompson & Sons’. A man in a boiler suit stands on the footplate of another traction engine and shovels coal into the fire. General views show other engines on display around the site, then the film cuts to the rear of another engine, the livery of which reading ‘J.H. Hixon Haydon Bridge’. A man stands beside it as a young boy climbs down onto the ground. Views of the engine wheel turning cuts to show a crowd standing around a calliope watching as it plays music.

The film cuts to show a large tractor on display. A handwritten information panel beneath it identifies the machine as a Fowler 1920 tractor that was found in a scrap yard.

The film changes to show a crowd watching as men continue to load wheat or other cereal crop into a steam powered threshing machine. At the rear men use pitchforks to move the hay that comes out of the machine.

General views show crowds walking around the site. A large Fowler Gyrotiiller slowly makes its way across a field ploughing the earth. People stand around watching as the machine passes. Another handmade sign provides information on the machine.

Beside another steam powered machine a man uses a piece of wood to knock off the belt attaching the engine to a piece of equipment. People stand behind a rope barrier watching with fascination. A view of the steam powered saw seen previously cuts to show men still loading wheat into the threshing machine as the film ends.