Ploughing matches in 1924

In 1924 there were a good number of ploughing matches held throughout Scotland. Some were well-established while others like the one at Lilliesleaf were relatively new.

Accounts of the matches were published in the local and regional newspapers. They record many aspects of the matches, including where they were held, the date, the different classes and the winners. While there were key classes of much importance, there were also a large number of special prizes and minor prizes. These included ones for the best groomed horses, best dressed horses, best kept harness in regular use, ploughman with the largest family, ploughman having the longest service, ploughman travelling the longest distance to the match, and youngest ploughman on the field.

The following are accounts of ploughing matches from across Scotland in 1924:

“Lilliesleaf ploughing match

The fourth annual ploughing match, under the auspices of the Lilliesleaf Country Life Association, Limited, was held on Saturday last at Shawburn farm, on the Chesterknowes estate, tenanted by Mr Thomas Elliot. Two previous attempts had been made to hold the match, but on each day the changeable weather had baffled the efforts of the committee. Saturday may be said to have been a suitable day for such an outing, and in all respects the event was considered a great success. Long before daylight broke, horses, carts, ploughs, and men were on their way to the scene of action, and by eight o’clock it was found that no fewer than twenty-four ploughs had turned out. There was a fine show of well-groomed, well-dressed horses, revealing much diligence and good taste by those responsible. The results were as follows:-

Swing ploughs-1. Archie Steel, Newhouse, Lilliesleaf; 2. John Smith, Huntlaw, Hawick; 3. Robert Dalgleish, West Middles, Lilliesleaf; 4. Robert Short, Hermiston, Lilliesleaf.

Wheel ploughs-1. Robert White, Midlem Mill, Lilliesleaf; 2. Peter Lowrie, Butter Ha’, Minto; 3. William Hope, Easter Lilliesleaf; 4. Robert Brown, Headshaw, Ashkirk.

Young men under 20 years-1. Adam Pringle, Clerklands, Lilliesleaf; 2. James Wilson, Catshawhill, Minto, Hawick; 3. Thomas Hunter, Netherraw, Minto, Hawick; 4. Peter Boyd, Cotfield, Hawick.

Special prizes-open to the field-Neatest ends-John Smith, Huntlaw, Hawick. Best feering and best finish-Robert White, Midlemar Mill, Lilliesleaf.

The winner of the Highland and Agricultural medal-Robert White, Midlem Mill, Lilliesleaf.

Best groomed horses-1. Archie Steele, 2. Adam Halliday, Nether Whitlaw, Selkirk; 3. Robert Brown, 4. Joseph Weatherly, Shawburn, Lilliesleaf.

Best dressed horses-1. Peter Boyd, 2. Alexander Wilson, Long Newton Mill, Lilliesleaf; 3. Robert Brown.

Best kept Harness in regular use-1. Peter Lowie, 2. John Strachan, Ashkirk Mill, Ashkirk; 3. Alexander Wilson, 4. Robert Brown.

Additional prizes-Best all round work of the three first finished-James Henderson, West Middles, Lilliesleaf.

For ploughman with the largest family-Alexander Wilson.

For ploughman having the longest service-Robert Dalgleish.

For ploughman coming the longest distance-Robert Brown.

For youngest ploughman on the field-Thomas Hunter, Netherraw, Minto, Hawick.

The secretarial duties carried out by Mr Birrell, who was ably assisted by an energetic committee.” (Hawick News and Border Chronicle, 1 February 1924)

“Ploughing match at Forfar

Keen tussle for honours

The annual ploughing match of the Forfar District Association was held on the farm of Balmashanner on Thursday, and was favoured with glorious weather. The match proved a great success. The entries were large-31-and comprised 11 champions and 20 seniors, and, as compared with the entries of last year, they showed an increase of seven. On the whole the standard of work executed over both classes was of a particularly high standard.

The champion of the day was George Buchan, Bogie, who had the creditable total of 27 points; James Watt, Turnhappie, being runner-up with 25 points.

The judges were:-Ploughing-J. Alexander, Fairygreen; William McGregor, Balbrogie; William Sturrock, Lochhead. Harness and grooming-J. Miller, South-East Fullerton; A. Cochrane, Craigisla; and J. Scott, Kirriemuir.

The arrangements for the day were of a first-class order, the work of organisation being in the lands of a capable Committee, with Mr D. Allardyce, Turnwhappie, as the Secretary. The prizewinners were:-

Champions’ class-ploughing-1. F. Leighton, Newton of Inshewan; 2. J. Davidson, Auchindory; 3. D. Alexander, Gallowfauld; 4. Wm Orchison, Kirriemuir; 5. J. Anderson, Windymills; 6. Geo. Findlay, Brikies. Feering-1. J. Davidson, 2. F. Leighton. Best finishes-1. F. Leighton, 2. Geo. Findlay. Outs and Ins-Wm Todd, Newdyke. First finished-J. Pattullo, Holemill.

Senior class-ploughing-1. J. Walker, The Bow; 2. A. Robertson, Scroggerfield; 3. John Nicholsoon, Balfour; 4. A. Walker, Westfield; 5. Geo. Buchan, Bogie; 6. Wm Cook, Drumgley; 7. Geo. Thow, Balfour; 8. Wm Herd, Halkerton; 9. C. Sturrock, Little Lour; 10. D. Ross, Linross. Feering-1. Alexander Robertson, 2. A. Walker, 3. C. Sturrock. Best finish-1. A. Robertson, 2. John Nicholson, 3. C. Sturrock. Outs and ins-C. Sturrock. First finished-David Tosh.

Harness-1. Geo. Nuchan, Logie, Bogie; 2. James Watt, Turwhappie; 3. R. Norie, Newlands; 4. F. Leighton; 5. J. Pattullo, Holemill; 6. Geo. Findlay, Baikies; 7. Wm Bruce, Craigrathie; 8. P. walker, Westfield; 9. P. Dolan, West Lownie; 10. Wm Cook, Drumgley. Special-harness in everyday use-1. J. Watt, Turwhappie; 2. R. Norrie, Newlands; 3. F. Leighton; 4. J. Pattullo; 5. Geo. Findlay.

Grooming-1. G. Buchan, Bogie; 2. James Watt, 3. P. Dolan; 4. J. Soutter, Eastmeathie; 5. R. Norrie, 6. Wm Cook; 7. A. Walker, 8. Wm Bruce, 9. Chas Robertson, Gordonbank; 10. D. Alexander. Gallowfauld. Best pair of horse-1. James Watt, 2. Geo. Buchan. Best pair mares-J. Chapman, Mains of Lour. Man with largest family-1. J. Anderson, Windymills; 2. Wm Todd, Newdyke; 3. Frank Leighton. Oldest ploughman-Charles Robertson (63 years of age). Youngest ploughman-A. Alker, Westfield. Longest service (married)-Frank Leighton. Longest service (single)-A. Walker. Man shortest time married-Wm Orchison. Best dressed ploughman-James Watt. Straightest rigg (over both sides)-D. Alexander, Gallowfauld. Best turnout in everyday harness-J. Watt. First on field-Wm Todd.” (Forfar herald, 15 February 1924)

“Ploughing. Stormy weather at Newmachar.

The Newmachar Hoeing and Ploughing Association held their annual ploughing match on a field at Westside given by Mr John Rennie, on Saturday. The day opened very stormy and wet, which kept back some ploughs and delayed others, but by 9:30am it cleared up. There was an entry of 30 champions and 19 shortboards. Fine work was performed.

The jusges were:-Mr Mann, Bellfield, Countesswells; Mr Johnston, Woodside, Charleston, Nigg; Mr Simpson, Fernhill, Countesswells; and Mr Brown, Lauchentilly, Dunecht.

The ploughmen were entertained by Mr and Mrs Rennie, Westside. The awards were as follows:

Longboards-1. G. Mowatt, Dams of Craigie; 2. G. Alexander, Hillbrae; 3. A. Lamb, Westfield, Belhelvie; 4. J. McIntosh, Mains of Dyce; 5. C. Youngston, Overton, Dyce; 6. James Gray, Kinmunay Farm; 7. G. Thomson, Mill of Meme, Belhelvie; 8. J. Shand, Forester Hill, Oldmeldrum; 9. G. Marshall, Cairntechel; 10. J. Mitchell, Eastside, Craibstone; 11. John Stott, Kincraig, Foveran.

Feering-1. G.Mowatt; 2. J. McIntosh; 3. A. Lamb.

Finish-1. G. Alexander, 2. G. Mowatt.

Section 2, Shortboards -1. William Taylor, Cairnpark; 2, J. Barron, Blackhill; 3. A. Simpson, Rosehall; 4. A. Aitken, Tillygreg; 5. D. Alexander, Cairnhill, Tarves; 6. R. Davidson, Village; 7. W. Walker, Boghead; 8. J. Howie, Eastside; 9. A. Duncan, Stanryford; 10. W. McAllan, Cairnton; 11. J. Thomson, Monykebbock; 12. G. Rennie, Westside; 13. J. Middleton, Tillygreig; 14. C. Reid, Monykebbock; 15. J. Porter, Boghead; 16. S. Murray, Village; 17. J. Duncan, Newton; 18. A. Rennie, Westside.

Feering-1. A. Alexander; 2. J. Howie.

Finish-1. W. Taylor; 2. J. Barron.

Special prizes:-

Best rolled mane in tape-J. Duncan, Newton.

Best rolled mane in seges-J. Thomson, Monykebbock.

Harness-1. G. Thomnson, Monykebbock; 2. G. Alexander, Hillbrae; 3. J. Porter, Boghead; 4. J. Duncan, Newton; 5. D. Alexander, Cairnhill; 6. J. Shand, Forresterhill.

Grooming-1. G. Mitchell, Cairnfield; 2. J. Duncan, Newton; 3. G. Alexander, Hillbrae; 4. J. Thomson, Monykebbock; 5. J. Porter, Boghead; 6. A. Lamb, Westfield, Belhelvie.

Best going pair-A. Duncan, Stanryford.

Oldest ploughman-J. Thomson, Monykebbock.

Largest family-R. Davidson.

Longest time away from plough-S. Murray.

Best looking ploughman-G. Alexander.

Youngest ploughman-J. Barron.

Straightest furrows-William Taylor, Craigpark.

Neatest ends-J. Thomnson, Monykebbock.

Harness and grooming combined-J. Tomson.

Prize by Mr Gray, blacksmith, Kinmundy, for plough metalled by him-William Walker.

Prize by Mr McLeod, blacksmith, Newmachar for ploughman furthest up in prize list in the parish-J. Barron.

Ploughman from longest distance-D. Alexander, Cairnhill, Tarves.

The committee entertained the judges and a few friends in the hotel afterwards, with Mr Sutherland, president of the association, in the chair, when an enjoyable evening was spent. The following toasts were pledged:-The Donor of the Field”, the chairman; “The Judges”, Me Peters; “The Neighbouring Association”, Mr Leiper; “The Visitors,” Mr Peters.

Mr Webster, Bridgefoot, gave a song. There was a lengthy discussion as to how the grooming of horses could be improved, which was brought up by Mr Argo.

Credit is due to Mr Christie, secretary, for all the arrangements.” (Aberdeen press and journal, 29 December 1924)