By Meyrick Brown

Held at Summerton Farm, St Florence, near Tenby, by kind invitation of Mr Andrew Mathias, the 56th annual South Pembrokeshire Ploughing Match attracted 35 entries from across Wales and over the border on a fine day that followed heavy overnight rain. There were also classes for hedge plashing, farm crops and a display of farm memorabilia.

Some vintage tractors in use came out of their factories as many as 80 years ago and many of the ploughs that they were hitched to were not much younger. Displaying his skills with horse ploughing a barley stubble John Fletcher fully showed how he had deservedly just regained the Welsh championship trophy.

The primary purpose of ploughing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds and the remains of previous crops and allowing them to break down.

In modern use, a ploughed field is typically left to dry out, and is then well cultivated before re-planting. In many soils, the majority of fine plant feeder roots can be found in the topsoil or ploughed furrow.

The South Pembs Society has, over many years, done much to encourage youngsters to learn some of the time honoured skills of country craftsmen and it was pleasing that 16-year-old Tom Watts of Castlemartin – competing for his first time – should win his class against other well experienced ploughmen.

Overall winner on the day was Pembrokeshire ploughman Rhodri George who, as Welsh champion in 2016, will represent Wales in the world championships scheduled to take place in Kenya in two months time.

Event secretary Gordon Harries won the vintage class and produced the best finish whilst Tony Bradley opened the best back.

In the keenly contested hedge plashing competition a veteran at this craft, Roger Minchin, gained his just reward.

Officials: President, Andrew Mathias; chairman, Richard Prout; secretary, Gordon Harries; judges, E Watkin, N Davies, E Harries and K Brain.



Semi Digger – 1, Rhodri George; 2, Brenyg Bryan; 3, Rob Convery.

Under 26 years – 1, Morgan Evans; 2, James George.

Vintage, trailed – 1, Gordon Harries; 2, David Llewellyn; 3, Gwyn Lewis.

Vintage, hydraulic – 1, Tony Bradley; 2, Clive Pugh; 3, John Evans.

Classic (general purpose) – 1, Jeremy Jacobs; 2, Terry Richards; 3, Mervyn John.

High cut – 1, Raymond Roach.

Dedicated Ferguson T20 – 1, John Evans; 2, Will John.

Reversible – 1, Tom Watts; 2, Richard Prout; 3, Peter Elliott.

Novice – 1, Anthony Sandbrook.

Horse ploughing – 1, John Fletcher.

South West Wales Championship, points: Senior – Rhodri George 3, Brenyg Bryan 2, Gordon Harries 1, Junior – Morgan Evans 3, James George 2.


Championship – 1, Roger Minchin; 2, Peter Morris; 3, Murray Taylor.

General – 1, Joe Morris; 2, Alex Chesterton.


Most points – Robert John.

Future ploughing events include the Llawhaden and district match to be held at Freystrop, near Haverfordwest on Saturday, October 8 and the Newport, Nevern and Dinas match on Saturday, October 22.