A Wonderful Vintage Straw Baler: at Llandysul Agricultural Show

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Yes, I know this is a total change of subject!

I went to Llandysul Agricultural Show yesterday, and it was the best organised show I’ve been to, beautifully laid out, with plenty of room for all the animals and their owners transport.  The weather was warm and  the views of the hills around the area, gave it a very relaxed feel.  Unfortunately for the organisers, it wasn’t as full of visitors as they’d have liked.

I “got into” agricultural shows when I first moved from London to Ystalyfera, and found myself co-opted as “official photographer” of the Swansea Valley Show – which unfortunately is no longer held.

If you happen to share my enthusiasm – there’s quite a lot of my photos of various shows taken over the years, on my rather neglected other blog  “The Spare”

You can find Sennybridge Show HERE  and HERE (kids in fancy dress on their ponies) and a collection of my favourites HERE

fullsizeoutput_273The straw baler is powered here by running the tractor connected to the 1948 machine through the long ‘canvas band’ which turns the wheels.  I’m not sure what the original power source was – all I can say is that it makes a very satisfying mesmerising racket!

In this demonstration, the straw is in the white sacks on the ground and thrown up to the man at the top who empties them into the hopper.

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(PS: after I published this I had a thought – it must have been a thresher with a straw baler, cos that big piece of machinery wasn’t made just to ‘straighten straw’!  – I just assumed it was a baler cos that was what it was doing at the time – and there wasn’t any information board in front of the machine – apologies!)

Which comes out “combed” at the other end.  The man who was making sure the straw got into the next part of the process, has stood in the wrong place, so he’s got straw on his back instead.  However, its a great picture to show where the straw is coming from!  It then goes thro’ the actual baler, and gets compacted into the familiar shape of a straw bale – and I think – the bale is automatically tied with twine to keep it in shape.

I did manage to have a quick word with the owner as they were packing up the machine, near the end of the show, and he told me it was a 1948 machine that he actually brought down from Scotland, as the machine was never used in Wales, because it was too expensive.  He bought it for £6,000 about 5 years ago and had to do a fair bit of work on it to get it running again!

It must be a huge job, transporting it anywhere – just wondering how he even got it to the Show Field!  It attracted a lot of attention from the visitors.

A few more pictures – I didn’t try to cover the whole show, there were also cows & sheep and dogs etc etc as well as a craft tent and the all important food and beer tents!

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