Photo gallery: Farming history brought to life at Skeyton’s Michelmas Trosh and Working Day

Norfolk's rich farming heritage was brought to life yesterday at an event aimed at creating 'a living history' of the region's agricultural past.

More than 1,000 people attended Skeyton's Michelmas Trosh and Working Day to commemorate 100 years of sugar beet production in Norfolk.

And the star attraction was a special display of a vintage beet harvest to mark the centenary of British Sugar's processing factory at Cantley - the first beet sugar factory to be built.

Today it is one of four British Sugar factories which processes about 7.5m tonnes of beet from about 4,000 growers across eastern England.

Plans for the demonstration got under way during the spring, when the beets were drilled and planted in wider rows at the host farm to suit the vintage machinery.

Co-organiser Graham Kirk, grew some of the vintage wheats for the event, and explained that it was not a rally but a demonstration of things that used to happen on the farm.

'We wanted to put on a working display of vintage farming equipment to show the machines in action rather than having them sitting around for people to look at,' he said.

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'It was such an excellent day and it was everything we had aimed for.'

Now in its fifth year, The Michelmas Trosh and Working Day marks the end of the farming year and the start of the next.

Mr Kirk, who grew up in a farming family, said: 'Michelmas was an important time of the year in the farming calendar. It is the change over period from harvesting the corn crops to lifting the root crops and planning and preparing for next year.

'This event is something for those who are interested in the rural aspects of normal farming life. It's now getting established on the local scene and is what you would describe as a living history.'

The Trosh also featured lifting and troshing of heritage wheats with a steam engine and threshing drum, vintage tractors at work, wood sawing and ploughing demonstrations.

Mr Kirk added that plans were already under way for next year's event but said the theme had not been decided on yet.

This year's event was hosted by specialist potato grower Tom Randell at Breck's Farm, Skeyton.

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