'The Good Old Days'

Text by Michael Coleman. Photos by Keith Mortimer.

‘Down on The Farm’ was an exhibition at the Crediton Museum which ran through the summer of 2017. Many of the exhibits belonged either to the chairman of MDTEMG, Keith White, or to the then secretary, Michael Coleman. They included a 1930s Allis Chalmers B lent by Keith, which had been carefully manoeuvred into the restricted space, together with an mid-19th century Eddy plough handed down through Keith’s family. There were also various other items of local origin and interest owned by the White family, especially from the Sandford area where Keith lives, including a fine display of plaques made by Wrights of Sandford. Complementing these were many farm tools, implements, artefacts and other farming memorabilia from Michael’s collection from the wider rural area.

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A series of video clips ran continuously, showing a variety of old agricultural practices, including building a hayrick with horses, a car and a hay pole, pressing apples the ‘cheese’ way, steam ploughing at Ashreigney and a three horse binder.

Visitor numbers for the exhibition were at record levels, reflecting the apparent interest in the way things used to be done in the rural heartland that is Mid Devon. One visitor summed it up by commenting that it was “…. a window into a bygone age”. Unsurprisingly, the exhibition was deemed by the organisers to be a great success.

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