September 18, 2008

Denys McCracken: Daft Laddie Days – Bogged doon in the barley

By Denys McCracken

Bogged doon in the barley

I finally escaped from me last farm and went to work on a farm near Alnham. The boss employed an ex-German prisoner Herman who had married an English lass. He also employed another Daft Laddie like me called Howard who was the same age.

The boss had bought a Ransome trailer combine and an old Case tractor to pull and power it. It had been very wet and when we got into the first field of barely, some places were so soft that we sank in quite a way.

One day Howard was sitting above the intake of the combine raking the barley in as it was so flat after the weather and was getting stuck. Looking back now this was a very dangerous caper. I was in a much safer spot on the bags on the side and Herman was driving the Case pulling it all along. The boss spent his time running around on the diesel Ferguson tractor seeing all was well.

Eventually we got stuck. Nee bother man: the boss hooked on the front with the Fergy and with a bit of throttle we got out grand. Shortly afterwards we went in again and got both tractors stuck so we were a bit stumped. But help was at hand in the form of our next door neighbour with Tommy's David Brown Cropmaster tractor who pulled the boss out first and then the Case.

To avoid further problems and to clear this soft spot it was decided to go round a few times with all three tractors pulling the combine. This went like clockwork and finally the boss decided we were clear and put his hand up cavalry fashion to tell everybody to stop. Tommy did, but Herman was watching the combine and ploughed into the back of the Cropmaster smashing the radiator.

Not only that, but he pushed the Cropmaster into the Fergy and smashed its radiator anaal. Howard and I were too scared to laugh, but when the boss leapt off the Fergy and let fly at its wheel with his "Simonside" shoes on, and then started jumping around hugging his sore foot, it took a lot of self control on our part te had worsels tigithor.

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