The 35th Festival of the Plough

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Today sees the return of one of the Isle’s favourite traditions when the Festival of the Plough takes place.

The event came in to being as a small ploughing match for the farming community.

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But as its popularity grew, new attractions were added to make it a full family event with activities to suit everyone.

Now in its 35th year, it has raised over £200,000 to date for local charities.

The first plough was organised in 1979 and in some form or other has happened every year except when the foot and mouth outbreak closed down most of the countryside in 2001.

Over the years it has been held in and around Epworth at Mill Farm, at Low Burnham and even round by the Epworth Showground.

A flashback to the Festival of the Plough in years gone by.

A flashback to the Festival of the Plough in years gone by.

Its current site at High Burnham farm seems to suit the ever expanding list of attractions - horse ploughing, vintage tractor ploughing, steam ploughing, static tractor display, vintage cars, craft tent, poultry exhibition, model display, stationary engines and terrier racing.

This year’s festival takes place this Sunday, September 20 and begins at 10am with the Blessing of the Plough and runs till around 4pm when prize giving takes place and the main raffle is drawn.

All money raised is donated to local charities, previous worthy causes which have benefited are:

Air Ambulance; Air Cadets; Aurora - Doncaster Hospital; Crowle Blind Group; Epworth Rural Day Centre; Gainsborough Cancer Research; Grey Seals; Guide Dogs for the Blind:Hatfield, Doncaster, Thorne; Help for Heroes; Isle of Axholme Physically Handicapped Society; League of Friends: Scunthorpe, Tickhill, Goole, Gainsborough; Lindsey Lodge Hospice; MacMillan Nurses; Marie Curie; Over 60s groups; Puppet Power; St Andrew’s Hospice Grimsby; St John’s Ambulance; Thurlow Playgroup; West Butterwick Youth Group; Wish Upon A Star.

There is plenty of parking available, with special disabled parking on site.

There are facilities for caravans very local to the festival site.

There are trade stands and full onsite catering with fully licensed beer tent courtesy of Carvery and Grill.

To mark the event’s 35th anniversary a 16th month Festival calendar has been published showing how the event has changed; Axholme Brewery has produced a Festival of the Plough Ale; and a cake competition was organised by Hatty’s of Epworth.