Easton and Otley College principal David Lawrence, guest speaker at Suffolk Farm Machinery Club’s recent annual dinner in Stowmarket, Suffolk presented awards to club members including winners in the Schemer of the Year competition a collection of bright ideas which were judged by Stewart Anderson-Cousins on members farms (see pictures below).
Bob Craigie was judged to be the Top Schemer for 2013 with his Sheep Utility Box. Cedars Farm at Alderton, on the Suffolk coast, had bought an attachment for its ATV used to pay out or rewind up to four lines of electric fencer wire for folding the farm sheep flock. The ATV couldn’t cope with the muddy conditions so Bob made a transport box for one of the farm tractors, added a pair of wheels and a seat in the box for someone to install fencer stakes at intervals and guide the wire into them. The fencer attachment was then hinged onto one side of the box and driven by one of its wheels. The runner up was Andrew Gaught of Ashbocking, north of Ipswich, with his oilseed rape drill made from various bits and pieces found around the farm. Richard Bryant of Pakenham, near Bury St Edmunds, took first prize in the Gadget’ class for a removable auger hopper box, which he attaches to the wooden retaining wall when taking the first load from his grain store. Mick Thirkettle was the runner-up with his ‘knick-knack’ rack using sixteen plastic Ovaltine jars fixed to all four sides of a piece of 4in square timber which could be rotated in its stand. Ken Hutchinson of Wickhambrook, south of Bury St Edmunds, won third prize for a simple wall-mounted drain tray for his oil jugs.
Some of the award winners at the Suffolk Farm Machinery Clubs annual dinner (standing l to r): Richard Bryant; Ken Hutchinson; top tractor driver at the summer competition, Tony Reason; Trevor Johnson, chairman of the Debenham Centre (winners of the Kerr cup and the Thurlow Rose Bowl for the inter-centre quiz and summer competition) and member of the winning Debenham quiz team, Bernard Nobes.
Sitting (l to r): Mick Thirkettle; David Lawrence and Suffolk Farm Machinery Club vice president, Tim Reeves. Ken Hutchinson’s oil jug drain tray meant an end to patches of oil on the workshop floor. It’s just a well that Mick Thirkettle likes Ovaltine. He used sixteen empty jars to make this ‘Knick-Knack’ rack and he’s saving more jars to make an even bigger one! Richard Bryants removable hopper box for the farm grain auger makes it an easy job to empty the first load from the store without spilling any grain. Judging by the standard of oilseed rape drilled on Andrew Gaughts farm using his homemade drill, it can be deemed a success. Bob Craigie’s three-point linkage-mounted Sheep Utility Box takes over when the ATV, normally used to erect or wind up electric fencing wire, gets bogged down on wet land.