Annual Haigh, Aspull and Blackrod Ploughing Competition, held today and for the third year running kindly supports Bolton Mountain Rescue Team

Today the annual Haigh, Aspull and Blackrod Annual Ploughing Competition took place, hosted on the land of Brinsop Hall Farm, off the A6 Chorley Road, Westhoughton, Bolton, in great dry and sunny weather.

It is the seventh event to be held in the borough after Blackrod Town Councillor and ex farmer Graham Farrington revived the contest following a fifty year break.

Competitors will be travelling from far and wide to take part in the ploughing competitions.

A variety of ploughing / tractor competition classes were held, including young farmers and classic ploughs, the overall aim being to plough the neatest area of land.

Donations at today’s event were for the third year running, kindly in support of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.

Charles Heeley, the owner of Brinsop Hall Farm, kindly yet again hosted this years event on his land.

Back in September 2010, the team was involved in a search at Brinsop Hall Farm for the uncle of Charles Heeley, with sadly 83 years old Mr Charles Gordon Gregory, known as Gordon, being found deceased by the team in a pond near the farm. (Please see website ‘News’ item dated Friday 24th September 2010, Incident 80)

Following the funeral of the late Mr Charles Gordon Gregory, a substantial donation of £542.00 was kindly made to the Bolton MRT in lieu of flowers, to the memory of Gordon Gregory.

Over the last two years of this ploughing competition, £760.00 has been thoughtfully raised to support the work of the Bolton Mountain rescue Team.

Blackrod Town Councillor and former farmer Graham Farrington decided to revive the traditional contest after a 50-year break.

Before the lapse in the competition there were regular ploughing events held in Blackrod until the 1920s — with Cllr Farrington’s father taking part.

Cllr Farrington said: “Ploughing is something of an ancient art and it is a lot harder and more skilful than a lot of people realise.”

“The competition is a good way of showing off the skill that farmers have, because the ploughing has to be inch-perfect if it is done correctly.”

Mr Farrington, now aged 76, won the original competition when he was 17 years old and he has a certificate marking his own father’s victory when he was at a similar age.

He said: “A lot of people are interested in the vintage machinery used and we often get people coming from far and wide to enjoy the show.”

Ploughing began this morning at 10am and the judges’ decisions were announced early this afternoon.

We attended todays competition with our Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulance ‘Bolton Mobile 3,’ and our Volkswagen Crafter van based Incident Control Vehicle ‘Bolton Mobile 6,’ to show our support for this great local event.

Team members attending included our Equipment Officer – Vehicles Neil Aspinall, Trainee team member Heath Doran, Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Michael Wakerley.

The team wishes to thank Charles Heeley and all associated with todays event for their appreciated kindness in continuing to thoughtfully support Bolton Mountain Rescue Team in this unique manner

Please also see website ’news’ entries; Incident 80-2010 dated Friday 24th September 2010, website ’guestbook’ entry dated Tuesday 28th September 2010, Friday 7th January 2011, Thursday 14th November 2013, Sunday 28th September 2014, Wednesday 10th December 2014 and Friday 25th September 2015.