Nov 25 2015
On Sunday 27th September 2015, we reported that the annual Haigh, Aspull and Blackrod 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 was 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 travelled 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 the 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 has previously stated: “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 has previously 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 on the morning of Sunday 27th September at 10am and the judges’ decisions were announced in the afternoon.
The team attended the 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 who attended included our Equipment Officer – Vehicles Neil Aspinall, Trainee team member Heath Doran, Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Michael Wakerley.
The team at the time thanked Charles Heeley and all associated with this years event for their appreciated kindness in continuing to thoughtfully support Bolton Mountain Rescue Team in this unique manner.
Today we are very pleased to announce the receipt of a very kind letter from Mr Charles Heeley of Brinsop Hall Farm, Westhoughton, by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE;
“Dear Bolton Mountain Rescue Team,
Haigh Aspull and Blackrod Annual Ploughing match was held in September at Brinsop Hall Farm, Westhoughton.
The event is organised by Mr Graham Farrington of Barkers de Lane Farm, Blackrod, at my request with a view to provide a donation to Bolton Mountain Search and Rescue.
The event raised £630.00.
Please find enclosed a cheque for the above amount.
Yours sincerely C.G Heeley.”
The whole team membership is amazed with this very kind and thoughtful donation, and we extend our thanks to Charles Heeley for hosting this annual event and to Blackrod Town Councillor Graham Farrington for organising this great local event.
Of course we never in the team forget how this kind, appreciated and continuing support of the Bolton MRT came about, and we remember with this donation the memory of the late Mr Charles Gordon Gregory, who was known as Gordon,
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, Friday 25th September and Sunday 27th September 2015.