Website updated October 2023
The Mendip Ploughing Society was formed circa 1858 by local Mendip farmers after a competition between them and salesmen from the north country. A more detailed history of the Society can be found in the history page of the website.
The annual competitions are held on the last Wednesday of September and are dependent on the goodwill of local farmers to supply land for the next match as we have no permanent site.
The match this year is being held on Wednesday 27th September on land at Franklyns Farm, Chewton Mendip by kind invitation of the Clothier family. The actual site is near Emborough Church, off the B3139, nearest post code BA3 4SQ and there will be sign posts on the day.
This iconic Mendip event is extremely popular with local farmers, Mendipers and the general public, as a local meeting point for seeing old friends, plus the agricultural skills of ploughing, hedge laying and dry stone walling plus the showing of farm produce and novelty classes such as the heaviest pumpkin and tallest sunflower. Entry is free, no car parking charges.
Spectators will see about 100 ploughmen competing in 15 different classes, including horse ploughing, teams of heavy horses pulling ploughs to vintage tractors and ploughs and modern huge tractors pulling multi furrow ploughs and even small horticultural tractors and ploughs. At the same time there will be a demonstration of steam traction ploughing comprising two steam engines pulling a plough up and down a plot of land. To see all this there are people carriers to take spectators round the site.
While all this is going on there are the hedge laying competitions split into 3 classes, champions, open and novices and dry stonewalling for professional and novices (very hard work because competitors have to demolish the wall and rebuild it).
Not forgetting the farm produce show of hay, straw, roots and grain and the novelty classes for the heaviest pumpkin and tallest sunflower.
Having seen all that, there are delicious luncheons provided by our wonderful ladies committee (soup, cold meet and salad, biscuits and cheese at very reasonable cost, or tasty burgers and hot dogs from the hot dog stand again provided by the ladies. If you are thirsty there is the bar selling beers, ciders, wine or spirits.
Spectators and supporters are encouraged to buy some tickets for the extensive draw and winners will be announced on site later in the afternoon.
There will be trade stands for all sorts from agricultural machinery to produce.
Competitions start at 10 am and finish at 3pm with awards being announced between 4pm and 5pm.
This will be the 165th year and the 153rd meeting the Society being founded in 1858 at that time based in the village of Blagdon.
A wonderful Mendip institution which should be well supported.
The Society is affiliated to the Society of Ploughmen and the Somerset Ploughing Championship Association.
PRESIDENT: Beryl Appleyard
CHAIRMAN: Alex Bown
VICE CHAIRMAN: Stuart Tibbs
TREASURER: Maxine Golledge
JOINT SECRETARIES Jim King and Judith Ogborne
G G Bown
L O Clothier
K D Hasell
R E Hill
D J Keedwell
L Davies, MBE
P W Keen
E P J F Lyons
Mrs M Mead
Mrs J Osborne
R M Penny
P F Tincknell
A J Whitmarsh
Mrs M Bown
D B Gibbons
R W Gibson
Mrs M Hasell