STEAM at one time played an important part in life on the farm.

The steam-powered threshing machines have been celebrated at the Acton Scott Working Farm in south Shropshire.

Tom Henderson from Hay-on-Wye and his 1901 steam traction engine have been at Acton Scott to demonstrate steam threshing.

Mike Llewellyn, County of Salop Steam Engine Society archivist has been a volunteer at the event.

“Back in the days of traction engines and threshing boxes visiting farms there was almost a party atmosphere as the threshing contractors entered the stack yard,” he said.

“It was hard work but additional neighbouring farmers and farmhands would arrive to help, with a total of 11 men required to complete the work. Cider was available all day for the workers.

“The day started for the engine driver at 5 o’clock and at ‘bang on 8 o’clock’ the engine would blow its whistle and the regulator on the engine would be carefully opened and slowly the whine of the threshing box would increase. Once ‘up to speed’ the man on the top of the box would feed in the first sheaf, and soon grain, chaff and straw would be coming out of every side of the machine.

“The 12-month process of ploughing, sowing, harvesting was completed by the threshing process.”