THE HEY­DAY OF THE HAY RAKE

Countryfile Magazine - - Hay Rakes -

Un­til the 1930s, the whole com­mu­nity would be in­volved in bringing in the hay. A vil­lage joiner would carry out many other wood­work­ing jobs dur­ing the year; John’s fa­ther was also a wheel­wright. “Mak­ing rakes used to be very sea­sonal,” says John. “There would be maybe 10 or 12 peo­ple work­ing here for a few months, from May to July. Af­ter har­vest, there was hardly an­other rake sold ’til next year.” In the days be­fore farm ma­chin­ery, hay would be cut us­ing scythes and left in long par­al­lel rows across the field. Rakes would be used for turn­ing the dry­ing hay, for pil­ing it into hay-cocks and for gath­er­ing it to load onto wag­ons to take to the barn.

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