THE HEYDAY OF THE HAY RAKE
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.