The Society of Ploughmen was founded in 1972. It is a registered charity run by volunteers from the farming community. It is responsible for the organisation of the British National Ploughing Championships and for managing the England World and European Ploughing Teams.
With more than 250 local ploughing societies affiliated to it and a membership drawn from ploughmen and women from all over the world, the Society is a vibrant, thriving organisation and an influential member of the World Ploughing Organization.
However, membership is not restricted to ploughmen and women alone. Anyone can join and there are many members who joined purely out of a love of farming and the countryside.
Read more details of membership.
The Lord Plumb of Coleshill DL
Good ploughing still lies at the heart of proper soil management and the Society's main aim is to encourage and promote the art and skill of ploughing. Ploughing not only improves soil structure by helping drainage and aerating the soil, it also helps to preserve the land for future generations of farmers.
'New blood' is actively encouraged by the Society and the annual Young Farmers Championship attracts a growing number of entries each year, and increasing number of whom are girls.
To fulfil our objectives successfully, the Society needs the support companies and individuals through donations and sponsorship. We also need the support of a large membership of both ploughmen and women and people with a love of farming and the countryside.
So why not help us do that and become a member.
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The Society of Ploughmen was formed in 1972 to enable the British National Ploughing Championships to be held annually.
The first twenty-one British National Ploughing Championships were organised by the British Ploughing Association which unfortunately foundered financially after holding the 1971 World Ploughing Contest in Somerset.
A meeting was arranged in a village pub in the Doncaster area which was attended by eighty enthusiasts from as far afield as Cornwall, South Wales and Central Scotland. It was unanimously decided that a new society be formed and a working party was nominated to formulate the aims of the new society. Donations were given and £84 was collected by the end of the meeting for the new society.
The working party - consisting of the following representatives -
Northern England - W Shield & F E Elliott; Midlands - K H Chappell & H H Robson;
East Anglia - A V Gardiner; Southern England - L Groves, H Samuel & N Tamblin;
Scotland - W Ewan & W Dick; Wales - T Jones & J M Tanner; Acting Secretary - A Hall
- had several meetings and the inaugural meeting of the Society of Ploughmen was held at Agriculture House, Knightsbridge, London on 27th July 1972. The resolution to form the Society of Ploughmen was put forward by Lord Lonsdale and approved by the 38 people present.
The articles of association were drawn up by the working committee and the Society was incorporated as a Limited Company. The first Directors were elected on 17th October 1972.
The 1972 British National Ploughing Championships were organised by the East Suffolk Farm Machinery Club with the help of many ploughmen from all parts of the country and the profit of £1,054.04 was given to the Society of Ploughmen.
Ken Chappell (senior) 'volunteered' the services of his two sons - Ken and David - as joint secretaries and found a site at Thorpe Willoughby, near Selby, North Yorkshire for the 1973 Championships. The match was a great success and the Society of Ploughmen has since gone from strength to strength.
Ploughing matches are held across the UK and throughout the year. They offer the chance for both novice and experienced ploughmen and women to take part. It's also a fantastic day out for families and people who enjoy the countryside and rural living.
The high point of the British competition ploughing season is the annual British National Ploughing Championships. With classes for conventional, reversible and horse-drawn ploughs as well as vintage tractors and ploughs.