A plough team from Chrishall in approximately 1917.  This might have been one of the last jobs this set of engines did with Drage and Kent as these engines were known to have been sold during 1917.

They are: (Lionel) Stanley Clarke on the engine.  Then left to right:  the first two are unknown, the third is Reginald Clarke, fourth unknown and fifth Charles Cranwell.

I assume they are ploughing as there is a cable running out from the engine on the left.  These cables ran down to a second engine that would be at the bottom of the field and would pull the plough head between them ploughing the field.  However I can only see one cable so I may well be wrong about this.  Please correct me!**

Assuming I have the correct Clarke’s on the 1911 census, Reginald would have been 20 and Stanley 19 at the time of this photograph.

I wonder if the boy on the far left of this picture is the ‘cook boy’?  We have an audio clip from Mr Ray Cranwell, Charles Cranwell’s son.  He also worked with Drage and Kent on the steam engines and here he describes what it was like being a ‘Cook Boy’ which was how you started with the engines:


It looks like they probably were ploughing.  Thanks to Clive Flack for the link to this great video from the Steam Plough Club which shows exactly how this type of ploughing was done.


See more about Drage and Kent.


Many thanks to Joan Clarke (Rose/Mumby) for the photograph.

D: 1910 C: 20th century