Farmers lifelong work aims for record book

PUBLISHED: 13:54 13 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

COMBINED WORK: From left, Frank Oyston, John Jarman and Lew Hitch

COMBINED WORK: From left, Frank Oyston, John Jarman and Lew Hitch

THREE farmers have lived and worked in Steeple Morden for a total of 242 years. Frank Oyston, 81, of Frandor Farm, Lew Hitch, 81, of Greenman Farm and John Jarman, 80, of High Farm, went to Steeple Morden School together, worked on neighbouring farms and

The machines of their trade.

THREE farmers have lived and worked in Steeple Morden for a total of 242 years.

Frank Oyston, 81, of Frandor Farm, Lew Hitch, 81, of Greenman Farm and John Jarman, 80, of High Farm, went to Steeple Morden School together, worked on neighbouring farms and have lived in the same village all their lives.

They were recently visited by the Tractor and Machinery magazine and jumped on their combine harvesters to mark the occasion.

Reg Rogerson, the mechanic who organised the event, said: "We have put a challenge to the rest of the country to see if any other village can come up with something better.

"We want to be in the Guiness Book of Records."

Frank said: "It was a lovely feeling just to get my two mates over and our three combines."

Frank, Lew and John have all followed in their father's footsteps and have grown up on farms from the age of 10.

"By the time we left school we were driving horse and carts but we didn't know any different," Lew said. "We just got on with it because we loved it. I particularly enjoyed ploughing with a team of horses and sharing my lunch with my dog."

The men said they are all used to hard work and long hours.

"The only time we sit down is when we're on a tractor," Lew said.

Over the years changes in farming have made life easier for the three farmers.

"The fields were full of workers and it was all manual labour but now lifting is now done by tractor," Frank said.

"In some ways I would like to go back to how farming was. It may be a lot easier today but there's a lot of hassel. Years back you had time to do farming but today you haven't because of all the red tape.

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