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Swing plough made by Andy Joughin of Jurby and used at Grange Farm, Lezayre

Date made: early 20th century

Maker: Joughin, Andy

Description: This iron swing plough was made by Andy Joughin, one of the best known blacksmiths in the north of the Isle of Man. It was used at Grange Farm, Lezayre, which in the early twentieth century was farmed by Robert Arthur Kermeen. During the First World War, agriculture became critical to Britain's war effort as the U-boat blockade began to bite. In the Isle of Man, farmers complained that the conscription of their labourers was actually hampering their ability to grow the food needed for survival. In May 1916, Kermeen appealed to a local tribunal against the conscription of his ploughman John William Gell, but he was unsuccessful.

Alongside ploughs and similar equipment which was bought in from agricultural suppliers in England, there is a strong tradition in the Isle of Man of the use of locally made ploughs. These items were often made by the village blacksmith, some of whom acquired a name for this type of work. The Joughins were among the best known of the Manx ploughmakers. Three generations of the family worked in the smithy at Jurby. Andy Joughin was a great source of local knowledge and contributed to the Manx Museum Folklife Survey in the 1950s. In the early part of the 20th century blacksmiths were an essential part of the rural economy, not least because they could turn their hand to more or less anything. Early cars and motorcycles were often fixed by the village blacksmith!

Materials: Iron

Object name: plough

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1959-0362


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