Title ID 3001Collection ID417
CollectionLondon Road School
ThemeWorking Life Rural Life
KeywordsFarming Labour Landscape Rural Areas Workers
LocalBurgess Hill [?]
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionA.C. Barnden
CameraA.C. Barnden
Format16mm Black & White Silent
Duration11 min.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


An educational film showing a variety of labour- and time-saving machinery used on a farm at haymaking time. Intended for use in the classroom, the film uses intertitles to ask questions and raise discussion points.


An elderly man in a suit and hat uses a scythe to cut long grass. He stops to sharpen the blade by hand. The contrast of modern machinery is illustrated with a tractor-drawn mechanical grasscutter. The improvement in speed is also shown by comparing turning the hay, first with a wooden hay rake and pitch-fork then with a horse-drawn hay turner. Other machines make light work of loading the hay onto a wagon. Hay stacks are made both by hand and a hay-stacking conveyer belt.

In the second part of the film a farmer drives a bale-making machine through a field. Diagrams explain how the machine works, and close-ups reveal the precise workings of the machine in action. Several men stack the bales in a storage shelter. The film ends by prompting the viewer to go into the fields to see these machines at work.


A still from 'Haytime' (1949?) - harvesting with a tractor

Contextual information

Mr Barnden was the headmaster of London Road School, Burgess Hill. It is likely that he made this film on a local farm. He made several films for use in his classrooms, this one being a good example of how he used film as a starting point for exploring subjects further.

Harvest time is the subject of several other films in Screen Archive South East’s collection. [Elsted Manor Farms] (1932 - 1948), In the Garden of England (1938?) and Our Daily Bread (1930s) all feature hay making.

Related titles

Related resources


Brook Agricultural Museum

The collection of the Agricultural Museum at Brook includes wagons, carts, reapers, threshers and other items connected with agricultural work.

Museum of English Rural Life

In addition to its collections of farming tools, machinery and artefacts (including examples of trugs made in Herstmonceux), the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading has a library, photographic library, and archives which include business records, agricultural research and personal papers. The Museum's database is searchable online.

Museum of Kent Life - Cobtree

The Museum of Kent Life at Cobtree is made up of agricultural buildings and holds many items relating to farming and agriculture. Country crafts are practiced and demonstrated on-site.

Rural Life Centre

The Rural Life Centre at Tilford has a collection of farm buildings and implements; subjects include hop growing, tools and crafts and a social history of village life from the 1800s covering schooling, domestic life and trades.

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

““Agriculture and domestic life are interpreted through exhibitions and displays". The Museum has a reference library "relating to vernacular architecture, building conservation and rural crafts and skills”