They plough the fields and scatter…
Farming has been integral to village life throughout the ages and it certainly has a rich history in Ruddington. In terms of employment, the 34 farms in the parish were essential to the ever growing population, which by the early 1900s had reached approximately 2,500 people. Ten percent of the working population in Ruddington found employment on one of the farms.
While the museum curators have spared you the unpleasantness of the smell of the piggery that permeated the village and restrained themselves from allowing animals to roam the exhibition freely, it’s hoped you will still find yourself transported back without these touches. On the wall you will find photographs of local farms and farming life which show how animals were driven through the streets and hens given free rein.
The display also includes hand tools and various pieces of innovative farming apparatus. Visitors are encouraged to explore the collection to discover how the Arnold Foster Mother fed orphaned piglets, how children used crow scarers to earn a living and how sheep shearing progressed with the arrival of an innovative mechanical sheep shearer from America.
The more domestic aspects of farm life have not been neglected. Cheese and butter were very much dietary staples, as they still are today, and the museum has numerous artefacts among its collection that were used to make these dairy products. Seeing the ‘Patent Two-minute Milk Churn’ alongside the more rudimentary dairy utensils, you’ll appreciate the progression in technology.