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Farming the past for exhibition at Wray church

The scarecrow Vicar of Wray's Holy Trinity Church welcomes parishoners.
The scarecrow Vicar of Wray's Holy Trinity Church welcomes parishoners.

How We Used to Farm – an exhibition – is to be held in Holy Trinity Church, Wray, during the Scarecrow Festival and Fair until Monday May 7.

Some of the recent exhibitions held in church during Scarecrow Week have shown the fascinating picture of the village’s substantial industrial past, now disappeared.

Farming, however, sustained the village before its industrial age arrived in the 19th century, and continued to flourish after industry fell away in the 20th.

The first 50 or 60 years of the last century was a period of significant change for the farms in the neighbourhood, both for those up on the fells and for the others down in the valley and in the village itself. What farmers did and how they lived is the focus of the exhibition during the 2018 Wray Fair.

The period saw the earliest introductions of farm workers to labour saving machinery, of farm chemicals for hygiene and disease prevention, of feed and fertilisers, and of tractors and motor vehicles for transport.

Demand for food soared during the two World Wars and farming responded with previously unheard of levels of production.But throughout these years the natural glories of the countryside in Lunesdale and up on the Bowland Fells remained largely unaffected.

Those who earned their living from the land and the growing numbers who sought it out for recreation enjoyed the best of both worlds.

All this was amply captured in the local photographic record for which Wray is famous.

The pictorial display is well supported by exhibits of period farming equipment lent by local collectors. So be sure to drop into the church during your visit to Wray.

And if you’ve got tired feet from exploring the village there’s plenty of pew space for a good rest.