Brian and Janet Hill of Plan Farm, in Bute, will kindly be donating the proceeds from the auction of a vintage plough next week to the recently established RHET Argyll & Bute – an agricultural-based educational charity.

The plough was made by John Cooke, a noted manufacturer of agricultural implements and established in 1852 at the Lindum Plough Works in Lincoln. An identical plough to the one being auctioned is shown on one of his early catalogues, and as the model is an XL No.1 it is reasonable to assume the plough would certainly be from the 19th century.

Although Cooke sold ploughs throughout the world, Brian bought this plough from a farm less than sixty miles from the Lindum works in 1977. Since then it has been his prize piece of his small collection which he dispersed when he moved from Cambridgeshire to Somerset. The plough was brought up to Scotland when Brian and Janet moved to Bute 25 years ago and has since been stored in a barn loft awaiting restoration. He made the decision to auction the plough with a move to a new farm in Angus meaning he has little time to carry out any restoration.

“Janet and I have enjoyed 25 wonderful years on Bute during which time we were the first QMS island Monitor Farm and created the Taste of Bute brand, and then in 2017 I was delighted to be part of the first RHET event for the school children on Bute.

“Along with several colleagues, we had the most wonderful day courtesy of the Mount Stuart Trust, entertaining pupils from all the Rothesay schools, with live animals and experts from all rural walks of life, helping the students connect with the countryside. Sadly, leaving Bute, I will not be part of the newly established RHET Argyll & Bute, but I hope through this donation we can spur on the new group to take RHET’s concept through to our next generation.”

Euan Warnock, RHET Arygyll & Bute chair, said: “We are delighted that Brian and Janet have offered to auction off this vintage plough for the benefit of the newly established RHET Argyll and Bute group. They have been incredibly involved and supportive members of the farming community during their time on Bute and we will all be sorry to see them move on to pastures new.

“As a new local charitable group, we are always looking for funding to help us to kick start our activities with schools and teachers throughout the vast region that covers 23 inhabited islands and an area almost three times the size of Luxembourg! Look out for more news from RHET Argyll and Bute in the next few weeks.”

The plough will be auctioned at Plan Farm’s farewell gathering next Thursday, March 12, starting at 11am, with the auction taking place at 12.30pm. Anyone not able to attend can email bids for the plough to brian@planfarmbute.co.uk