Two Men Went to Mow



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James Wrathall, of Barny Rigg, near Burton-in-Lonsdale, and Isaac Wrathall, of Westhouse, two cousins, while chatting over their glasses of foaming ale, got into an exciting coversation about mowing and mowing machines, which ended in their concocting a moving match for 1 aside.

The conditions were that he who mowed an acre of grass in the least time and in the neatest manner should be entitled to the stakes. The ground was measured and marked out on Saturday afternoon, the 30th ult., in a field on the farm of Mr. John Metcalfe on the west side of the river Greta.

The combatants, in due time, with well-fed teams and their friends, assembled on the field when the two rivals tossed up for choice of ground. Isaac Wrathall, being the winner, chose the higher ground.

James Wrathall, who had two horses three-quarters blood, started off at a rapid pace, and went three times round his portion of ground while his rival went twice. It was not long before the breaking of the shackle of his knife put a check to his rapid movements, and caused some minutes delay.

His wife, who was on the field, catching the excitement of her husband, and being anxious that he should win the day, tripped along the field for another knife which was held in readiness by a spectator against a mishap.

After the injury had been repaired, Jehu-like he careered along his pathway of grass at great speed until he broke one of the blades of his knife which, with the veto of his better half, brought his mowing prowess to an unenviable termination. It was thought that if this mishap had not occurred that the speed at which Wrathall drove his horses would have exhausted them much.

Isaac Wrathall, who had a stout team well fitted for labour and endurance, began the contest with more moderation, and yet he finished his acre of grass in 50 minutes.

James Wrathall had one of Samuelson's mowing machines, and Isaac Wrathall had one of Wood's mowing machines.

Mr. Robert Procter held the stakes and Mr. James Metcalfe and John Carr, of Gracinggill, were the referees.

Note: This extract from a newspaper was reprinted in the Dalesman magazine with the note - (from a newspaper of a century ago). Unfortunately, the date of magazine is not known but thought to be in the 1950s or 1960s.
The Isaac Wrathall referred to is possibly my great grandfather.