Memories of sugar beet harvesting

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I would like to thank Nicholas Watts for the very interesting and informative article on the growing and harvesting of sugar beet (Lincolnshire Free Press, April 3).

I left school at the age of 14, in 1946, and started work on a farm near Postland Station.

One of my first jobs was to help with the sugar beet harvest: A tractor and plough lifted the beet and we had to pull it up, one in each hand, knock the soil off and lay the beet in neat rows.

A beet-knife was than used to chop the tops off before throwing the beet into small heaps, which were then loaded by hand into carts and taken to a large heap.

The next stage was to load the lorry; again by hand using a beet-fork, and taking the load to the sugar beet factory at Spalding, where it was unloaded by hand.

This work was absolutely back-breaking, and it was nice to read Nicholas Watts’ article and learn of the vast technological advances developed with the production of this important crop.

Gordon Paul