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Yelden Open Fields

Rushden Echo, 3rd November 1916

Yelden—An aeroplane descended in the open fields yesterday. It was a two-seater machine and contained pilot and observer. It was bound for Rugby, we understand, and the pilot had lost his way. Descending to enquire his whereabouts the machine was damaged in the descent and failed again to rise. A telegram was sent Rugby for assistance, we understand, and the airmen were entertained to lunch by Mr. Hawkey, a special constable being left in charge of the machine meanwhile.

Rushden Echo, 20th July 1917

The Farm occupied by Mr. Fenton, comprising Yelden Open Fields, 1,129 acres, has been purchased by Mr. W. Whitehead, of Shelton Hall, for £15,300.

Rushden Echo, 5th April 1918, Transcribed by Kay Collins

Aeroplane Wreck — A machine containing pilot and observer came to grief on the open fields [at Yelden] yesterday, the aviator, we understand, having lost his direction. In the descent the machine alighted on sloping ground, and owing to insufficient speed was unable to rise with the consequences that it collided with the mantlet of rifle butts and became a total wreck. It is only owing to the fact that the occupants were strapped in their places that they escaped with their lives. The aeroplane was placed under a guard of police, who were subsequently relieved by a contingent of the Rushden Volunteers, under Lieut. G R Turner and C.S.M. Beardsmore.

The Rushden Echo Friday 3rd May 1918, transcribed by Susan Manton

Escape of a prisoner.
On Monday a handcuffed prisoner escaped from the police into the Knotting Fox woods. He had been arrested on a charge of theft near the Yelden open fields by P.C. Stevens, of Dean, who experienced great difficulty in getting the handcuffs on him. As he was being driven to Sharnbrook by the Knotting Fox woods, with an excuse he asked to get out of the trap, and with one handcuff undone, he sprang over the gate and was soon lost to sight in the wood. Inspector Bliss and Mr. N.T. Lloyd soon had the wood surrounded by special constables. Tracks were discovered pointing to the fact that he had left the wood in the direction of Knotting. Another clue was obtained that he had passed Arnoe Farm about 7pm, in the direction of Riseley.

Rushden Echo, 7th June 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

ACCIDENT TO A RUSHDEN MAN —An accident occurred on Sunday morning to Mr Taylor, of East Grove, Rushden, who whilst cycling down the hill on Yelden Open Fields into Yelden had the misfortune to get his machine into a rut in the road with the consequence that he was thrown from the machine, striking the road heavily, receiving a nasty cut over the left eye and severe bruises and abrasions on the body. Mr. Taylor was also suffering too severely from shock to be able to get home unassisted, but fortunately Mr. T. F. B. Newberry, of Rushden, was passing in his buggy, and drove Mr. Taylor to his home. From Sunday to Wednesday Mr. Taylor was compelled to remain at home, but on Wednesday, in view of the shortage of male labour, he pluckily returned to his work at Messrs. Skeeles and Son’s factory.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 10th August 1934, transcribed by Kay Collins

Breaking up Yelden Open Fields
"Tails Up" On The Remarkable Tractor With Its Gyro-Tiller

During the past few weeks curiosity has taken many people over to Yelden to see the ploughing up of the "open fields." And it h as certainly been well worth a visit.

Mr. John Hipwell, of Denford, is the farmer who is bringing the Open Fields into use. He has now broken up 450 acres, and he intends to crop the land with wheat this year.

The work is being carried out by Mr. Norman E. Box, of Broadway, Peterborough, with one of his gyro-tillers. Running day and night on Diesel oil, the amazing machine ploughs a path 10ft. wide as it trundles along at two miles per hour.

The soil of the Open Fields is not virgin, but for several years it has been covered with tough grass and stubble, and the ease with which this is turned over is extraordinary.

Imagine the fifteen-ton Fowler-Storey giant, which is capable of developing 170 horse power, gently purring as it eats up the acres. As it moves along, two sets of half-a-dozen blades rotate in the rear, turning up the rich subsoil, leaving the ground ready for seed. The work continues through the night, powerful headlamps lighting the way—and presenting an eerie picture for passersby.

It is particularly interesting to watch the machine turn in its own length. A special lever sets in motion machinery which slowly lifts the fearsome-looking blades until they are clear of the ground, and then, its tail proudly in the air, it swivels round and sets off to turn up another acre or two before re-fuelling.

All future cultivations, Mr. Hipwell informs us, will be done mechanically, and no horses will be kept on this land.

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