Stephen Richmond & Jonathan Whitlam
Duration: 3 hours and 20 minutes
First Pasture Price: £30.99
Stephen Richmond and Jonathan Whitlam explore the cultivation and harvesting of the pea crop.
The Pea Files Part 1: Peas have been grown around the Suffolk town of Lowestoft since at least the 1940s when much of the job was done by hand before the advent of machines such as the mobile pea viner. Through the use of archive footage from Anglia TV's Farming Diary in the 1960s and 70s we get a glimpse of such machinery in action. Soon such machinery was replaced by much larger self-propelled pea harvesters and these machines once again changed the process of pea farming. In 2011 the story is brought right up to date with the arrival of three new PMC 989 harvesters in the fields of Lowestoft which represent the very latest technology. This dvd shows the ups and downs of the pea growers over the decades, the advance in machinery used to harvest the crop and above all pay respect to the men and women who have harvested the most easterly peas in Britain.
The Pea Files Part 2: In 1976 FMC revolutionised the harvesting of peas with the H-2 trailed viner featuring the unique five beater planetary threshing system. This was important because it paved the way for the giant self-propelled pea harvesters of today. In this programme we trace the story of the FMC self-propelled pea harvester from the H-2 to the 679 - the worlds first pod picking self-propelled pea viner. However the story does not stop there. In 1989 FMC unleashed the 979 pea harvester, a massive six wheeled leviathan of a machine and the first to be fitted with six powered wheels. The 979 changed the pea harvest dramatically and, as we see, the six wheeled machine gradually evolved into the 979AT and 979CT as the company that built it changed from FMC to PMC. Competition from other manufacturers also led to rival six wheeled monster harvesters.
This brings us to the present day. We study the PMC 989, the first of a new generation of pea harvesters. The presenter, Stephen Richmond, has his own 989 and explains just why he likes it. Both rare archive and contemporary footage makes this a unique and fascinating programme as the story of the six wheeled pea viner is revealed. The programme finishes in style with the brand new and simply huge PMC 1089.