He's Not Muffin' About: Farmer Prepares Tractor for Gate Post Pow Wow

I don't know what it is about back roads in West Cumbria, but they just seem to have a knack for slowing you down. Whether it's a sheep casually strolling down the middle of the road, a farmer giving his hedge a trim with a tractor that's older than Methuselah, or – as I witnessed today – a full-blown tractor ballet involving a gate post and what can only be described as an industrial-sized lump hammer.

Now, I'm no expert on farming, but even I could tell this gate post wasn't going to win any prizes for sturdiness. It was about as thick as my thumb and looked like a strong gust of wind would send it waltzing off to Neverland. But the farmer, bless his cotton socks, was having none of it. He was determined to get that post into the ground if it was the last thing he did. 

He clambered up onto his tractor, which – like the gate post – had seen better days. It coughed and spluttered into life, spewing out a plume of black smoke that could have choked a crow. Then, with the kind of focus that would put a laser to shame, he began to attach what can only be described as a Heath Robinson contraption to the rear of the tractor.

I'm not entirely sure what the contraption was supposed to do, but it involved a lot of rusty chains, baling twine, and what looked suspiciously like an old ironing board. But hey, if it works, it works, right?

After about 20 minutes of head-scratching and muttering under his breath, the farmer was finally ready. He revved the engine, the tractor lurched backwards, and the Heath Robinson contraption swung into action. The gate post, however, remained stubbornly unmoved.

Undeterred, the farmer had another go. This time, the tractor lurched even further closer, and the contraption made a worrying clanking noise. The gate post, however, still refused to budge.

By this time, I was starting to wonder if I should call for help. But just as I was reaching for my phone, the farmer gave a triumphant shout. The gate post had finally moved! It wasn't exactly in the ground, but it was leaning at a jaunty angle that suggested it wasn't going anywhere fast.

The farmer climbed down from his tractor, a satisfied grin on his face. He gave the gate post a pat, as if to say, "There you go, old boy. Not going anywhere now, are you?

And then, with a final cough and splutter, the tractor trundled off down the road, leaving me standing there with a grin on my face. Because let's face it, you just don't see things like that every day.

So, next time you're driving down a back road in West Cumbria, and you see a farmer doing something strange, don't be afraid to stop and have a look. You might just witness something that will make you laugh until your sides ache.

Farmer Whacking A Gate Post


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