Quote Originally Posted by michael markey View Post
That`s an interesting comment Steve.
I was going to add to my comment that times had not changed that much down there.
I deleted it because its been a few years since I was last in Devon feared that I was out of date.
I was always a summer visitor but I know ,and its apparent from the photographs ,that the weather can be harsh.
I`d not want to be out and about with a camera like he was at times like that.
No, you're not out of date, Michael. Whilst there are of course some larger farms that are run along modern lines, there are plenty of examples of things not having moved on very much. Until only a couple of years ago, a farmer I knew used a shire horse to work his farm for the simple reason that most of his land was too steep to work by tractor. (Curiously, when the farmer died, the horse died not long after!) Only a mile away from where I live is a farm that still doesn't have mains electricity and you wouldn't have to look too hard to find other examples of that.
One more aspect that Ravilious would have had to overcome was to gain the trust of those he photographed in order to get the results he did. The farming community can be protective of itself and suspicious of anyone pointing a camera. Farming has always had to 'work around' the law here and there (it's not all like that chap Adam's farm on Countrywise!) and I can well imagine that a farmer might worry that any misdemeanours captured for ever on film might find their way to the authorities. The standard joke around here used to be that when the Ministry man came around, a certain number of sheep had to shipped from farm to farm so the count-up in the fields would tally with the number claimed for on the subsidy paperwork!

Steve