Ploughing skills make all the difference between a successful or unsuccessful crop and today ploughing matches continue to be strongly fought in the Brook area.

 George Humber tells how: In about 1901 there was a big ploughing match in the large field by Hanover House. The ploughman from the Royal Estate at Whippingham came over (he and his horses would have walked all the way, he in hobnail boots). Everyone noticed he had goldtopped (probably brass) pegs to mark out his acre - while everyone else would have used sticks. My great grandfather, George Humber, beat the Royal ploughman!

The local farms were not slow to take on modern machinery. Carol Worrall (Woolbright) remembers being woken up early in the morning in Briar Cottage by an almighty bang as the tractor was started by a cartridge which made a huge noise like a shotgun going off. David Hookey of Downton Farm restored the tractor and used to fire it up by hitting the cartridge with a hammer.