The Black Shed, an open fronted barn, houses a collection of farm machinery, stationary engines

and other equipment. Before the introduction of electricity to the farms, the farmers required

portable power sources to drive the smaller items of machinery. The engines, referred to as

stationary engines, usually ran on petrol or paraffin but some ran on diesel or gas. They were

single cylinder, water or air cooled, and would drive machinery by means of a flat leather belt.

The machines themselves were often used for processing animal feed, examples being cake crushers,

root cutters, winnowers, seed dressers and various forms of grain mills. Cake, referred to cattle

cake, very large slabs of commercially made feed that had to be broken down to a usable size.

Winnowers were large box affairs with a fan, driven by a stationary engine or sometimes by hand,

that caught the falling grain in the moving air-stream. The grain would fall out at a rate

determined by its size and weight and suitably placed cutouts and sieves would then separate

the chaff and seeds from the required grain. Working demonstrations of some of these processes

are given on the Open Days.

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