A DISPLAY looking back on a village's roots as a farming community will be open to the public this weekend.

Archivists in Goostrey have been working hard over the past weeks preparing for their third ambitious exhibition this year.

The village first mentioned in the 11th century Domesday survey grew in the 1960s from fewer than a thousand souls to more than double that size today.

But despite the rapid expansion, farming the thousands of acres surrounding the village continues to be an important feature of the local economy in dairy herds and arable crops such as potatoes and wheat and barley.

Now, Goostrey Parish Archive has switched the focus to farming by drawing on records and pictures from the collection as part of the annual Goosfest event in the display in the conservatory at the Crown Inn this coming Saturday (October 8).

There will also be old-style farming implements on show and, far too large to have inside, a display in the car park of veteran and modern machinery and equipment used since agriculture became highly mechanised.

Knutsford Guardian: The Crown Inn (Goostrey Parish Archive)The Crown Inn (Goostrey Parish Archive) (Image: Goostrey Parish Archive)

The exhibition will show how through pictures carefully collected and preserved in the collection in the Village Hall how farming developed between 1850 and 2000 and continues to thrive to the present.

Many of these will be screened on a continuous roll as proved popular with visitors during the archive's Queen's Jubilee exhibition earlier this year featuring many of the listed and other properties of interest in the village.

"In a relatively short period of time farming grew from the horse and plough era to the present day when mighty tractors costing thousands of pounds are used in the cultivation of the same fields," said Roger Burgess, archive chairman.

"In the display of pictures from the Smallwood Collection and tools and machinery, we hope to tell the story of how farming changed during this period as well as how the industrial revolution taking place in Manchester was mirrored in the revolution taking place."

One major change affected the Barnshaw estate, which was owned by Henry Mainwaring, then Lord of the Manor of Goostrey-cum-Barnshaw in the 19th century, and divided into 50-acre smallholdings and 15-acre market gardens after WWI. 

During the second half of the 20th century, these small farms were slowly amalgamated as a result of economic pressures resulting in a return of a modern version of the former feudal estate of the 19th century.

Knutsford Guardian: The Little Grey Fergie tractor (Goostrey Parish Archive)The Little Grey Fergie tractor (Goostrey Parish Archive) (Image: Goostrey Parish Archive)

The Crown Inn, previously known as the Mainwaring Arms, formed part of the estate as a working farm and pub and many villagers still remember with sadness the demolition of outbuildings in the 1960s for the car park.

Visitors are being asked to bring any photographs, artefacts and memorabilia from the village's past that can be copied and recorded for inclusion in the archive collection.

The archive meets most Tuesdays at the Village Hall between 2pm and 4pm.