This threshing machine was used to thresh the grain from the stooks of corn and was the normal way to do this in the first half of the twentieth century, before the combine harvester did the job as the corn was cut in the field.
It was a labour intensive job with people taking stooks from the pile, others lobbed them on to the top where yet more people fed them into the machine. Two ladies and a man can be seen on top of the threshing machine doing this part of the job.
At least one person hooked sacks on to the back to catch the grain while others gathered up the straw and chaff. The straw would have been used for bedding animals under cover in winter and some used as feed.
The whole machine was belt driven - no protection - with power from a steam engine which had men keeping it going in good order. With a live fire in the steam engine, it's no wonder there were fires in the ricks from time to time.
There are 13 people working in this picture. Some have bailing string tied round their calves, probably to stop rats running up as the rick was slowly dismantled.
A threshing machine is nearly always seen working at the Fairford, Faringdon, Filkins & Burford ploughing match held the last Saturday in September on a farm within 16 miles of Lechlade.