The high cost of oil is persuading some British farmers to consider the possibility of returning to horses.
GV EXTERIOR: Horses pulling old-fashioned bus
GV: Horses pulling brewers' drays (3 shots)
GVs: Stable lads harnessing Shire horses and leading them out of stable. (2 shots)
SV: Horses harrowing field
SV: Farmer Robin Lucas speaking
SV: Horses being led into stables
LUCAS:"Well, first of all, there's no pollution whatever. And them people that say that they'll find an alternative energy -- they'll find one, but they'll find pollution to go with it. And another thing, horse power, it will go on forever. And they return a certain amount of manure to the soil, and living off the farm, and you're independent of everybody else."
Background: The high cost of oil is persuading some British farmers to consider the possibility of returning to horses. A few farmers never entirely accepted the tractor as a substitute particularly in hilly terrain -- and a number of companies in London still use horses for short haul deliveries.
SYNOPSIS: At the turn of the century, this was a familiar London sight, when it's estimated there were two million working horses in Britain. That number dwindled with man's growing love affair with motor vehicles until ten years ago when it's reckoned horses of burden totalled just two thousand. And those were mainly tourist attractions. But now, some cost-conscious city firms are finding Shire horses more economical. They're strong and intelligent and can cover up to twenty miles (32 kilometres) a day.
Though the ascendancy of the engine meant the decline of the horse, they never entirely disappeared from farms. Their advantages are not limited to saving petrol. There's no pollution, they can live off farm produce, and the manure is a natural fertilizer. People like robin Lucas, who work with Shire horses, say there's more satisfaction than in dealing with machinery.
A pari of gentle Shires will replace one tractor; a logical reason for the trend back to basics, and to real horse power.