IN TODAY'S age of large modern machinery, photos of bygone days provide a snapshot of simpler times. 

Harking back to times when both farms and machinery were much smaller,  Michael Mc Girr and his daughters, Marie and Bernie, are pictured above planting potatoes in the townland of Bigh, near Ballinamallard, in 1977.

This picture marks the end of an era when potatoes were grown on many farms in County Fermanagh.

The 'Pirdy Drapper' (potato dropper) as it was known was built by Tommy Fisher the founder of the well known Fisher engineering business in Ballinamallard.

The ingenious machine was built about 1953 and consisted of a hopper which held a hundredweight hessian bag of seed potatoes, and those who worked with this old machinery will know all too well the process behind it.  A potato was then dropped down the chute into the drills by the two children seated on the machine each time the bell rang.

The bell was on a ground-driven wheel, which is visible in the bottom right hand corner of the picture.

1977 was one of the last years in which this machine was used as potato and corn (oats) crops no longer fitted in with newer farming practices of the time.

The photo, and information on this fine piece of agricultural machinery, was submitted by Bernard McGirr.