A BOOK signing was held at Wiveliscombe Rugby Club on Tuesday, April 18, to celebrate the launch of respected farmer Wesley Wyatt’s debut book 'God Speed the Plough.'

The title for the book comes from “The Farmers Toast”, a folk song that supposedly originated within the early 19th century, which features on the back cover of the book.

The car park at Wiveliscombe Rugby Club was packed to the brim, having to utilise the overflow parking, with cars spilling onto the recreation ground. Family, friends and fans of the author travelled from across the country to be at the event.

Wesley Wyatt signed copies of his book at a well attended Wiveliscombe book launch
Wesley Wyatt signed copies of his book at a well attended Wiveliscombe book launch (Tindle)

Refreshments were on hand, guests helping themselves to glasses of Prosecco, and a platter of food and hot and cold beverages making its way around the club.

People began to queue eagerly to purchase their copy of the book, which was then signed by the 91-year-old author. Afterwards, people took to their seats, and the venue began to fill up very quickly. More seats had to be added constantly to accommodate for the impressive turnout.

The event started with speeches by writer and broadcaster Anthony Gibson, followed by Mr Wyatt, who spoke about process of writing his book.

Mr Gibson said: “It was 10 months ago when I suggested to Wesley that he should write this book. But really, this book has been 91 years in the making.”

Mr Wyatt said: “It has been quite the experience, writing this book, but having a great memory helped a lot.

“I still even remember walking to Wiveliscombe School all the way back in 1937.

“However, without Anthony, none of this would have happened.

“It’s all a part of history now.”

Mr Wyatt then sat down with award winning publisher and author Stephen Chalke to speak about the details of the book.

Mr Wyatt was interviewed by Mr Chalke about his book at the event
Mr Wyatt was interviewed by Mr Chalke about his book at the event (Tindle)

They discussed Mr Wyatt’s life, which is detailed in the book. This included his interactions with ‘George’, a Kenyan nurse who was taken in by his parents after he unexpectedly turned up at Musgrove Park Hospital, and his Uncle Henry, a German hairdresser who married his Aunt Nell the day before war was declared in 1914.

Mr Wyatt’s began farming at just 17 years of age, when his grandfather bequeathed his farm in Wiveliscombe to him instead of his father, despite having little interest in going into farming at the time. “I was quite shocked that my grandfather left the farm to me" he said.

Despite this, he went on to work for 70 years within the farming industry, experiencing various hardships, including the collapse of a sheep shed, resulting in 50 sheep being destroyed.

Mr Wyatt said: “We drove horses when I first started farming, and we would only harvest one acre per day. But now, with the new technology, its nearly 20 per day.”

“God Speed the Plough” is out now and can be found through www.anthonygibsonbooks.co.uk and other major bookshops.