The move from the land (1870 onwards)
In the period 1870-1900 there was a calamitous decline in British agriculture, due to heavy competition from imported wheat and meat. In 30 years 300,000 labourers left the land, some to work in towns, many to emigrate. Then came the 20th century, with the more intensive use of agricultural machinery and this further reduced man-power requirements. High wages in town factories accelerated the exodus. In 100 years, the populations of the two villages declined by over a third
There has very recently been a tendency for the Sibford populations to increase.