I will now try to recall what childhood was like in the 1930’s one of the first things I remember is of a man called uncle Tom who came from Leeds, when I would be just turned four years of age and I remember he made me a Go Cart (bogey) Which I used to take the cattle food in buckets to the cows. Because we had a farm I always had plenty of friends and we used to play hide and seek and play Dare, which meant that we would challenge our friends to follow our example, when we do such things as climbing onto buildings and walking on wall tops, I also remember challenging my friends to go under a horses belly, I was lucky because being brought up with animals I had no fear of them,all though we were always told to keep away from the Bull. At the age of five I was taken to School by my mother, this was the only time that I was escorted by  mother, because we only lived perhaps 600 Yd’s away from the School. The head Mistress named Miss Boardman asked me if I wanted to go into the Babies or into form 1, because my cousin Barbara was in that form, I volunteered to go into that class, although I can remember feeling cheated, because I saw all the children having a lay down later in the day. the form I was in had its compensation though because their was a girl named Enid Jowett and as we were passing between the desks I can remember  us having a kiss, I am vain enough to hope she remembers that incident. Being on a farm had alot of advantages , because you could have all your friends and what a place to play hide and seek and of coarse when it was Hay Time we were able to have a ride on the hay wagon down into the field when the load of hay had been unloaded  onto the Hay Stack, even though we had to walk back home.I recon that I was a lucky Lad, because when I was Nine years old, my father  bought a second hand motor Wagon, it was a Chevorlet thirty hundred weight ( which meant the weight it could reasonably carry ) it cost  my father eleven Pounds,and for that it had a canopy built over the cab so that it would be able to carry more hay or corn, why I say that I was lucky was because I learnt to drive that vehicle shortly after my father bought it. What happened was that I had watched my father drive the motor Wagon, and one day when  he  had taken a load of hay of and he had gone in for his dinner climbed into the cab switched on the ignition, then pressed the starter button which was on the floor and low and behold the engine started, I couldn’t reach the clutch and brake sat on the seat, so I had to stand up, any way I managed to turn the motor wagon round ready for my father to go for another load of hay. So having proved  my self compitant it was my job after school to drive the motor wagon in the field while every  one loaded the hay, ( what a young life I had)                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Things I remember most.—Hens with chickens in the farm yard—Two young Kids which must have been a nusance, but I loved to watch them  caper across the roof tops.— My first Pet which was a two month old  sheep dog pup which had been given to me by my Dad and he had got from Harry Morphet who farmed at Huby, and was a close friend of my Dads, I named the Pup Judy, not a good name for a sheep dog —- Having my own Hiefer calf —- Playing whip and top —- playing at marbles —- Rolling Gas Tar —- Playing at Conkers —- Walking on wall tops —-climbing trees —- Riding my second  hand bike of  which I was very proud  —-  My Train set —- new  suit at Whitsontide —- Bonfire night —- Holidays with my Grand Parents at Appletreewick in Wharfedale —-These are just a few of my memories as I could write a book. 

John Carter Stott – July 2004
This article brought back happy memories for me when at the age of fourteen I was in a ploughing match at a farm which was owned by a farmer named Ian Grant. The farm was at Farsley near Bradford, which is now mostly housing and has been built on. At the ploughing match I had a pair of half legged bays – so called because they were usually half bred Clydesdale with not much feather (or hair) on their legs. The plough that I used was named a COOK plough which had a long mould board. At the Ploughing match, at which by the way I was representing Bradford Young Farmers club, I had no one to help me open out the first furrow, I had no lead man, and in spite of that I got a special prize, of which I was very proud. On looking back I think the prize would be for the youngest competitor, and not for any excellence, although at the time I felt I had made a reasonable job.

 

Favourite verse

The sun had set behind yon hills,
Across yon dreary moor,
Weary and lame, a boy there came
Up to a farmer’s door:
‘Can you tell me if any there be
That will give me employ,
To plow and sow, and reap and mow,
And be a farmer’s boy?

 

A Farmers Lad

 

It was the summer of 1938. my holiday from school, four weeks to be spent in the fields, for a lad of Nine this was certainly the life. It was July and the Hay time was in full swing. Father and mother were up early in the day, the cows were brought up from the fields, one by one they  would rise from where they had been Lying all night chewing their cud, and they would gradually appear through the early morning mist  making their way to the gate, then up the narrow lane, which had high walls that were covered with Lichen  and Moss and across the stone strewn lane, a stream gurgled through the wall, then disappeared beneath a great stone .on the opposite side of the lane. One by one the cows arrived at the farm buildings. Into the farm yard they would come their udders full of milk with the odd cow or two, milk beginning to stream from their teats. The cows first of all would make their way to a trough in the farm yard, where they would take their fill of water, what was remarkable was that in this trough  were  several fish which lived there, we had caught these fish quite a while ago in the local canal and placed them in the trough, they would now be about Six to eight inches long, they lived quite happily in there , even when the cows had almost emptied the trough, the fish would flick about until the trough was filled again. After the cows had their fill of water, they would then go into the mistal (cow shed) where they were tied up with a chain round the kneck, their were two cows to a stall, with a passage in front running the full length of the mistal this passage was called a Fotheram, Perhaps this was originally named  the Fodder them, because this is where the fodder was carried to the cattle when they were fed. Well the cows were now ready for milking, which was at that timed performed by hand, because milking machines, wher virtually unknown in the north. The cows would be fed and then milked, Mother would do the feeding, carrying the milk, letting out the cows after milking washing down the Standings,  finally washing up the dairy utensils .Father would do the milking, which would take about two hours to milk all the eighteen Shorthorn cattle. I can still remember the sound of the cattle being milked, first of all thet would be fed a mixture of Brewers grain, rolled corn with Linseed cake, then father would take his milking pail and three legged stool, he would place the three legged stool on the floor with the single leg at the rear so as when the cow moved about he was able to rock side ways.  

 

A farmers Lad 2

 

My father would then sit with the milking pail between his legs, and the sound and rhythm of the milk going into the empty pail was like music to me, and as the pail began to fill up the sound went from a high note to a lower softer note, and a through would build up on the milk, which some times when the pail was full the through would be inches above the pail rim with out any milk running down the pail. Many is the time I would take a pint pot and let my father fill it by milking the warm milk straight into the pot, then I would drink this while still warm, this I enjoyed, and I loved the smell of fresh milk. After milking the cows were returned to the field down the same old lane. We would all go into Breakfast, which would consist of cornflakes, followed by Ham and Eggs also fried bread. After Breakfast the horses would be fetched from the field, and given a feed of Bran and Oats, after they had eaten they would have their harness; they would then be taken to the field and hitched to the grass cutter.

 

SEE HAYTIME IN THIS BLOG. 

 

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