Farming – in the Wadkin Archives

Margaret and Hazel Wadkin’s collections reflect their roots in the farming community and friendship with the farming families of Hickling. Hazel’s collections and books contain many photographs and recollections, so these have been uploaded to their own page, here.

Wadkin Archive material which is specific to individual farms and families can be found in the paragraphs on the ‘main page’ and on the separate ‘house’ and ‘family’ pages. We are gradually uploading all of this material; if you are interested in material which hasn’t been uploaded yet, please contact us.

In the News:

Transcriptions of these news articles can be found on a separate page: click here

In the Books:

Scrapbook of Hickling:

  • (p.19) 1899 Mr. Torr of Hickling Pastures (now Turnpike Farm) “in a mad frenzy with drink” shot his daughter in mistake for his wife as she ran out of the door.
  • (p.22) Census records: 1851/1861/1871:
    • Farmer: 19/21/19
    • Farm servant: 8/1/12
    • Farm houser: 2/0/0                     
    • Farming bailiff: 1/0/0                  
    • Malster & farmer: 1/0/0
    • Agricultural labourer: 18/21/41
    • Cowman: 1/1/3
    • Dairymaid: 0/4/1
    • Plough boy: 15/0/0                     
    • Plough driver: 0/3/8
  • (p.32) The Fox and Hounds: This public house was situated at Hickling Pastures on what was the Turnpike Road. It is now a private farm owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs Frank Birch
  • (p.42) Threshing Machine. Great excitement would be in the village when the thresher came sometime during early winter. The noise from the drum was rather loud, dust and chaff everywhere and all the workers were very black and dirty, there were of course many rats. Farmers and farm workers went round helping each other until all was finished.
  • (p.43) Milkman. Milk was bought from local farmers, there being no delivery men. If cream was required an extra pint was bought, put into a basin and left to stand until the next day, then the cream taken off the top. Cows were often milked in the fields away from home and the farmer would carry his churn fixed between two large iron wheels and pulled by a long handle. If the farm was larger the milk was taken to Widmerpool Station by horse and float to go by train to Nottingham. Milking was of course all carried out by hand. During the 1940’s and 1950’s a Mr. S. Barnes from Kinoulton had a milk round in Hickling bringing a churn in the boot of his car and measuring the milk into a jug at the door.
  • (p.50) Travellers from possibly Gloucestershire came once every two years. They would arrive in six to eight wagons pulled by horses, the wagons having black tarpaulin covers like curtains open at the back. They sold farm and garden implements, buckets of every kind, brushes, all sizes of nails sold by weight. They stayed in a local farmers field at night.
  • (p.51) 1894 John and William Mann to Nottingham on a Wednesday and Saturday. Hollingworth’s business in cattle transport started in the late 1920’s by Mr. E. Hollingworth with his motor-bike and sidecar . On market days he would collect from the farmer either one calf or one sow in his sidecar and take it to Melton then return to collect the piglets.
  • (p.60) Floods. Hickling has always been known for flooding. Outside Water Lane Farm, Church Farm, Bridegate Lane corner, Clawson Lane where the Dalby brook runs under the road and a t the top of Faulks Lane were, and indeed still are the places affected by flooding after continuous rain. On August Bank Holiday 1922 the ‘ Church and Chapel ‘ flood joined and the water reached the front doorstep of ‘ Rose Cottage ‘ and the top step of  ‘Yew Tree House ‘ opposite , the bridge over the brook on Clawson Lane was washed away. A number of houses had water in the downstair rooms, animals and poultry were drowned. Although the floods have joined a number of times since this was the highest water level anyone can remember. Clawson Lane was quite often closed and traffic diverted round by Nether Broughton. Consecration of the new cemetery in 1955 had to be postponed from January to May because of flooding on the lane.
  • (p.65) 1916 It was resolved at a largely attended meeting of residents from Upper Broughton, Nether Broughton, Old Dalby and Hickling to unite and join the Nottinghamshire Nursing Federation to which our District Association would be affiliated, and help in selection of a nurse and provision of a bicycle and medical dressings. District cost would be approximately £70 per year each parish paying an annual £18. Families desiring benefit would become members with subscriptions as follows:- Labourers – wages not exceeding 20/- per week a minimum of 2/6d per annum; Artisans & small trades people – 4/- – 5/- per annum; Trades people and farmers 5/- – 10/- per annum. Nurse to reside at Nether Broughton. Services to be free to members and their families and those in receipt of Parish Relief except in cases of confinement and infectious cases, the latter may be nursed at a special fee of 5/-. A Parish Meeting to be called to ascertain the views of the parishioners.
  • (p.98) 1931. To be sold by auction under the will of the late Mr. Geo. Simpson, by Shouler and Son at the ‘Plough Inn’. Dwelling house, farm buildings, butcher’s shop and slaughterhouse, grass paddock at the rear the whole approximately area of 2a Or 34p. (Rose Cottage) Bought by Mr. Donald Simpson son of the late owner.
  • (p.98) January 1897. To be sold by auction at ‘The Wheel Inn ‘ on 18th January 1897 at three for four o’clock. The Manor House, Home Farm and Premises occupied by Mr. Samual Marshall. Grass land in Clawson Lane in lots also about 240 acres of land occupied by Mr. Marshall and others lying between Green Lane and the road leading to Widmerpool, also the Farmhouse and premises occupied by Mr. White Cat the top of the Manor Drive) . The Manor House was sold for £1,040, land known as Thumberers made £27 per acre.
  • (p.99) In 1904 the farmhouse (now known as ‘The Ruins’ owned and occupied by Mr. And Mrs. J. Barnes) occupied by Mr. White was sold off from The Manor for £225. The Manor House belonged to Mr. Samual Marshall who shot himself in 1915.
  • (p.99) 1916 House and land bought by Mr. Brent Stubbs for £900, he immediately sold a great deal of standing timber for £200 which was felled. The house later belonged to the following: – Richard Copley 1920’s, Kirk,Wilfred Morse, who sold in 1939 to Mr. & Mrs. R.W. Baker Ashworth for £1,700 . Mr. Ashworth sold in 1960.

(p.91) May 1908 Sale by auction at ‘ The Wheel Inn ‘ at 4 for 5 o’clock the estate of G. H. Collishaw deceased.

  • lot 1. Brick and tile farm- house and buildings, situated in Main Street. Large orchard etc .a field and pasture lane having large frontage to Main Street and Bridegate Lane, the whole containing an area of 12a 3r 20p or thereabouts . The house contains dining, drawing and breakfast rooms, kitchen, dairy, cheese room, 6 bedrooms, two attics and usual out – offices. The buildings consist of granary, gighouse, cartshed, calf places, piggeries, cowsheds for 11 beast, stabling for 2 horses. Sold to Mr. J .W. Collishaw for £1,500. Now known as Elm Farm owned and occupied by Mr. & M . V. S.Walker and son John.
  • Lot 2. Large brick and slated farmhouse and buildings, orchard and garden. 4 fields of rich pasture land total area 33a 2r 11p or thereabouts. The house contains large dining room and drawing rooms, kitchen, dairy, 6 bedrooms, usual out – offices. The buildings consist of barn, stable, cow hovels for 18 cows, calf places etc. Bought in at £2,150. Now known as Water Lane Farm owned and occupied by Mr. R. (Bob) Collishaw.
  • Lot 3. Field of rich grass land 12a 1r 13p known as Bridegate Close adjoining lot 1 and having large frontage to Bridegate Lane. Lots, 1, 2 and 3 were in the occupation of Mr. G. H. Collishaw until his death and are now occupied by his widow. Bought by Mr. Cupit of Saxondale for £595.
  • Lot 4. 3 Cottages situated in Main Street near the Wharf with gardens and out offices, one occupied by Mrs. Marson and the other 2 at present unoccupied. Bought by Mr. J. A. Squires for £65.10s. Now occupied by Mr. & Mrs. Peter Marriott, Mrs. Marriott nee Hilda Squires.
  • Lot 5. Plot of land with windmill thereon situate in Mill Lane containing approximately 39 perches. Sold to Mrs. A. F. Shelton for £27. 10s, later sold again and now rented by Mr. R. Collishaw
  • Lot 6.  5 Cottages situated at the back of the Council School, out-offices, gardens, orchard adjoining, 2 in occupation of Messrs. Jeffrey (chimney sweep) and Lester the remaining unoccupied. Bought by Mr. Wm. Burnett for £245. Now owned by Mr. H. Hartshorn.
  • Lot 7. Brick and slated dwelling house situated in Main Street and 3 cottages adjoining with orchard and small paddock about 3 roods fronting to Main Street and Bridegate Lane in the occupation of Messrs. Corner, Squires, Parr and Collishaw producing an annual rent of £27.10s Bought by Mr. J. Dickman for £405
  • The 5 cottages, “fhe Bowling Green ‘ and Sheredean ‘ were then owned by Mr. Granville Hopkinson then following his death, Miss. Hopkinson of Malt House Farm. Miss. Hopkinson left this property to Mr. John Edwin Woolley who eventually sold the whole lot by auction in November 1951 and was bought by Mr. Arthur Page. Mr. & Mrs. Page (nee Sybil Parr ) moved into ‘Sheredean’ in February 1952, the row of cottages being rented to tenants for 2/6d per week plus 1/- per week rates.

Hickling: Reflections of Yesteryear:

  • (p.15) Mr. John (Jack) Parkes  Mr. Parkes was born in the thatched house which stood on Faulk’s  Lane. He married Mary (Polly) Harriman and farmed at Church Farm.
  • (p.37) Hickling School. For many children attending school meant a long walk from outlying farms and lodges and from Hickling Pastures. During the Summer months often they would take a short cut by walking across the fields but when the land was wet this was not possible. As these children could not go home for dinner they brought sandwiches.
  • (p.62) At the mid-day dinner very often the pudding was eaten before the main course. Meat was expensive and it was felt that a good steamed pudding partly satisfied the appetite and therefore not so much meat was needed. Rabbit stew, rabbit pie and pigeon pie was eaten regularly. Farms were completely different from what we know today. The farmer kept just a few cows, the surplus milk sold locally and the rest made into butter and cheese. A number of people kept just one cow, often some distance from the village. The man of the house milked the cow in the field before going to work perhaps cycling or walking some miles. On returning home in the evening he again went and milked, bringing the milk home in a churn held between two large iron wheels which he pushed. Milking of course was all done by hand, milking machines hadn’t arrived. On slightly larger farms where there would be a larger supply of milk the churns were collected daily by either the Nottingham co-operative Society or by Mr. Wilf Woolley of Barland Fields, who took this to Long Clawson dairy. Stilton cheese was made and kept until it was blue. Once a year it was packed in straw and taken to be sold at Melton Cheese Fair. A number of smaller farmers also made Colwick cheese and this was taken to Nottingham along with the new stilton known as ‘green stilton’.
  • (p.65) Mrs. Mary Rose known to most children as ‘Granny Rose’. She came to Hickling from Riseholme in Lincolnshire and later married Thomas Clement Rose. Mr. & Mrs. Rose created a reputation for their ability in making stilton cheese and butter.
  • (p.92) Hickling appeared to change little between the two world wars. The majority of land round the village was grass but with the onset of the second war farmers had to undergo a change. Crops such as sugar beet and beans not normally seen in this area became a common sight along with oats. Root crops such as mangolds were grown for animal food. Farmers were only allowed to grow crops as instructed by the Ministry of Agriculture. As in the first war all windows were obliged to be fitted with a blackout blind. Mr. Herbert Swanwick, a retired policeman was engaged as a special constable in the village. He walked or cycled around at night to ensure there was not the slightest sign of a light showing.

Farming – pages 61-63:

Many families kept a pig for the house, which when killed would provide food for many months. A ‘pig bucket’ was kept under the sink in which all scraps and peelings were put. Following the killing of the pig, during the winter months, ensured that the housewife and any willing friends were exceptionally busy for several days. Pork pies, sausage, brawn and haselet were made. A pigs fry was given to friends. This was made up of one or two slices of liver, heart, kidney, pork and pork fat neatly arranged on a plate and covered with some of the pigs ‘veil’. It was considered extremely unlucky to wash the plate after receiving the gift but to return this dirty. Bacon flitches were put into large sinks or tile lined troughs in the dairy and cured in salt petre, later they were covered in muslin and hung from the beams. From these, joints were cut when required and boiled. This bacon was eaten with toast for breakfast. The water in which the bacon was cooked was left to get cold and the lard then taken off for baking. The small bones left from the pig which still had a little meat on were made into boney pie. This entailed putting the bones into a pie dish and covering with pastry. The pie was eaten cold when the meat had fallen from the bones and set in its own jelly, delicious with mashed potatoes and chutney. Any scraps of fat left were rendered down and the crispy pieces left known as scratchings, eaten with salt these were most enjoyable. It was said that all the pig but the squeak was used! Pork pie, mustard and dry toast was the traditional Christmas breakfast and indeed in many families this is still so.

At the mid-day dinner very often the pudding was eaten before the main course. Meat was expensive and it was felt that a good steamed pudding partly satisfied the appetite and therefore not so much meat was needed. Rabbit stew, rabbit pie and pigeon pie was eaten regularly. Farms were completely different from what we know today. The farmer kept just a few cows, the surplus milk sold locally and the rest made into butter and cheese. A number of people kept just one cow, often some distance from the village. The man of the house milked the cow in the field before going to work perhaps cycling or walking some miles. On returning home in the evening he again went and milked, bringing the milk home in a churn held between two large iron wheels which he pushed. Milking of course was all done by hand, milking machines hadn’t arrived. On slightly larger farms where there would be a larger supply of milk the churns were collected daily by either the Nottingham co-operative Society or by Mr. Wilf Woolley of Barland Fields, who took this to Long Clawson dairy.

Stilton cheese was made and kept until it was blue. Once a year it was packed in straw and taken to be sold at Melton Cheese Fair. A number of smaller farmers also made Colwick cheese and this was taken to Nottingham along with the new stilton known as ‘green stilton’.

Hens wandered freely round the yard. During the warm weather when eggs were plentiful the surplus was preserved in stone jars and bowls in a substance known as water glass. Stone jars were also used for salting beans to be used in the winter. Fruit from the garden and orchard was made into jams and jellies, apples laid out not touching each other, in a loft and this way kept perfectly until the following Spring.

Heavy horses and carts were used for the farm work. Most farm yards had their manure heap in the middle of the yard, convenient for cleaning out the cow hovels and loading the cart. Farm work was extremely hard as all the jobs were carried out by hand, haymaking and harvest particularly so. Meals were packed into a basket and taken by the farmer’s wife or daughter to the men working in the fields.

During the winter the threshing engine went round the farms in turn, the farmers and their men all moved around the village helping neighbours. Farm dogs had a great time during threshing as rats were in abundance. At the end of the day all the men, in the teens of them, would go into the farmhouse where an enormous meal was laid out which somehow the farmer’s wife had had time to prepare and cook. When farmers needed to buy or sell beast before the days of livestock transport, a drover was employed. At one time Nottingham market was used but following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease Melton became favourable. ‘Bones’ as the drover was known would often arrive with his dogs in the village the evening before market day and would sleep in an outbuilding. Next morning he had an early start and could be heard shouting all the way as he walked the cattle to market. Animals bought that day would be brought home by ‘Bones’. During the wintertime not only could his voice be heard as he returned to the village, the light of his lantern shone in the darkness. If there were no beast to drive back he would be offered a lift by horse and cart but refused as he preferred to walk. He usually received a meal at one of the farms. His son ‘Cloggy’ joined him in the business, later taking over.

Along Bridegate Lane up what is still known as Garden Lane was an eight acre allotment field also some gardens along the road side. As the name suggests Bridegate Gardens were situated up that lane, a nine acre field adjacent to the cricket field. This was divided into quarter acre plots each with a path up the middle, some people shared one allotment. A number of people renting these gardens also had a vegetable garden at home. One of the last people to use these allotments was Mr. William Parkes in the late 1940′ s. Mr. Parkes and his brother Walter could regularly be seen pushing their wheelbarrow containing gardening tools up Bridegate Lane. Walter died in 1955, William in 1972 aged 85 years. They lived in what is now known as Mulberry House occupied by Mr.& Mrs. K. Brown. William and WaIter never had electricity taken to the house nor mains water connected, preferring to use their own pump in the yard.

Notes relating to the Bell family of Beech House in the 1870’s: one day a labourer of Mr. Bell’s was ploughing a field of very heavy land with a team of four horses. He had not been working long when the plough turned up a wasp’s nest. Both men and horses were badly stung and the work suspended. It was resumed in the afternoon, but had scarcely begun when another nest was turned up. After that it was quite impossible to get the horses into the field which remained unploughed for that year. Not very far from Hickling were some iron workings where iron ore was dug for the ironworks near Melton. The local vicar’s wife with a friend was passing by one very hot summer day and stopped to watch the men at work with their pickaxes, the sweat pouring down their faces. “That must be very hard work” she said to one of them “I wonder you don’t try blasting” the reply came quickly “Ay, Mam, we do, blastin’ an’ darnnin’ an’ all, but it don’t do much good.

Maggie’s Memories:

  • (p.3) CHRISTMAS at Rose Cottage as I remember when a girl. Uncle Alf and Aunt Lily and Cousin Rowly Pepper always came to stay over Christmas, they lived at Melton Mowbray. For Christmas dinner roast beef was a must. And one of the vegetables, salted kidney beans, home made plum pudding and brandy sauce. Boxing Day dinner was cockerals (which Uncle Alf brought as a present) and all the family came for tea and supper. Tea consisted of tinned fruit, jelly, blancmange and custard, bread and butter, cakes and Christmas cake. For supper home cured ham and home made pork pie, Stilton cheese, mincepies and lemon curd tarts baked in individual patty tins (and these were quite large against todays pastry tins which are in sets of twelve or six) and of course trifle with always tea, and tea only to drink. The best dinner and tea service were brought out and washed so carefully and always used at Christmas. Huge fires would be burning in both front rooms from early morning and always during Boxing Day evening. There would be a family sing-song around either the piano in one room or the American organ in the other and Donny would play either his violin or comet with Emmie or myself on piano or organ. After a good sing-song the older ones would settle down for a game of cards and the younger ones with the usual festivity games.
  • (p.6) The pump at Rose Cottage, never as long as I lived there, went dry, it was soft water and used for everything. Donnie watered the beast during winter, we used it for washing, it was wonderful clear water, and in a dry time during the summer several farmers fetched six or more chums of water in carts for their beast. At the canal end of Hickling the well water at the houses was not good and eight or more families fetched water most days from Rose Cottage pump. The men used buckets and yokes, the houses near, like ‘The Elms’, ‘Yew Tree House’ and ‘Water Lane’ the women folk would nip over with a bucket perhaps twice daily.
  • (p.7) In the winter when it was too cold for us to play outside, Lucy and I were allowed to go into the warm cheese room at Water Lane, where we could sit and read and write, we also roasted apples on the top of a round black stove which stood in the centre of the room, a lovely sight it would be these days to see the cheese rooms of every farm house filled with dozens of homemade Stilton like when I was a girl.
  • (p.9) Methodist Sunday School Anniversary Day at Rose Cottage was an occasion, afternoon service then home for tea where fourteen or more would sit down to tea using Granny Simpson’s best tea service, the hand painted wild roses, then evening service and back home to supper, often bringing one or two other visitors from the surrounding villages for supper, the best dinner service was used, everything was home made and it was tradition to have home cured ham, Stilton cheese and curd cheese cake for supper. The Anniversary always took place on the last Sunday in June (Hickling Feast) they were happy days.
  • (p.11) Mr. Joseph Keyworth. Farmer lived at Kinoulton Grange (now Sherwood Farm) with his family of seven, he was a Methodist Local Preacher and drove down to afternoon and evening service each Sunday in his pony and trap, he put his pony in one of the stables at Rose Cottage, each Christmas Granny Simpson would receive a couple of rabbits in payment. We choir girls at Chapel never liked Mr. Keyworth as a preacher, he was long winded, serious and not the slightest sense of humour, whatever the weather some of the Keyworth’s had to attend Sunday service.
  • (p.14) Hay Making Time It was the custom when I was a schoolgirl for the farmers to start mowing for haymaking on Sunday School Anniversary Monday or as it was known Hickling Feast weekend and was always the last weekend in June. (I can never remember any Feast celebrations, but in my cuttings of old Grantham Journals it speaks of them). We would hear the mowing machine pulled by horses going by at 4 a.m. to get the work done before the sun was too hot, the mower would return by 9 a.m. in time for a good solid country breakfast. There weren’t any Tractors at all, the work done by horses and machines. The women worked in the hay field, they would hand turn the hay with a long handled fork, then it would probably rain and the following day the hay would need turning again. Granny Simpson had two fields on Kinoulton Lane (opposite what is now Sherwood Farms). Grandfather Simpson rented them and they belonged to the Kinoulton Estate which was sold on July 8th 1919 and Granny Simpson bought them, costing £700. The fields were called ‘Moor Close’ and ‘Wilson Reigate’. The tithe for this land was an annual £8. 10s. 11d. When haymaking time came round, one of these fields was mown, sometimes the hay stack would be in the field and sometimes the hay brought home and the stack built in the yard at Rose Cottage. A lovely memorable sight to see a horse pulling a load of hay. I took tea down to the hay field each day and rode in an empty cart if one was available, otherwise would walk carrying a gallon can of hot tea and a large basket of food. There would be seven or eight men working, tea in those day would generally be bread and butter, tomato, lettuce and spring onions, homemade jam and homemade cakes, after the men had finished I carried the dirty pots home and drove the cows and tied them up for milking. All the men would go back in the hayfield in the evening and I should be sent with a can of lemonade, ginger beer and even cold tea,which I understand is most refreshing, then anytime after 9-30 p.m. the last load of hay would be safely on the cart and the men would make their way for supper in Rose Cottage kitchen. In preparation for the haymaking supper or rather suppers, the women folk were kept busy and everything was homemade, one would not even think of buying cake or a pot of jam, all the food was good, wholesome and country fare.
  • (p.15) In the yard at Rose Cottage we made a fireplace of bricks and it was used always in the summer time instead of lighting a fire in the kitchen excepting if the oven was needed. We fixed the bricks placed an iron bar over the top and lit a fire underneath, I would collect the driest wood from the stick heap, (coal was never used) and when the fire was going well, we would get a long branch and put into the fire and as it burned would keep pushing the branch until it was all burned. We used a large black kettle for making tea, a black iron saucepan for potatoes etc. and an oval shaped iron pot for boiling ham etc. there was always plenty of hot water. Of course if it rained then the fire was put out. I must mention the supper, a typical country haymaking meal. Home cured ham with plenty of fat running through, a large dish of hot new potatoes, salad, but not like the todays salad, this was a lettuce cut into small shreds, sliced onion, chopped mint, sugar, put altogether in a large vegetable dish until serving time. Tomatoes and cucumber were served on individual dishes, Beetroot was always baked in the oven, never boiled, it was then sliced and covered in vinegar. Stilton cheese and not a skinny half pound as we buy today, but either a whole or half cheese, and sometimes it would pong to high heaven, but my goodness it was good. Also Colwick cheese, plates of bread and I don’t think the bread was spread with butter, just good wholesome fresh bread, then of course curd cheesecakes on plates, fruit pies, lemon curd tarts and jam tarts and plenty of tea. During the latter part of Granny Simpson’s life, she actually relented and allowed the men to have a bottle of beer with their supper if they wished. These are the names of the men who came in for supper, Mr. George Wiles, Mr. T.G. Wiles, and young Tom Wiles, three generations, and Fred Wiles. Tom Wiles now lives at Long Clawson and won the M.B.E. in 1974 (since writing these notes in 1973/74 Fred Wiles who lived here at Hickling has died aged 63yrs.) Mr. S. Eggleston, Mr. V. Walker, Mr.T. Starbuck, John Wadkin (who I later married) and Donnie Simpson. It would often be 10.30 p.m. or more when supper ended and these men would be up next morning 5.30 – 6 a.m. milking the cows and another gruelling day in the hayfield. Now everything is different and so easy, no one carries meals to the hayfield, modern machines used, less labour, each farmer gets his own hay and that is that. The season starts so much earlier too, even the hay stacks are different.
  • (p.16) Some town visitors staying at Rose Cottage heard the expression “giving the cows their cake” and asked if they preferred fruit or plain. I have mentioned wash days at Rose Cottage and the white sheets etc. falling into the manure heap, anyone knows what a job it is trying to get cow muck stain from linen, but what happened in farm yards occasionally (…)
  • (p.20) Milk Recorder – A monthly visit of a milk recorder to the farmers, including Rose Cottage, and the first recorder I remember was Miss Winifred Olga Barratt, a Methodist Minister’s daughter from Oakham. She stayed at Rose Cottage for two or three days each month, she kept in touch with me from these times until she died. She became Mrs. Forster and lived with her family near London.
  • (p.35) Slashing the Ham was another competition. Sometimes either a whole or half Stilton cheese was another prize and every prize given, since these days we have held a number of garden parties in different gardens and fields.
  • (p.45) Our village was always noted for its ‘mucky streets’ (and still is) and jolly good stilton cheese which almost every farmers wife made, and the village was full of farmers or smallholders, and each had a cheese room, the women also made butter and Colwick Cheese, every day, seven days a week one would see a line of cheese cloths hanging out to dry (no three day week in those days). The ‘colic’ or ‘Colwick’ or Soft cheese were delicious, would cover a large dinner plate, and compared with todays small white and leathery so called colic cheese, doesn’t seem to be any taste, in fact chives are now added for flavour. Every country kitchen cook made curd cheesecakes, they too would be cooked on large plates, the real, down to earth curd fetched from any farmer who made cheese. I remember taking a large yellow basin and it would be full to the brim with curd, and cost one shilling, the country way of making curd cheesecake is to line plate with short pastry, mix curd with fork, add egg, sugar, butter or marg, and currants mix well together but the mixture should not be too soft, fill pastry with mixture and bake, this was, and still is a favourite with Rowly Pepper and Cecil Rose.
  • (p.46) In these times 1920 & 30’s some farmers sold milk at the door (it is not allowed now) housewives would take a jug and measure milk from the chum. There was no delivery of milk until I was grown up, Mr. H. Bames of Kinoulton took chum in car and measured into jugs etc. at the door. Co-op I think were the first to deliver bottled milk they transferred business to Clawson Dairy who now has the monopoly, one can also buy cream and stilton cheese from the milkman.
  • (p.46) THE SADDLERS SHOP Mr. R. Copley sat working hours and hours in that small shop, and I understand he was an excellent saddler too. The shop still is their and never been used since those saddlering days, the house too known as ‘The Homestead’ has stood empty must be in the teens of years, is disgraceful. Mr Copley moved his business when he bought the house (now known as ‘Duisdale’ where Miss G. Woolley lives) and used what is now the garage, for his Saddlers Shop, farmers would bring work from most of the surrounding villages.
  • (p.54) DROVER A well known character known as “Bones” came throughout many villages to Melton Mowbray Cattle Market each Tuesday. He would arrive at Hickling by 7 a.m. or earlier, driving beast he had already picked up in Kinoulton and elsewhere. He had a couple of dogs, and his voice would awaken the dead as he came along the road, all the farmers used old Bones to drive their beast etc. to Melton or bring back what was bought at Market. In the winter he carried a lantern as by the time he reached Hickling it was pitch dark, the latter part of the time Bones brought his son and everyone called him “Cloggy” (he may have lived in Keyworth) and he carried on the business after his father retired for health reasons. If “Bones” did not have any beast to drive home from the Cattle Market and he was offered a lift in a horse and cart, he refused, he enjoyed being on the road, and he was respected.
  • (p.57) CARRIERS I do not remember Mr. J. Mann when he was a carrier with horse and cart to Nottingham, but I remember Mr. Mann when he retired and lived with his family in the ‘Parsons Cottage’ next to the Churchyard, this cottage was always in danger of being flooded when heavy rains occurred, and many times I can recall when furniture was taken upstairs. When I was at school the Wiles family lived their Tom, Fred, Dorothy and Madge and Addie and Eva born at their present house, and the Parsons Cottage then had a thatched roof. Mr. Malcolm King of Long Clawson was carrier to Nottingham for many years, but much later than Mr. Mann’s time, he had a lorry and his daughter Annie helped him, he came through Hick1ing each Thursday and would take anything in to town, furniture, sacks of potatoes, fruit and would deliver anywhere in town, on Saturday mornings he collected eggs from farmers and other poultry keepers, pack them in egg boxes and sell them to shops in Nottingham Annie did any shopping, such as pills and potions, and medicine from the Chemist, a reel of matching cotton, etc. and change dresses or blouses that were not the correct size. And anyone going either to or from town on holiday their suitcase would be most certain in ‘King Lorry’ after Annie married, Mr. King had an assistant Ernest Tinsley and he gradually took over the business until it finally finished. Mr. Bernard Gardner of Kinoulton was also a carrier but after Mr. King had finished, he took calves etc in his open lorry to Melton Market each Tuesday, and would take or collect anything anytime, he retired several years ago.
  • (p.60) MILKMAN When I was a child there was not such a thing as a milkman. If a family were not farmers they would buy milk from a local farmer who probably lived nearest to them, one took a jug and the milk measured from a chum, and if cream was needed, well one bought an extra pint or quart of milk pour into a bowl and the next day skim off the cream. Chums and Wheels were a regular sight, or rather daily, the chum was fixed between two large wheels and then there was a long handle to pull them along, the chum always shone like silver and used morning and afternoon at milking time when the cow sheds and fields were away from the farmhouse, so early each morning, seven mornings each week I can remember hearing the familiar sound of the milk chum and wheels being pulled along the village street. Other farmers used a horse and float for transporting the milk chums and buckets to the milking field. I also remember milk being taken daily to Widmerpool Station by horse and float. Now the hand milking has ended, it is done by machine and now each farmer has a Milking Parlour and is collected by Bulk Lorry and once daily, when the first milk lorries started from the newly formed Clawson Dairy they collected morning and evening, but that has been finished a long while. At one time Mr. S. Barnes of Kinoulton built up a milk round, bringing the milk in his car in chums and would take a bucket of milk to the door and use his pint or 1/2 pint measure, then the Co-op bought his round and also Clawson Dairy started bringing milk in bottles, and we didn’t think anything at all of bottled milk, we used to say it didn’t taste the same and there wasn’t any cream, but of course we got used to it and wouldn’t like to change back to the old way. About four years ago (it is now 1976) the Co-op finished delivering in Hickling and Long Clawson Dairy took over the village, it is now one milkman, one village, so it isn’t any use saying one doesn’t like the milkman and falling out with him, there just isn’t anywhere else to go.
  • (p.60) MARKET DAY was a must for most of the Farmers here at Hickling, and this was at Melton each Tuesday and is still going strong. Horses and carts would be on the road quite early to arrive at Market in time for the sale of beast, calves, sheep and pigs. The small market town of Melton would be full of men discussing their profits and none profits. Anyone from Rose Cottage going to Melton on Market Day would have to remember a bag of Cream Buns from the well known baker “Beaver & Son” and a couple of pounds of butter in bulk from the “Maypole” shop, that shop has gone, but Beavers small shop is still going strong. Farmers still go to Melton Market each Tuesday, but by car, and they still like to stand have a good old natter, times havn’t changed in that way. Sometimes Nottingham Cattle Market was used for selling stock, but was not as convenient as the Melton Market. It was a general day out for the country folk.
  • (p.70) THRASHING MACHINE how we kids would race down the road if we heard this noisy engine, Farmers corn was thrashed from the stack, noisy and dirty machine, with the ‘Drum’ attached, now with the combined harvester it is all done in the cornfield.
  • (p.72) Mangold Carting So many youngsters of today have not seen a ‘Mangold Worzel’ Farmers grew acres of them for feeding the beast in the winter time, it was a perishing cold job cutting mangold, there has been many gashed fingers and thumbs with the mangold knife slipping during severe frosts. The horses and carts would be backwards and forwards from the field or allotments days, and sometimes a couple of weeks, the mangold would be made into a ‘Pie’ anywhere up to 25 – 50 yards long, and a couple or so yards high, covered with earth and straw, a small trench dug around for drainage, and the food stuff all safely gathered for the winter months. Potatoes also were put into ‘Pies’ and still are, and this year of 1976 with the shortage and expensive potato, no doubt many farmers will be growing more, the humble potato is a luxury, some people have paid 15p to 20p per lb. (ridiculous). I pay at the present time 11p & 12p and that is expensive.
  • (p.73) Stone Picking A job I never cared for, but all the same I had it to do, we each carried a bucket and would walk up and down the blooming field picking up the stones and emptying the bucket when full on to a heap of stones in one corner of the field.
  • (p.73) Singling Mangold Another job I was expected to do, and was no use arguing, one did it. Singling was a back aching job with a long handled hoe one would walk down each row of mangold and ‘single’ them out, the same as going
  • (p.73) Potato Picking the men would dig the spuds out with an ordinary garden fork and we would follow picking the potatoes, and that let me tell you is another back aching job. No use anyone saying it is hard work Farming today, because it jolly well isnt.
  • (p.78) The plant ‘Cumfrey’ often grew wild in the country gardens, and it was often used by farmers for curing animals, my husband is still a firm believer that if given to a sick pig would help, and a countryman talking on TV recently (1976) said the same, he said it helped many horses he had treated.
  • (p.78) Pot Eggs. Should think a pot egg is now an antique, no one was without pot eggs who kept a few hens, we would place one of these decoy eggs in a nest, and the hen would then lay her egg by its side.
  • (p.79) Travellers from (I think) Gloucestershire I must mention these good people, they came once in I believe two years, could have been annually, they had a dialect so different from ours. They would arrive in six to eight waggons pulled by horses, with black tarpaulin covers, like curtains, opened at the back of the wagon; they sold farm and garden implements, buckets of every kind, brushes, and hundred weights of nails of every size and shape, many local residents bought a year’s supply of implements and nails, they were so very genuine, everyone liked these people, they were friendly, spotlessly clean both men and women, their boots shone like silver, and everything inside the wagons was tidy, the horses harness and brasses would sparkle in the sunshine, the men wore boots, short jackets and breeches with a kerchief round the neck, the women also wore boots, very full skirts to the top of the boots, blouses with full sleeves, a woollen shawl and a sunbonnet on their head, farmers never refused these people using a field at night for the horses.
  • (p.88) Mrs. Sarah Louise Cart wife of Mr. F.J. Cart I have mentioned. She was a farmer and a prize winning stilton cheese maker, she won many challenge cups over the years. Her elder sister Miss Emily C. Hives lived with her, she was the drudge and Mrs. Cart the lady, but she did work hard in the cheese room, and at one time she also was a dressmaker.
  • (p.89) Mr. Joseph Spencer lived at Bridge Farm, he was a bargeman, and have heard say he would put his wages inside the sole of his sock before walking home on the canal bank. Mrs. Martha Spencer also won prizes for making Stilton Cheese and awarded challenge cups for prize bulls and other beast, one son Robert is living here at the Old School House.
  • (p.89) Mr. & Mrs. George Faulks Farmer, lived at Canal Farm before moving to ‘Sycamore Farm’ in the village where they lived until their deaths. Mrs. Faulks, a hard working woman also was a good Stilton Cheese maker, had a large family, one son being killed during the 1914-18 War, there are still three sons and one daughter living, and two grandsons and families live here in Hickling.
  • (p.95) Farmers. One or two sold milk daily to residents, no delivery. Most farmers wives made Stilton and colic [Colwick] cheese also Butter.
  • (p.96) Lord Lonsdale Master of Quorn Hunt presented venison to all farmers & graziers in Oct. 1896.

Photographs & Images (general farming):