Life at The Mardy

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Life on the Farm   1940   The Mardy was a small self sufficient mixed farm, mainly pasture grazing for beef cattle and sheep.   We had one house cow providing milk, cream and butter for the home. The large stone dairy at the side of the farmhouse was equipped with a separator for the cream and a butter churn.  

Free range hens gave us eggs and the surplus sold at the gate, which was always the farmers wife’s  pin money. The early evening job was to shut the chickens up before the fox arrived.  

Pigs were killed on the farm for home consumption. A butcher was called in to kill and cut up the carcase. The bacon sides were laid out on the stone slabs in the dairy and treated with salt and salt petre. (hence salt still in the walls) later the bacon sides were removed to racks that hung from hooks on the kitchen ceiling to mature.  

Arable fields were planted with corn and cut with a reaper and binder and the sheaves stacked in the field. When cutting the last circle in the centre of the field, the local boys were called to come in to shoot the escaping rabbits (rabbit pie next day ) The sheaves of corn were gathered and brought in by wagon to the barn.. The traveling thrashing machine which separated the grain and dispersed it into sacks which were then lifted by pulley to store in the granary above the barn. Reg Watkins (Raglan Garage) who operated the machine had his one lower arm amputated due to an accident while working the thrashing procedure.  A row of potatoes, swede and peas were grown on one side of the field for local consumption  

A wagon load of cider apples and windfalls were taken to the cider press at the village blacksmith, two large tapped barrels were brought back to the leanto cellar at the side of the house. Tom the farm labourer helped himself to a flagon bottle every morning and lunchtime and was never ill.  

Tom and his wife Alice lived in a tied cottage and she helped in the house.He rode his bike to work.  

The brook gave us children lots of entertainment, we learnt to swim in a pool under the pretty little stone bridge,( no leisure centres then).Unfortunately the bridge was washed away in a flood and was unable to be replaced . We built sand castles and caught bullheads in jam jars also eels.  

A pack of otter hounds met at the Raglan Arms, and came along to search the brook. Huntsmen in royal blue suits and bright red socks, mounted otter masks hung on the pub walls..   Sue Boret, 2013

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