Monday, 2 May 2011

Delivering the milk.

Some of the Dawson family out for a stroll on a cold day!
These fields are now built upon, and the old farm in the background a heap of rubble.
As children we knew every inch of this walk. The streets of our small community being to the left of the photo, back down the hill.
The farm belonged to the Pickles family, and they and another farmer, who also had a dairy herd, called Mr Clarke, provided us with milk.
Mr Clarke had a horse and cart, which he loaded with two large milk churns and he would clatter along the cobbles at the bottom of the streets, and leave the horse waiting whilst he filled a smaller churn which he would then carry to each house, where he poured out the fresh milk into the jugs, or small metal cans, waiting sometimes on the yard steps or walls. Each jug had a cover. Some of these were of material which was beaded around the edges, to stop it from slipping off or being blown about. Also good to keep out the flies! I do remember him coming up our back street with his larger "billycan".
Then if we were not at school we would ask him if we could have a ride in the small cart back to his farm.
It was situated in the distance, as the crow flies, of this photo.
I liked the feel of the pull of the cart, as the old cart horse wound his way back up the farm lane. There was a rhythm to the movement.
The old lane is long gone but I did manage to find the entrance on my trip there 2 years ago. All overgrown and only the impressions remain. The old stone walls which lined the route are able to be seen if you look carefully enough. The lane is called Reeds Lane, and in the 1940's my mum's brother and his wife and baby daughter lived in a cottage at the top, next to the
farm. It was called Reeds Cottage, and adjoined the barn where the horse was stabled.
If the horse got restless, they could hear him. His great hooves shifting on the stone floor.
And Auntie Lily would say, so the story goes,
" Not to worry, it's only t'orse"
Once the horse and cart reached the farm we would get down and then wend our way home down the lane and on through the fields.
Happy times.


Alan Leishman said...

In the mid 1980's we would play in the ruins of the old farm in the background of the top photo. It was in a bad state and would probably be considered dangerous now which I suppose it was. It seems incredible that it was simply abandoned along with all of the outbuildings and machinery.

In the early 90's I would run home at night along the path your family are photographed on scurrying past the old farmhouse which seemed to take on a new life in the gloaming.

I've ever seen tbe buildingin it's pomp Viv. Thanks for sharing.

Teapot said...

Actually Alan, it is not my family in the photo. We were the Smith family.
This was the Dawson family. And thanks for the comments.:-)