A poignant few days as my Uncle is retiring and leaving the family farm. My cousins and siblings and I all grew up at Little Mearley which lies at the foot of Pendle Hill. We did not own the farm but our Grandfather took it on in 1948 as a three generation tenancy. He and then my Dad and Uncle farmed there keeping hundreds of sheep and a dairy herd. No one from my generation though has been willing to carry on in the business so with sad hearts my Uncle and Aunt held a big sale this weekend , selling off farm machinery etc ( most of the animals having been sold on to the future tenant ) and many of us have been up there to visit and say our final goodbyes.
Its years ago since I left Little Mearley but it was always there for any of us to visit whenever we wanted. I hope the new tenant loves it as we did. Farming is a hard and often thankless life. I admire anyone who can make a living from it.
The house was actually built in 1590 so as you can imagine it was very atmospheric growing up there. No central heating when I was a kid, just coal fires, so grew up not afraid of the cold. Now of course i’m a big softie and turn up the fire and on the heating in my little terrace house, at any opportunity.Tut Tut.
I have many happy memories of life at Little Mearley. Helping out at silo time, the cows coming up for milking~ tails swishing in the sun, sledging in the snow, hiding kittens from Granddad, endless games of cricket, riding our bikes along the farm track and herding sheep up Pendle, to name but a few.
So farewell Little Mearley. May farming continue there for many years to come. 🙂