Tag Archives: farms

Captured On Camera ~ Old Family photographs.

My maternal grandparents going for a spin.
My maternal grandparents going for a spin.

A while back I looked into my Family tree and compiled a bit of one on an ancestry website. It all got slightly to complicated and I was bogged down in dates and census records.Aaaagh! Anyway my poor abandoned tree is still up there for the world to see…and me to go back to , If I suddenly get the urge to find my great great great Grandfather on my Mums side. I did discover a few things though. So far there are no rich gentry amongst my ancestors. I apparently descend from peasant farmers and coal miners. And at least one of them was a bigamist! So hey ho πŸ™‚

I do love looking back at names and the different fashions and trends. In my family ‘Mark’ is a popular boys name, with my Grandfather,brother and two cousins sharing the title. Alot further back in time there are several Fenwicks and a Parker named as my male ancestors. While Mary, Elizabeth and Jennet appear for the girls.

One of the best bits about compiling a Family Tree I found was getting my hands on a few old photo’s. Mum had saved a few from both sides of the family and let me scan them. Its quite interesting to see your ancestors captured on camera. The older the photos, the more stern faced everyone on them seem to be!

Anyway a recent post by Andy over at City Jackdaw , featuring old photographs of people posing with their pets (its a great blog ), inspired me to route out some of my old pics. πŸ™‚

Here are my paternal Great Grandparents posing with their offspring outside in the farm yard. Sad there are no sheep dogs in the picture. :(
Here are my paternal Great Grandparents posing with their offspring outside in the farm yard. Sad there are no sheep dogs in the picture. 😦
Here's my Great Grandmother 'Phoebe' in her Sunday best. :)
Here’s my Great Grandmother ‘Phoebe’ in her Sunday best. πŸ™‚
My maternal Grandmother and my Great Aunt Lily ~ you didn't want to get on the wrong side of them. ; )
My maternal Grandmother and my Great Aunt Lily ~ you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of them. ; )
Grandma,Auntie June, Mum ( as a little girl) and my Grandfather. My Grandma made all my Mums clothes as a child. Quite a talented seamstress.
Grandma,Auntie June, Mum ( as a little girl) and my Grandfather. My Grandma made all my Mums clothes as a child. Quite a talented seamstress.
Great Aunt Lily playing cricket on Southport beach.
Great Aunt Lily playing cricket on Southport beach.
And here's my Dad as a boy. Looks like he's been out Foxing. :(  It was simply part of growing up in the country in those days. ( late 1940s).
And here’s my Dad as a boy. Looks like he’s been out Foxing. 😦 It was simply part of growing up in the country in those days. ( late 1940s).

It can be quite nice looking at old pictures. All my Grandparents died when I was a child or teenager , so it is good to see that they did have fun times in their younger days. I especially liked the fact that my maternal Grandparents enjoyed taking rides on a motorbike. πŸ™‚ Something I could not imagine them ever having done, when I knew them. Its good that photographs capture all sorts of moods and memories. Sometimes I guess they are all we have left of a person.

I will leave you with a picture of myself and my sister……and a very cute sheepdog puppy…..from our days growing up on the farm.

I remember making lots of daisy chains. :)
I remember making lots of daisy chains. πŸ™‚

Any old photographs you would like to share !

Farewell the family farm.

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.

The farm house from the back.
The farm house from the back.

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 top bay window was my childhood bedroom. Like a princess in a tower. :)
The top bay window was my childhood bedroom. Like a princess in a tower. πŸ™‚

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.

Happily this tractor is staying in the family! My brother bought it at the sale and here is our young nephew testing it out. ( Photo ~Yvonne Allison)
Happily this tractor is staying in the family! My brother bought it at the sale and here is our young nephew testing it out. ( Photo ~Yvonne Allison)

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.

Muddy fields and Pendle Hill ( photo~ Ian Neilson)
Muddy fields and Pendle Hill ( photo~ Ian Neilson)

So farewell Little Mearley. May farming continue there for many years to come. πŸ™‚

Little Mearley Hall.
Little Mearley Hall.

Thirteen year old me…

1987 was the year I spent most of aged 13. I was a shy and awkward teenager.Short with the worlds most horrendous hair cut ( sorry I am not going to put a photo up ~ it looks like a mullet!) and to make matters worse I had to wear a brace on my teeth…..and I had fangs. So you see I looked like a boyish midget vampire.I was not exactly photogenic! Though maybe I could have been cast in The Lost Boys.lol.x

I grew up on a farm. As a child this was idyllic and I have very happy memories. As a teenager I spent most of my time pining for escape. My friends lived in a nearby town ( which didn’t seem nearby to my 13 year old self, there being no buses.) and as I recall I spent a lot of my time on the phone to them.Our telephone was in the farm house pantry.Yes if you wanted to chat to friends you had to sit on a cold stone slab , surrounded by pickled eggs and slabs of meat.If it was put there to keep our calls short, It didn’t work. My sis and I would brave the chill and chat endlessly to our friends on that old fashioned avocado green rotary phone.

Being farmers daughters we grew very attached to the animals.Probably to attached. With our cousins who lived next door we would hide kittens and pups from our dads and granddad, whose idea of controlling the ever increasing population was to drown them in the water troughs in the yard.:( At 13 I was desperately trying to find homes for the endless supplies of baby animals among’st my school friends.It didn’t occur to Granddad especially, that simple operations at the vets would solve the problem. Farmers are very frugal ( tight arses! ) with their money.

At 13 I went abroad for the first time .Ok it was only the second year trip to Le touquet in Northern France.But it was somewhere totally different to our camping holidays in Scotland. Happy memories of ordering crepes au chocolat in cafe’s, playing french cricket,sipping orangina,rides in a french fun fair and shopping for our own food in a gigantic hypermarche. These were all new experiences for a country bumpkin like me! Photo’s I still have from the trip show me wearing pink ski pants, a reversible mickey mouse sweater and a denim jacket.Was that actually the fashion back in 1987?

Did I have any luck with boys aged 13?? Well that is a resounding no! I did have a big crush on a boy two years above me at school which lasted until he left in the fifth year. Lunch breaks were spent strolling arm in arm with my mates round the perimeter of the school. We always strolled the opposite way to him and his group of friends so we could accidently on purpose bump into them. I was much to shy to speak when my so called friends would push me into him and laugh and run away. Sigh. The highlight of our ‘non relationship’ was when he asked me if he could borrow my calculator for a maths exam……and he had to write his initials inside the cover in liquid paper. Swoon.

I think my other crush was Rick Astley.( Cheezy!) ‘Never Gonna Give You UP’ was a massive number one hit that year you know. πŸ™‚

Yes at 13 I admit I was in love with Mr Astley. lol :)
Yes at 13 I admit I was in love with Mr Astley. lol πŸ™‚

What were you like at 13?

This post represents day 22 in the #BEDM challenge.