Monday, 13 August 2012

Fields Lanes and Country Roads all have Names

Our Village is a small part of England, as say a motor car is made up of component parts. The largest being the body ,the chassis, the engine , right down to the smallest bolt washer and cotter pin. So Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland and Wales, these are again divided into counties, cities, towns, villages and hamlets and this continues down into individual house names. Where you have Motorways, trunk roads, main roads, secondary roads, by roads, country roads, and village roads.

As in all areas of the country side - it continues into farm roads and lanes. Round our village, starting with the Back lane, you go then into the Moor Lane, which runs north to the railway line and the Flash Bridge.( Railway bridge) Off this lane runs the Love Lane to the north of the village, coming back onto the Bridgeford road below Cooksland House. On the east side, we have got the Moss Lane, this runs to the Ashes Wood. Then to the south east the Oldfords Lane, that runs through to Coton-Clanford. To the south side, we have Smithy Lane, a cow track for the Village Farm cows to go to pasture, and a public footpath. Finally on the west side Clanford Lane (This last one is a council road), leading as it says to Coton-Clanford.

Off all these lanes are fields, the majority of which are named. These would be well known among the people of the village, as nearly all would work on the farms. But nowadays there are very few farm workers, and the vast majority commute to work elsewhere.
Some have logic as to how they were named; in fact all must have at some point. Take the Red Reins for instance, this is a field when ploughed, it turns up in heavy red clay, and when all the ploughing had to be done in "Cop and Rein". (You set a cop with the plough and plough both sides of it. When it meets the previous cop further across the field this is called a Rein where you finish off the ploughing in between). Then you have a field called Hobble End, which used to have a double cottage in it with no services what ever. There only remains a pipe in the hedge which reveals the proximity of the well. There are also the remains of the garden wicket in the hedgerow, this was Hobble End Cottages.

Other names need more and deeper investigation, such as Noon's Birch, Hazel Graze, Big Ashpit, Middle Ashpit, Little Ashpit, the Fosters, and the Pingles, Mill Bank, Hanging Bank (this one makes you think!).
 The Cumbers the row of houses were named after the grass fields behind them. There is also Moss Common, Passage Field and, Glebe Field. There are a lot of small fields about that are Glebe land and were part of the farm attached to the Church, the old vicarage had a cowshed.
We have the Stafford Meadow, the Shed Meadow, and an archaeological dig or even ploughing the old turf up might reveal the remains of a building on this field.
The Public field is on the bank behind the Holly Bush pub, The pub had fields attached to it and the small range of buildings on the east side of the pub car park were the cowsheds to it, which included a coach house for the Trap, a stable, a loose box for young stock or pigs and, a loft with a pitching hole where the hay was pitched in.

 The cowshed is still in the same format as it was a hundred years ago with the old wooden stalls the lot. You step back in a time warp when you go in there.

This has only scratched the surface of the history of the village, and much more can be found out depending on where you look at it from. Everyone has a different stand point. This pattern is repeated all over the country, very little is known by the general public that almost all fields up and down the country have names, some more interesting than others, as with house names it makes life more interesting than just a number.

A patchwork quilt of fields around our village, the average size is about six acres with the larger ones around 12 acres. The actual village is just out of the picture top left

Field Names of Seighford

Out in Britons countryside, looks like a patchwork quilt,
Of roads and lanes and field tracks, evolved and some were built,
They lead from towns and villages, and farms, map nailed on beam,
Each field a hedge and ditch and gate, watered by pond or stream.

The fields both large and small have names, you wouldn’t dream exist,
Some relate to owner past, and others the type of land persists,
Red Rheine’s is one of these mean fields, when ploughed reveals red clay,
Unless the frost into it gets, no seed bed though you work all day.

Best known one I’ve no doubt, behind Yews farm is Cumbers,
Ten houses built along the village, take that name and numbers,
Down by the ford is Mill Bank, four acre few trees by the brook,
The Hazel Graze another great name, nut bushes to make a crook.

Fosters by the railway line, named after a soul long gone,
And Pingles also down the Moor Lane, that defiantly is a mystery one,
Noons Birch is the most beautiful name, one that congers’ you mind,
Public Field it was part of the land , run to the pub up back and behind.

Hoble End is another nice name, where two cottages stood in the fields,
No track did they only footpath, lonely place only a well and concealed,
Moss Common a field where the ditch, springs in the middle to pick up,
It is important that they are there, to water the ewes and the tup.

Ash Pits are three fields in a row, the Big the Middle and Little,
Ash trees are the obvious reason, and only one pit in the lot,
Hanging Bank is most sinister name, it’s a cold north facing bank,
More research into this is what’s needed, but all we’ve drawn is a blank

Lanes to the fields also have names, Moor Lane runs way from the ford,
Connecting with that is Love Lane, a grassy rut track half way Bridgeford,
The Oldfords Lane goes up to the farm, to Coton not a short cut by car,
And Smithy Lane runs way through houses, the shortest of all by far.

Moss Lane is one that runs eastwards, cow lane that it is can be seen,
Grass up the middle and is long, see cattle grazing fields so keen,
It has path that runs up it, and gates shut on each end,
The path is quite long; it comes out near Doxey on bend.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home
John Howard Payne (1791 - 1852)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Mother made her Pastry (1940's)

I would like to bet there are not many women these days that make pastry every week like our mother did, and in the volume now only seen in a super market bakery, (I am exaggerating a bit).

But with seven of us (our father and his brother uncle Jack, and four of us lads)  in the farm house to cater for at that time, and just when we were growing up, she showed us how to cook and bake cakes, and of coarse make pastry.

Mother made her Pastry

Mother made her pastry, mixed in a great mixing big bowl,
Then thumped it on the table, with the rolling pin she'd roll,
Used all sorts to cut the rings, no proper cutter got,
A glass or cup or old pan lid, something just right size she'd spot.

Jam tarts large with fancy edge, jam tarts small and neat,
Mince pies filled with lid on top, all look too good to eat,
Spare pastry given to us kids, to roll and make our own,
Rolling out and cutting pastry, just like we'd been shown.

It went grey in our hands, our hand got cleaner too,
Currant flap-over sealed down, whipped egg brushed on for glue,
Then we used the pastry tins, greased the inside more,
So they'd pop out without sticking, as mother did before.

Should go on the cooling rack, but ours were not there long,
Eaten soon as cool enough, so as not to burn our tongue,
No crumbs left of what we made, and mothers dare not touch,
Cooled and stored in an air tight tin, to last a week's too much.

Countryman (Owd Fred)

A cold need the cook as much as the doctor.Scottish Proverb