Thursday, 23 February 2012

Eric farmed at Cooksland Hall Farm

Sometimes he drove his car on business, a coffin to deliver,
It had a rack across the back, black cloth draped to cover,

Eric was a quiet man, one who never got into a fluster, nothing troubled him, and did not let others trouble him. He always "wore" his pipe and seldom saw him without it, and had his peak cap square on his head if anything tipped forward over his eyes.
Eric took over the farm from his father; a brother ran the local garage or Filling station as they were then called, and he also charged up batteries, the accumulators that you had to have to power the big old wireless, now called radio. Another brother was an estate agent selling property.

He always told the story of him going to his old barber in town, the barber he had gone to for years, and it turned out his barber had just acquired his first electric clippers. Eric got settled in the chair and the gown put round his shoulders, and the barber picked up the new clippers. This was okay but the barber was worse for ware for having had a little too much to drink at lunch time.

He bent Eric's head down forward, put the clippers to the back of Eric's neck, and clipped up the back of his head and right over to the front (like a Mohican cut in reverse). At this Eric jumped up out of his chair, paid the barber, and proceeded with his cap firmly pulled on ( to hide the stripe over his head) to another barber in town to sort out his hair cut. I would imagine he would be highly embarrassed trying to explain what had happened and often wondered if anyone was in the second shop when he went in.

Eric Bennion ( 1900 - 1978 or there abouts)

Eric farmed at Cooksland Hall Farm, next to Seighford Hall,
Walked his cows to pasture, through the Lea Gate as I recall,
In that field was a sports field, with iron rails fenced in,
From the hall played cricket, Eric mowed it for hay, there in,

Nothing ever flustered Eric, he never got in a spin,
His ever smiling eyes tell you, don't worry again begin,
Wore his cap square on his head, and S shaped pipe he chewed,
A waist coat with a thumb he lodged, to problems he allude.

He stands to talk feet slight apart, knees a slight of bend,
Fills his pipe and lights, puffs his smoke while talking to a friend,
Shortish man of stocky build, his boots they're loosely tied,
Trousers match the waist coat, old suit to work applied.

He had a big old car, that he drove so stately past,
His wife could not drive it, but she had a sister Allis,
She had learned to drive OK, and took them all to mass,
Eric got out the chauffeur's job, all he said was "pass".

Eric had a daughter, who went with her mother and aunts,
They all went all over the place, Elizabeth to dad she cants,
Very young just started school, told her dad what happened,
"Allis ditched the car dad", turf and soil beneath she becond.

Sometimes he drove his car on business, a coffin to deliver,
It had a rack across the back, black cloth draped to cover,
Collected from the wheelwrights shop, Jim Clark had just made,
Lined and ready for occupant, to house few days displayed.

In war time we had rationing, can't sell black market then,
Police were on the watch out keen, contraband sold by men,
Half a pig fit unlined coffin, moved it to the next village,
Past the local bobby who, saw a coffin, paid it homage.

This they had so often done, so a pig they wouldn't suspect,
Then had to go be lined and late, to diseased and pay respect,
Both had black caps, and both smoked a pipe,
Salute the law when driving past on a winter's night.

Reg Flower worked for him, the Fergy tractor drove,
Eric drove the shires, behind them he always strode,
Doing all the steady jobs, talking while they work,
Feeding after toil, then back to graze into evening's murk.

Eric bought a hunting horse, to follow the local hunt,
It grazed his pastures with the cows, with halter he affront,
Had rested all the summer long, fresh and keen was he,
Took two of them control at first, to stable they agree.

On with the bridle and the saddle, but still he played them up,
Took him to a ploughed field, where Eric mounted set to gallop,
Horses feet they sank in deep, made it heavy going,
Soon tired and calmed down now, for hunting now needs shoeing.

Eric never got round to retiring, but past the age he was,
Died in harness so to speak, had slowed down to a pause,
Farm chattels sold at his farm sale, to adjoining farms land split,
His Mrs. moved to a bungalow, with village people as befit.


Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)