Tuesday, 18 March 2014

What are you like on your farm for regular mealtime breaks

What are you like on your farm for regular mealtime breaks, the morning start and knockoff times. We were brought up as kids to all sitting down at regular times every day to eat together.
It was (and still is though I don't milk now) a 6.30 am start, that was dictated by the fact the churn milk collection lorry arrived in the village at 8am promptly and the milk had got to cooled and labeled by that time.

We were the fifth pickup and it was around 8.20am by the time he got round to us, we all, that is the cowman and the tractor driver who carried the milk and fed the calves went for breakfast as well. Father had his pigs to feed and clean out, us kids had hens ducks and geese to look after, and back at work again in half an hour, or school for us.

In the next village their milk wagon collect the milk about 10.30am, and they did not start milking until 8 o'clock, with a lunch time of 1.30pm, whereas our lunch break was always mid day for one hour, with milking at 3.30pm and all finished and fed by 5.30pm. In the next village it would be a 7.30pm finish.

Our time routine was more convenient particularly when the threshing machine came, he liked to fire up his outfit a 9am promptly with a 12.00 to 1.00pm break and finished at 5pm. The threshing outfit went from farm to farm up the village and a man was "borrowed" from each farm to make up the gang of nine needed for that job. Every one was on the same time routine and it worked out well.

Even now some seventy or so years later, I have kept to that same time routine. I can arrive in the house at meal times with the table ready laid, the Misses likes it, it gives her a regular routine knowing exactly when to expect us.

When I started farming on my own at Church Farm, we had the church tower and the church clock looking down at us all day from about a hundred yards distance with the chimes every quarter hour and gongs for the hour.

St. Chads Church tower has two clocks, the one you see is facing south, the other one faces west towards Church Farm.
The thatched house in the picture was a farm cottage, now demolished

Church Farm House facing East looking onto the church tower,  the farm buildings to the right in the picture

When we were at the distant field working we had the railway run through both The Beeches farm fields and the Church Farm fields, and between 3.15pm and 3.30 there would but three express steam engines flying through at full sped, the "Flying Scotsman", the "Caledonian" and another named train. ( It was said by the railway men that they had to clear that track of slower local trains at 3pm to allow these three train to go though at full chat)  That was the time we went to take the cows down for milking.

 I might add here that the gang of six lengths men who maintained the two mile stretch of line, (four lines, two up to London, two down to Scotland, I could never understand that.) would jump over into the corn field at harvest time and help stook the shoffs of corn when we were bindering, (wheat or oats) and two church bells later (14 days) would help load the farm wagons. Also at this time there was a goods engine driver who would slow right down by those fields and get his fire man to roll big lumps of coal off the tender for father to collect them later with the farm cart. They were all in the home guard together, and contraband got exchanged there every week, farther taking mainly potatoes and for the engine driver a half a pig, it was transported under the local bobbies nose by the wheelwright in a coffin. but thats another story


A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
Segal's Law.