I’m a farmers daughter, but I have no interest in farming whatsoever, but however much my lack of interest, I will defend the majority of the farming community to the hilt! I’ll happily follow a tractor for miles, but not a horse box!
I grew up with my parents working the land, whether it be in a car seat strapped in the tractors, or with a rope tied around my waist and the rope attached to a pole stuck in the ground in the middle of a field so we couldn’t run away. Back then childcare wasn’t really a thing, if you had a child you looked after it yourself, it wasn’t the done thing to expect anyone to look after your child unless in an emergency, anyway, both sets of my grandparents worked. My mum worked the land beside my dad, because they couldn’t afford to do anything different. It certainly did us no harm.
I have three older siblings my big Bro, Sis J and Sis M. Until I was in my teens, my mum was always home when we got home from school…..in the later years, during the winter, my parents could usually be found in the yard grading potatoes.
Life was hard, but my parents ALWAYS made sure that we went on holiday every year. Sometimes it was the local seaside (45 mins away) others it was further afield. We never wanted for anything, but we never had everything either, money wasn’t to be wasted. We never went hungry.
We all used to help whether it be hoeing the weeds out of sugar beet, wringing off onions or harvesting and grading potatoes. Me, I never enjoyed it, but it was one of those things where we all mucked in and got on with it, because if we didn’t those luxuries (such as a trip to Sunny Hunny on a Sunday evening for chips) never happened. Bro got married, and his wife T started to help out on the land, J married a farmer, and M worked for a company that sold potato and sugar beet harvesters, me, I went away from it, but always helped if I was needed when I got home from work.
The one day that dad very rarely worked, was a Sunday….if he did work on a Sunday, it was usually to combine wheat, because when it was ready , it was ready, the weather doesn’t care for what day of the week it is, and it costs a fortune to dry. We were brought up as Methodists, Sunday was a day of rest (dad spent most of it sleeping), we all went to the local Sunday School. (Our Methodist Chapel was built though funds which dads mum helped to raise). My parents still attend the chapel.
Growing up on a farm was great, I could often be found in the summer holidays, curled up with a book, on a few bales of straw with cats or kittens in my lap. We were taught the hazards from an early age, and knew where we could and couldn’t go to be safe. We also had Jersey/Guernsey cows for the families milk, I used to love riding on the back of one of the cows from the field to the milking shed. We had the healthiest cats around, they always had the first little bit of milk from the cow. I used to love drinking that milk, warm straight from the cow, but I couldn’t stomach it now.
It’s amazing how thing change over the years……
Dad retired though ill health….he’s under mum’s feet all of the time now.
Bro works for a local farmer, T is a school dinner lady. Their kids all girls all do something different one is a hairdresser, another works at a local vets and the other qualified in theatre makeup. One is married to an agricultural worker, one is married to a agricultural machinery sales rep, the other is with a railway worker.
Sis J married a farmer, their boys are all farmers, married to girls who love the farm life.
Sis M used to work for an agricultural company.
I went into local government.