The three cottages formed an L-shape around a courtyard, which became, after ploughing and cultivating, a vegetable garden. Behind Loetitia is Mrs Cafferata, standing beside Billy Gidney, the village blacksmith.
It has since been gravelled over and later still put down to grass. The tall woman sixth from left is Mrs Gladys Pearson (known locally as 'Long Polly'), wife of the village builder William Pearson. The first harvest, summer 1938: On the 10th August 1938 we started to cut our first corn, the seven acres of oats on the southern end of Twenty-one Acres. the tractor began to drive down the four sides of a pale golden, wind-rustling square.
Arriving early ensured you the cream of the crop, being as the best obviously gets picked up first.
Observing the people I noticed a wide range of diversity.
Being only the parking lot that was once empty is now beginning to fill up with vehicles.
Ranging from the oldest ford bronco I have ever seen to brand new trucks and trailers, the products are brought in many ways.'Lying in the straw of the calf-house was the bullock, dead. Long since had the paint rusted from the iron of its frame. Nursed along by the tractor, with throttle barely open, the old binder was not allowed to 'het-up', fumble its iron fingers tying the knot around each sheaf, or tangle and break the string.I rang up the knackers at Great Wordingham, and they sent a lorry with hauling tackle and lugged the corpse on, and paid me a pound for it – my first sale off the farm.' ( 'A neighbouring farmer's horse had fallen in the dyke . Its worn three-horse draw-pole was now a chicken-perch in the cart shed. Its new red wooden sails turned gently, as though caressing the blonde corn-heads as they held the sappy stalks upright for the saw-toothed knife below.The tractor on rubber wheels pulled the machine on a new oak-and-iron bar. New canvas rollers hurried the cut corn up to a platform, where metal arms held the stalks until they were gathered sheaf-size; when, tied by those iron fingers, the sheaf was flung off in line with others dropped on the new stubble.When society today thinks of farms they typically think of mom and dad waking up to the rooster crowing, fields filled with hand planted crops and cows grazing in open pastures. In the early 1920's farmers discovered that when adding vitamins A and D to the feed of animals they would no longer require exercise and sunlight in order to grow(Factory Farming).But after asking around I found out that this was one of the last weekends that the market would have anything that was fresh enough to show up for.Also I learned that the earlier the better at the market.As the lot began to fill, the sun was fully visible and beginning to warm the October morning.With the lot full the vendors are now setting up tables and displays to attract customers.This sequence of photographs, provided through the generosity of the Henry Williamson Literary Estate (as with very nearly all the photographs on this website), includes many that have never been seen before.They form a unique record of the Williamson family's first few years at Old Hall Farm, Stiffkey, from early visits in 1936 through to 1939. A few days after completion of the sale HW, Loetitia and Windles visited the farm, the latter two for the first time.