Interviewees

Alice Maunders

Alice Maunders (née Chambers) moved down to Settle from County Durham at the age of 15 in 1927  to work as a ‘Tweeny’ or ‘Inbetween Maid’ for the McEvoy family in Stackhouses, Giggleswick.

Lawrence Rukin

Laurie Rukin farmed all his life at Park Lodge Farm in Keld, where his grandfather and father had also been farmers. Laurie’s son later went on to farm there, making it four generations - since 1901 - of Rukins at Park Lodge. 

Laurie’s grandfather, James Rukin, whose nickname was Bob-Jim, had started work as a miner at Tan Hill Pit when he was nine years old. He earned a shilling a week and in wintertime Laurie said it was dark when he left home in the morning and dark when he got back. The only time his grandfather saw daylight at that time of year was on a Sunday.

Jim Smith

Jim Smith was the son of Joseph Waller Smith and grandson of J.W. Smith. He moved to Whinney Mire Farm, near Newby and Ingleton in Ribblesdale, on the slopes of Ingleborough hill, when he was just a small baby.

In his interview with W.R. Mitchell, Jim Smith describes the difficulties of farming Dalesbred and Swaledale sheep on the slopes of Ingleborough, and different ways of gathering the sheep for shearing and clipping, from heathing to shedding and penning. He also describes the impact of over-stocking on the heather on the moors and the decline of grouse shooting. 

Norman Swindlehurst

Norman Swindlehurst lived and farmed at Brackengarth Farm in Keasden, in the Ribble Valley. His father James Swindlehurst, who suffered from rheumatic fever, had moved from Barrow-in-Furness to the healthier countryside of Keasden in 1896. The family kept a few calves and reared sheep on the moors on the 40-acre farm at Brackengarth from 1896 until they moved to bigger farms in 1932.

The Yorkes of Halton Place

The Yorke family of Halton Place traced their ancestry back to Sir Richard Yorke, a wool merchant of the city of York who was knighted by Henry VII shortly after the Battle of Bosworth. Sir Richard Yorke's family went on to gain many lands in Nidderdale and later in the Craven area. One of Sir Richard Yorke's descendants was famously tried in the Star Chamber in 1611 for holding a ‘Catholic’ play in his home at Gowthwaite Hall in Nidderdale. Just six years after the Gunpowder Plot, he was also accused retrospectively of being involved in that—but he managed to establish his innocence.

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