Farming and Agriculture

Eleanor Yorke, Full Transcript Part 2

W.R. Mitchell (WRM) and Eleanor Yorke (EY) continue to discuss the history of the Yorke family. Eleanor Yorke lists the characteristics of Yorke men. The sporting tradition in the family, sports such as grouse-shooting, fishing and hare hunting, are outlined. Major John Edward Evelyn Yorke (JY) comes into the interview at about 9 minutes, focusing on grouse shooting and continuing to discuss the estate.

Eleanor Yorke, Full Transcript Part 1

W.R. Mitchell (WRM) interviewed Eleanor Yorke (EY) (née Assheton) in 1982. Using various Yorke family journals and letters, Eleanor Yorke explains the history of the Yorke family and how it came to Yorkshire. She describes the family property and the family interests including boundaries, lead mining and Catholicism.

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.

Sam Dyson, Full Transcript

In his interview with W.R. Mitchell, Mr. Dyson recalls buying his first smallholding, Buckley Farm, Stanbury, in 1939. With the help of his wife Mrs. Peggy Dyson (PD) and a friend and neighbour Adrian Bancroft (AB), he recounts living and working on that smallholding and the other farms he has bought and worked in the Stanbury area, including Ponden Hall Farm. With a background in farming for over 50 years they relate many interesting stories, and often with humour. The interview is noteworthy for its poetic regional dialect, comical turn of phrase, its gusto and articulacy.

Sam Dyson, Audio Clip

Sam Dyson (SD) was interviewed many times by W.R. Mitchell (WRM). In this segment Sam tells Bill, with the help of his wife Peggy (PD) in the background, the story of how he bought his first farm, Buckley Farm, Stanbury, near Haworth.

Sam Dyson

Sam Dyson was born in 1913 and married his wife, Peggy Barker, in 1939. He farmed at Buckley Farm, Stanbury, near Top Withens, a farm made famous by Emily Bronte's classic novel ’Wuthering Heights’. Sam and his wife farmed shorthorn cattle. had an egg round and gradually built up their business and land from 4 acres to over 50 acres. They also catered for visitors who walked the Bronte way. You can see an image of a shorthorn to the right. 

Norman Swindlehurst, Full Transcript Part 2

Norman Swindlehurst (NS) was interviewed many times by W.R. Mitchell (WRM). In this section of the interview Norman describes farming sheep in Keasden in the early part of the 20th century. He mentions the winter of 1917 when sheep were buried in snow for weeks. Norman's sister Marion reared twelve lambs by bottle. Some of the starving lambs were placed in the steaming horse midden to warmed up, and others were given a drop of brandy.

Norman Swindlehurst, Full Transcript Part 1

Norman Swindlehurst (NS) of Keasden was interviewed by W.R. Mitchell (WRM) many times. In this interview he mentions many local personalities and their employments, including detailed descriptions of farming, weddings, cooking, sheep salving and social events.

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.

Marie Hartley, Audio Clip

Marie Hartley (MH) talks to Bill Mitchell (WRM) about the use of ‘back-cans’ used for milking cows out-doors. 

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