Annie Mason

Annie MasonAnnie Mason image courtesy WR Mitchell

Mrs Mason of Burtersett, born Annie Margaret Pratt, recalls how one Richard Metcalfe gained his nickname ‘Dickie Vocator’, attempting to raise a glass to Queen Victoria after an evening’s celebrations and mispronouncing Victoria as ‘Vocator’!

Her grandfather, another Richard Metcalfe, managed the quarries at Burtersett. She recalls that many a town in Lancashire was paved with cobbles from Burtersett. Her detailed recollections of lambing, hay making, and domestic duties such as bannock-baking and cheese-making are captivating and bring a bygone age back to life.

In her interview, transcribed in two parts, Mrs Mason describes life on an Upper Wensleydale farm in the first half of the 20th century. In the first part she describes haymaking, mowing, hay sledges, droving, cheese-making, pig and geese keeping. In the second part she describes haymaking, outdoor milking, sheep management, lambing time, servants, washday, cheese-making and baking.