Farm Work as a child

Alan Neaves

Photo:Alan leading cart

Alan leading cart

Photo:Alan on horse

Alan on horse

In 1954, when I was eleven, I started working for the Arnolds at West Farm on Saturday mornings, cleaning out the stables and pigsties for sixpence an hour, or two and a half pence in decimal money. Alf Arnold and his brother were the last Orwell farmers to give up horsepower and when I became a full time farm worker there in 1958 we were still using them for carting water to the livestock in the fields, for rolling spring corn and for hoeing the bean fields, though we ploughed with tractors and hoed potatoes by hand. With four milking cows, day old calves to rear, and pigs as well as horses to feed and clean out, there was plenty of work seven days a week. We worked from 7.0 am to 5.0 pm on weekdays and 7.0 am till mid day on Saturdays, taking turns to tend the animals on Sundays.  As well as wheat, barley and potatoes, we grew oats and beans as feed for the horses and cattle and 20% of our produce stayed on the farm as animal feed. I loved working with the horses, which is why, some years after when I took over Bruce Miller’s coal business, I used a horse-drawn cart for local deliveries.


Photo:Alan Neaves with Captain
Photo:Alan and Captain in the High Street
Photo:Alan with Captain at a wedding in Orwell
Photo:Neaves coalyard 1992
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Farm Work as a child' page
This gallery was added by Pat Grigor on 02/10/2012.

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