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John White's Farm & Ferrers Mere

remains in 2007
Remains of the farm in 2007
Ferrers Mere

Northamptonshire Advertiser, Friday, November 8, 1963, transcribed by Kay Collins

John White - Farmer — His ambition is fulfilled

A few of Mr. White's Hereford-Friesian crossbred cattle peer through the bars of the gate at their owner. In the background can be seen the wall which surrounds his back garden.
AN ambition formed in his youth and fostered throughout a lifetime in the shoe trade is being realised to the full by Mr. John White, who, free from the ties of business, is able to walk from his back garden on to his farm.

A study of Mr. John White, who can now enjoy life on his farm, free from the cares of a lifetime in the shoe manufacturing trade.
Mr. White thought of going in for farming some time before he was attracted to the shoe industry and his original idea was "to have a mixed holding where I could be my own boss."

Over the years he has acquired land surrounding the ground on which his house, Ferrers Mere, stands. He began farming in 1946, with a dairy herd of Guernsey cows in the Hayway and Ayrshire cattle at Ferrers Mere Farm, Northampton Road, Higham Ferrers.

Now the farm is concentrated on the land surrounding his house and covers an area of about one hundred acres, bordered by the River Nene. This is thought by many to be some of the finest grazing in the county. The farm is run on a half arable, half cattle basis.

He had plans for putting all the land to grass, but when this was tried the grass did not take very well, and he was advised by farming friends, of which he has many, to re-sow with, barley or some such crop.

He has about fifty head of cattle, most of them Hereford Friesian crossed and a few Aberdeen Angus. He hopes to go in for a specialised pedigee herd and breed his own.

The neat layout of the premises, painted in blue and with white gates, was planned by Mr. White. A large yard is used for housing the cattle in the winter and a smaller one as a fattening unit.

Self Contained

One of the most striking aspects of the farm is that in spite of its comparatively small size it is completely self-contained.

Potatoes grown on the arable land are stored away in one building—there is plenty of room for hay storage—and modern machinery is used for the arable farming. Another barn houses a saw mill and other carpentry equipment for making and mending fences.

Mr. White has a small sideline in keeping chickens which are housed in the blue impeccably-kept buildings.

Said Mr. White: "I have always wanted something like this, it is really my hobby.”

John outside his homein the 1930s
With Nancy in later life
John outside his home in the 1930s
Below - the gates deemed a work of art by Professor Albert Richardson,
with the name 'Ferrers Mere' highlighted in gold.

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