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Notes from Alfred Carr, 2018
Carr's Farm 1939

In 1939 the Carr family left their farm in Perthshire to take over the tenancy of a farm at Caldecott, Chelveston-cum-Caldecott. Mr and Mrs Carr had 5 children, Alfred being 12 years at the time of the move.

We came to the south from Perth by special train on the 29th November 1939. On the train we had 500 sheep, 1 goat, dairy cattle (only 5 cows that had passed the TB test) and younger dairy cattle (Ayreshires) and 4 horses (2 working and 2 young colts). There was one shepherd single, and others who were married: cowman and four children, horseman and family (Billie Stewart youngest daughter), herdsman. We also brought several tons of seed potatoes and seed grain.

Then there was all the equipment and one tractor or tractors, then all the small tools and all the supporting equipment, etc. The train had a tractor and some equipment on it, and it was a special train and came in to Higham Ferrers station. All us kids did create a stir in the village.

The locals were very taken up with the sheep walking from Higham Station and the dogs. They had never seen anything like it. There were no lorries, everything walked – this was as it used to be, the war changed everything.

There was another smaller train had come down in October at the Term Time [Michaelmas] with the Foreman and family, 2 single tractor drivers.

The landlord or government took away 400 acres of the land, so father rented other land in Huntingdonshire, which was not so convenient.

In Scotland we had a milk round and I delivered the milk from aged 9 until we left when I was 12. When our mother died in 1941 father took on a housekeeper.

I remember there is an old pound in Chelveston on the A45 just before you enter the village on the right – it will still be there.

Down in Water Yard entrance off the A45 on the left hand side of the road there is a clump of trees, on the left on the way up to Alan Knight’s buildings. On the left when you leave the road there is a hollow into the bank - amongst the trees is the end of a tunnel – it comes from the old moat or castle in Higham Ferrers. The end at Chelveston was filled in to stop animals entering – It was still there in my time.

Up at Manor Farm Caldecott there was a dovecote the same height as the house, and a motor path between it and the house. It was taken down for the stone to put in the Poplar [farm] bottom yard. The Poplar has many old aspects to it.

Note: Quarter Days were when “terms” started or ended, and were usually the days for paying rent. They were Feast Days of the church calendar: Epiphany in January, Lady Day on 25th March, one was in July, and Michaelmas was in October. Lady Day had been New Year’s Day until September 1752. At that date the calendar was also adjusted by 11 days as time had been calculated to out of line with the actual world year, so September 3rd was followed by September 14th. BUT the tax-payers complained that they had lost 11 days, so the tax year end was moved by 11 days to April 5th which is still used today! Then we moved to the present day calendar year beginning on January 1st 1753.

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