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A Winters Sunday afternoon at John Bells Farm.

June 2, 2015 2 comments

Mick, one of my older brothers, worked for a time at John Bells farm on the Esh Winning road just beyond St. Luke’s Church.  My Dad had died a  few years earlier and Mam was left to bring five of us up. And she did an excellent job God Bless her.  Mick would go in for the milking on the Sunday afternoons for a few extra shillings.  (50p).  I used to go along with him to give him a hand.  Hard work as the Byre in Winter had to be cleaned out, fresh straw laid and the cows fed.  This particular afternoon it was freezing cold with a thick frost and threatening snow.  Just the weather to find that the turnip store was empty.  We hitched up a trailer to the little Ferguson tractor and drove to the field where the turnips were still rooted in the soil.  No gloves.   We had to pull them out by hand and then lop the roots off and the leaves with a huge machete  It was bloody freezing.  Dusk was falling very quickly and then light snow.  We both straighted our backs and watched a wall of snow coming down the valley from the direction of Esh Winning blotting everything out as it approached us on the hillside of the field just West of the farm.

It was nature in he raw.  Back to the farm and the welcome warmth and aromatic smell of the Byre.  Chop the turnips in a machine and the feed them to the cows.  There must have been sixteen cows to be hand milked.  Then sterilise all the milking equipment.  Tired but happy at a job well done and home to a Sunday tea with meat pies and an apple tart with jelly and Carnation milk.  Happy memories.  All that work for 50 pence.  My Mam was a great lass for grubbing the five of us.  We never ent short in that Department.   Brian mc.

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Categories: Memories