Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ted & Anna Barrett

Ted & Anna Barrett.
Ted Barrett was a very long time employee of the Astor family at White Place Farm. Both he and his wife Anna and daughter Daisy lived in No1.”The Lodges”, on Sutton Road.

Lord Astor not only took a very great interest in Ted and his skill as a champion horse ploughman, but his great knowledge of the working farm horse. Many a time Ted accompanied his Lordship to Horse sales, to pick fresh horses for the farm stables. Ted also chose his own working pair of Belgian horses who were named Rodney and Colonel.

Ted also developed for a better word “Horse Language.” Oh yes! He did have reins, but seldom used them, as he use to talk constantly in his broad dialect, as he would drawl out their names: Co-ore-nell and Rod-kne-ee.

Ted like all carters and ploughmen on the farm were early risers, as they would up either to bring their horses in from the field in the summer time, or direct to the stables in the winter. Here they would groom and feed their charges and prepare the nosebags for the mid day feed. Then they would have their breakfast before setting out for a days work in the field around 8:00 a.m. They always had their lunch in the field with their horses. At 4:00 p.m. they would head into the stables to feed, water and groom. Then after taking them back out to the over night paddock in the summer they would head home for tea.

About every six weeks or so all the horses would be walked up to Tom Emmett’s forge in the High Street to be re-shod. This was spaced out, so that one team would go up at a time, unless one of the horses would cast a shoe. That happened now and again.

As a young boy I learnt quite a lot about the art of ploughing from Ted, which stood me in good stead in later years when ploughing with a tractor and trailer plough.

In the picture above you see Ted and his wife Anna with their wartime family of evacuees: Jean, Alan and sister Margaret, with David, Jean’s brother in the background.

My grateful thanks to, Carole Wiffen, Jean’s daughter for this photo.

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