Annual Cattle Drive.
The annual cattle drive to Cockmarsh from Sheephouse Farm; Maidenhead Court would take place during the first week in May. This is when George Allan the Hayward at that time would come to the farm and count and stamp the cattle on their hind quarter with the now historic “C” brand with hot coal tar.
So after tea we, my cousin John and I with the rest of the farm staff with our bicycles would head off down the road ahead of the herd to make sure that all gates leading to private homes were closed. Then across Widbrook Common and Sutton Road to School Lane. There we would turn them up School Lane and on to Moor. Here we kept them on the south side of the causeway and over the Fleet Bridge. The next turning point was up Terry’s Lane, again making sure that all entrances were either closed or blocked, and this being uphill was a little bit slower.
Finally we arrived at the top of Cockmarsh and there would be George Allan with his pony and trap to count the heifers and steers through the gate. Then we would walk all the cattle down the hill and continue to the easterly end of Cockmarsh and go under the railway bridge. It was then a ride along the towpath to Marsh Meadows, where we would walk across to The Crown for our reward. The men for their pint of beer and we boys for large lemonade and a packet of Smith’s Crisps.