The establishment of the Milk Marketing Board in 1933 revolutionised the supply of milk and created a direct line between producer and factory for the first time.

Very little progress was made between the wars. The self binder was one of the best. This would cut the corn and bind it into sheaves.

haystack at Lympscott

Sometime in the 1920's, this giant haystack was built at Lympscott

Threshing days were quite an occasion. The threshing machine, pulled by a steam engine, would arrive the night before.

Two men would arrive early and get up steam, then seven or eight neighbouring farmers would arrive to help. The farmer's wife would have to provide three meals during the day.

The farmer's wife played a very important part in the early part of the century. Besides looking after the farmhouse and cooking for the family on a black stove, she would usually help with the feeding of the calves, milking, butter making, separating milk for cream, rearing poultry. Often profit from the butter and eggs was used to provide food and clothing for the family.

In the early 1930's Torridge Vale dairies started to collect cream from the farmers and butter making stopped. Just before the 1939-45 War Torridge Vale started collecting milk from the farms, which meant a lot less work for the farmer and his wife.

Cows and sheep
For many years several villagers who owned land around the village would bring their cows into the village, morning and evening, at milking time and there was often a mix up!

Mr. C.C. Barfett of Wistaria milked his cows at Mill Park and would bring his milk home on his head in an old type milking bucket. Mr. W. Harding milked his cows in an old shed next to the school house. Mr. W.H. Cory and his son Stanley who owned land in Lower Village brought their cows to be milked in the sheds behind the Temperance Hotel (now Eastways).

Mr. J.L. Martin, who owned Martins hardware shop, also had a large farm around the vicarage and Waterlands. Thee cows were hand milked in Blakey's Yard, and the milk was retailed around the village.

Mr. R. Oke the blacksmith milked his cows in the shed next to Mr. E. Wade's billiard room. Mr. S. Bond's cows were milked off the North Road and would often be driven through the Square to their fields.

Mr. E. Wade owned quite a lot of land on the Holsworthy road, his herd had to be driven through St. Peter's Lane, morning and evening, for milking in Lower Village. Mr. W. Bromell, draper, also kept cows in sheds (opposite Lavis Medical Systems) on the Bideford road.

Mr. A.F. Balsdon, grocer, had cow sheds behind the school house but most of their land was at Bradworthy Mill. Mr. Jack Wickett owned land on the Holsworthy road, and his cows were milked at Lyles.

Bradworthy auction was held in the market field next to the school. Cattle and sheep were driven in from the outlying farms and would often meet up in the Square where it was difficult to separate them. The Hon. In the 1950's Keith Rous from Clovelly owned several farms in the area and they would often drive up to 150 cattle from one farm to another through the village it really did look like the Wild West then!

With all this movement the village would often look muddy with plenty of farm yard manure about. In the 1930's Mr. W. Prance was employed by the Council to sweep and clean up every Saturday afternoon.

[ Back to top ]