Hulverstone Farm

Hulverstone Farm was managed as a working farm until 1957 by Mrs Heal (left). When her husband died she ran the farm alongside Hilton Snow, seen right milking at Hulverstone, and above right: Bob Cassell who tells his life story in ‘An Eventful Life.’ While Bob Cassell enjoyed the work at Seaview Dairy, on his fifteenth birthday in 1928 his wages went up to twelve shillings a week and Mrs Cheek could no longer afford to pay him. Later when he was eighteen, and she had lost another worker, she was able to offer him ‘a man’s money’ of thirty shillings a week and this enabled him to marry and live with his wife in their own tied cottage (Ivy Cottage, Brook). When Bob’s father needed to retire at seventy, he could only stay in his home, The Elms in Hulverstone, if Bob took over his job as carter at Hulverstone Farm. Bob was glad to be back working with horses:

I was brought up with horses. Even from when I was about six year old the farmer very often came to the door to ask the schoolmistress if she would let me out to get a certain horse to the blacksmith...The horses all had names. The horses I had most to do with at Hulverstone were Captain, Colonel, Nelson and Smiler. Colonel was a great big horse but gentle as a lamb. You can talk to horses. Of course I had to go tractor driving during and after the war, but I missed the horses.They’re alive and all have their own personalities. Bob also recalled what the daily work involved: Soon after five in the morning I would be over to feed and clean out the horses. By seven o’clock we would be ready to do whatever we had to do. It was a bit difficult in the war though because with double daylight saving it would still be dark at seven o’clock. I would use three horses for ploughing, sowing and harvesting with the binder. That was hard work for the horses - there was no let up, they would be at it seven or eight hours a day. To plough a big field like Chapel Furlong would take about three weeks. Before the war we had about forty acres of ploughed land, then during the War I ploughed up two or three meadows and we ended up with about a hundred acres in which we sowed wheat, barley and oats alternately, with a few acres of roots for cattle feed. Sometimes I used to take a cart into Newport with pigs and calves all in together, to sell at the market. Mostly I walked alongside the cart, to keep myself warm. After Mrs Heal died, the people who took over the farm brought their own men with them and I worked at Dunsbury Farm on the tractors. Hulverstone Farm has always seemed like home to me, especially with the horses.