Dunsbury Farm

Dunsbury Farm was owned by Sir Charles Seely as part of the Seely Estate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and farmed by the Brown family for many years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 1950s Dunsbury was owned and farmed by Harry and Bunty Minchin (Bunty’s family the Dockerells had farmed Brook Farm). Following the Minchin family was Mr Hedley Flitton, who lived and managed the farm in the 1960s and 70s. Dunsbury is owned today by Sir Charles Seely’s great grandson Patrick and his wife Susannah. The farm continues to be a successful working farm producing and selling its own lamb with shepherd Steve Fruin looking after 800 breeding ewes and a flock that reaches 2,000 sheep at any one time.

Fred Price, sheep shearer and steam enthusiast, recalls: Harry Minchin that was at Dunsbury, he was a marine commando in the war. I know he had a famous donkey there. They put an advertisement in the newspaper, “Jill donkey needs a Jack donkey, apply Mrs Minchin Dunsbury Farm”!

Robin Shepheard (Newbery) who grew up at Meadow Cottage in Brook, recalls: Colonel Dockerell had two daughters, Bunty and Jill, who married into large farm-owning families. Bunty married Harry Minchin who owned Dunsbury Farm and welcomed me as a casual working lad at weekends and school holidays. I spent many hours at the farm and remember very well two of the workers – George Thompson and Eric Sheath. I recall the old green tractor, a Field Marshall, which I think had to be started by a cartridge. Mr Minchin used to give me a small brown wage packet on a Friday, which I treasured.

George Thompson worked on the farm from the 1930s and took the photo on the left of Harry Minchin, Hilton Snow and Brian Sheath: I did like that photo… showing how it use to be done years ago. Brian loaded it, Hilt pitched it and I drove the tractor. Old Fred Barnes, he worked there at Dunsbury, used to say, ‘What does a boy know about loading sheaves on a wagon?’ I said ‘he’s had good tuition.’ We started off with an under-hand prong, a short-handled half-pitcher prong and then moved on to a full-pitcher, an over-hand long pitcher. They all had different length handles. We took it back down to the farm to be threshed in the Dutch barns, they’re not there now. The sacks in the trailer were sacks of barley, weighing two cwt. We would carry them up the steps on our backs, it was the only way you could carry them. It was hard work and Brian Sheath and me had little bets on who could carry the sacks farthest. Brian was a big lad and he’d say ‘Stand on the shovel and I will see if I can pick you up.’ I am a little bit heavier now than I was then when he would pick me up on the shovel.