The ‘Old Man’ and my mother’s side
The Old man was the local vet in Wigton
He was never a qualified vet but he did the job all the same. He had all these beautiful instruments in a doctor’s bag; he looked the part and the people who came to him were grateful. I have those instruments somewhere. He had all sorts.
I remember going over there once and being taken up to Heather’s Gill where we did some shooting.
My mother’s side were farmers at Bell Gate House Farm, Dalston
Mother, whose name was Sarah, was the eldest of six girls.
My aunties were Margaret (b1874), Ellen (b1877) then Elizabeth (b1880), Ada (b1883) and Emma (b1886)
Mother, 24 at the time, went home to Granny Nixon to have me.
I was born on the farm on 20th August 1896 and christened in Dalston Church.
That’s what women did when they were expecting; they went home to have their baby and would be taken care of by their mothers.
The farm was a real mixture. It had an orchard and pigs. We rented it from the estate. There was a market garden in Carlisle. Granny Nixon used to take a pony and tub trap into town once a week to sell eggs and butter at a stall.
I’d go in on the occasions I was there and help out on the stall for a few coppers.