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Snitterfield in 1954
Started by Carol butson
Posted: July 28, 2008 at 08:49
I lived at Hatton Bank Farm in 1954, when my father Harry Rose was foreman for the owner Clyde Higgs who owned several farms in the area, including Black Hill and Hatton Rock, and supplied milk to most of Stratford and surrounding area. He was extremely wealthy and visited his farms in a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. I went to school in Snitterfield, and am writing a book about my father. I visited Hatton Bank Farm a few years ago and was dismayed o find that the beautiful Queen Anne farmhouse with six bedrooms, cellars, a music room and an acre of gardens had been demolished and some kind of hideous modern barn put in it's place. I have a fund of hilarious (and sad) stories about the farm, our time in Warwickshire forms just one chapter of the book. I wondered if you have a historical society in the village, and if what I have written could be of interest to them. Does any one, aged 65 or over, remember Hatton Bank Farm, the Rose family, Carol Rose, Clyde Higgs, or might my name appear in school registers. I still have my school report signed by H J Spurling in 1954. I appeared in a school play as one of the witches of Macbeth and remember the strict discipline, ruler across the legs for naughty boys. I also have a photo of the farmhouse. Unfortunately our time at Hatton Bank came to an abrupt end when Clyde Higgs visited the farm and Dad accidently backed a horse and cart into his Rolls Royce. The following week Dad was demoted to labourer and we were moved to Gorse Cottage, a nearby gamkeepers cottage with no electricity or water and wild pigs roaming the surrounding woods, the conditions were terrible. Dad lasted six months in this primitive cottage before he handed in his notice and we moved to Surrey. Does amyone remember anything, or even better, have a school photo from 1954 with me in it. Please reply or ring me if you can help! Any photos would be carefully returned by registered post, or could be scanned and E-mailed to me.
Thank you, Carol Butson(Rose) 01752 291607 Plymouth
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #1 by christopher cusworth
Posted: September 30, 2008 at 11:42
I WAS BORN IN 1945 AND LIVED AT HATTON BANK FARM WITH MY SISTER SUSAN AND PARENTS HARRY AND IRENE CUSWORTH,HE LIKE YOUR FATHER WAS A FARM FOREMAN.THEY CAME FROM YORKSHIRE BEFORE THE WAR AND RETURNED TO YORKSHIRE AROUND 1953.I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION MAPS OF THE SURROUNDING AREAS COVERING CLYDE HIGGS FARMS AND TWO PHOTOS 0F WHAT LOOKS LIKE A CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR ALL THE FOREMEN AND LABOURERS,WIFES AND GIRLFRIENDS.SADLEY MY FATHER DIED A FEW YEARS AGO BUT MY MOTHER IS STILL ALIVE AGED 93.I LIKE YOUR SELF HAVE A LOT OF MEMORIES OF THE FARM ,STRATFORD AND THE SURRONDING AREA AND ITS PEOPLE,ONE BEING THE PRITCHARDS WHO LIVED UP THE LANE FROM THE FARM.ALSO I HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY CLYDE HIGGS,CALLED A CONTINENTAL JOURNEY AND SIGNED BY HIM IT ALSO HAS HIS PHOTO IN IT.
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #2 by carol butson
Posted: October 1, 2008 at 10:03
Hello Christopher Cusworth. It sounds as if we moved into Hatton Bank Farm when you moved out. I have written a story about our time there and also have some photos. I'm sure your Mum would like to read about the wonderful old house and our life there. My Mum loved it, although it was hard work to look after because it was so big, and it was paradise for us kids. We used the big music room at the end of the house as a play room, and when we wanted to get back to the kitchen we rode our bikes along the corridor, it was quicker than walking. I am fascinated to know that you have a book by Clyde Higgs, also maps. The house is now unfortunately demolished. We would have stayed there a lot longer if Dad had not backed his horse and cart into Clyde Higgs Rolls Royce! Dad was foreman of three farms, Hatton Bank, Hatton Rock and Black Hill. I see from the homes for sale at Knight frank estate agents that Black Hill is for sale at (wait for it) 1,750,000!) Did the Pritchards live there? Hope we can swap memories and pics, ring 01752 291607.
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #3 by christopher cusworth
Posted: October 1, 2008 at 11:43
thank you for your reply.my wife and i are going on holiday this weakend (5 october)so i will try to get in touch with you when we return. thanks again
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #4 by valefresco.com
Posted: October 13, 2008 at 13:32
we are the new owners of old pastures farm. Do you have any information about this? Its also a clyde higgs farm. Contact nick
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #5 by Carol Butson
Posted: October 15, 2008 at 18:34
Hello Nick, My father was the manager of Hatton Bank, Hatton Rock and Black HillFarms. Leslie Thick was the manager of Park Farm and several others, possibly Old Pastures? He had three daughters, Rosalind, Caroline and Suzanne who went to Snitterfield school. Clyde Higgs lived at Clydesdale near the road to the south of the village, now demolished and replaced by new houses. He was very wealthy, owning coffee plantations in Tanganika, and many farms in Wiltshire. He was an agricultural pioneer, using American methods of farming,taking out hedges to make huge prairie like fields for his fleets of Combine harvesters. He built grain driers and silos for his hay and corn, one of the original driers can still be seen at Hatton Bank. He also wrote for farming magasines. I have a farmers manual which he wrote for the Daily Express in 1953. He was encouraged by the government of the day to find new was to produce that massive quantities of wheat and other food which would reduce England's reliance on imports. He was a great fan of chemicals and weed killers, no poppy or butter cup would survive on a Clyde Higgs farm, but that's the way it was before we all went organic.The field patterns which Clyde Higgs laid out in the early 1950's can still be seen in the aerial photos on Google earth, the huge fields contrasting oddly with the tiny fields of the surrounding farms. I have a farming manual written by Clyde Higgs, which was published by the Daily Express.
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #6 by Carol Butson
Posted: October 18, 2008 at 23:56
Hello Christopher Cusworth. Hope you enjoyed your holiday. If you have your pics amd memories I might be in time to share them with Bob who is organising an exhibition of Old Snitterfield photographs in the village hall.(If this is alright with you) It would be wonderful to have the pic of the 1950's Christmas dinner in Hatton Bank kitchen, hope to hear from you soon, through this page or by phone 01752 291607.cheers CB.
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #7 by John Burrows
Posted: July 6, 2009 at 23:44
Hi Carol
I've been reading your 2008 original messages
Leslie Thick was manager of Park Farm but Old Pastures was a tenanted farm not farmed ,although owned, by Clyde. The tenant was Jimmy Gray.
Amos Pritchard lived with his family at Blackhill farm.
Are you in touch with any of the Thick girls. When I was single I often went to Leslie and Norah's for lunch on Sunday.
They bought one of my English Setter pups and later Leslie became godfather to my eldest son. I would love to hear from any of the girls - probably grandmothers by now I expect!
If you want anymore information you can get me by email. jhon@shaw.ca
Cheers John02cxDH

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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #8 by Carol Anne Rose
Posted: August 22, 2009 at 14:49
Hello John

We Rose children were best friends with the Thick girls, we often played together as we could take a short cut to Park Farm across the fields behind Hatton Bank. We often had tea with Norah and Leslie, she was a fantastic cook. I remember that Rosalind was a very pretty girl with jet black hair, and Leslie was the first person in Snitterfield to get a Ford Anglia. We left Hatton in 1956 after the infortunate incident when Dad backed his horse and cart into Clyde Higgs Rolls Royce car. We moved to Ockley court farm near Dorking in surrey. The Thicks came to see us once in 1960, I have not seen them since then.

I remember the Pritchards at Black Hill Farm. Their house was quarantined when they caught scarlet fever, I could only wave to them from the end of the drive as they hung out of the upstairs windows. The house had a huge front room with an enormous fire place which we kids could walk in.

We all went to Snitterfield Primary School, I still have my school report from Mrs Spurling. I am giving my photos to Bob foster for his forthcoming exhibition, and I will also send them to you by email together with some more memories and funny stories of village life.
Cheers, Carol
Plymouth, England
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #9 by john hampton lucy
Posted: September 8, 2009 at 20:12
Hello,i would love to see a picture of clyde higgs,if anyone here could help i would like to see one,i would also like to see any other pictures of the area,clyde higgs is buried in hampton lucy church yard right at the back by the river, i know of a family called rose who lived in the village and they went way back,maybe a realation? also there was a pritchard living nearby,major pritchard who was in charge of charlecote park up back in the early 90s,anyone interested in clyde higgs farm related storys have missed out on a very interesting charecter who worked these fields for cylde higgs way back,harald gibbs,he died back in 1998/99 somtime here in hampton lucy,he must of knew a lot,he was amazing with a shire horse aparently,i regret not talking to him enough as he could have informed me about how things were,much much later at old pastures in the late 70s-late 90s goeorge bilingsy was the main man at that farm and he still lives local still having family in the village,i dont know how much he knew but im sure he must know a certain amount of history and people to contact,john brown was also a local farmer there,and the farm was owned by lizz creak or elizabeth creak who was the last owner before the currant ones,i live local and i can see at least one person here interested doesnt,if you need anything like sugesting the where abouts of family of past employeys of clyde higgs for you to contact for any potential pictures?information i will do wot i can for you, ps any pictures of clyde the farm village or area i would love to see them, i recomend a web site windows through warwickshire for old pictures of the area it is very good,i would like to know wot clyde looked like ,was he fat? i dont know why i have this idea of a big cigar smoking guy,thanks john church street hampton lucy september 2009.
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #10 by John Burrows
Posted: September 9, 2009 at 20:14
Hi John of Hampton Lucy
No photos I'm afraid but Clyde was a tall heavy built man who used to be very thin but the story goes that on a trip through India smoking on the plane was not allowed and he resolved that if he could not smoke for a few hours then he would give it up altogether. This made him very much an anti-smoker and woe betide any staff caught smoking in his presence
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #11 by Duncan
Posted: November 5, 2009 at 21:24
I currently work on the hatton rock estate and live on sandbarn lane. I am facinated by the history of the estate, my main source if info is Bernie Lewis from the saddlers on park lane. Looking at the old (1945ish) pictures of the estate makes you realise how much it has changed, I first worked on the estate in 1991. I would love to see any old photos of the clyde higgs days especially the farms and the miling bails. Email me Funkidunk1@aol.com
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #12 by spring farm boy
Posted: November 19, 2009 at 18:54
I LIVED NEARBY, ON SPRING FARM, IN THE EARLY 1960'S. I WAS AROUND SEVEN YEARS OLD; MY FATHER WORKED AS A MILKMAN FOR LIZ CREAKE, WHO HAD RECENTLY INHERITED THE ESTATE OF CLYDE HIGGS. I REMEMBER AMOS PRICHARD AS A LOVELY OLD GENTLEMAN WHO WORKED AROUND THE FARM IN THOSE DAYS. I REMEMBER TOO HAROLD GIBBS, HARRY WATCOTE AND OTHERS WHO WORKED THE FARMS.. AND THOSE MILK BOTTLES WITH THE WITTY AND WONDERFUL POEMS, MOST OF WHICH WERE WRITTEN BY MR HIGGS..AND THOSE GREEN MILKING BAILS, I NEVER SAW THE LIKE SINCE...I REMEMBER TOO THE TRAGEDY OT THE FOOT AND MOUTH OUTBREAK THAT RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF THE MILKING HERDS, AND MR BRANDL AND MR BARNEY, WHO DID THE MILKING, WERE VERY UPSET AT THE LOSS OF THEIR HERDS AT THAT TIME.
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #13 by Carol Rose
Posted: December 5, 2009 at 01:03
Duncan,
I have sent you an email with some photos of Hatton Bank and Hatton Rock from the 1940's and 50's, with milking bails, Clyde Higgs milk bottles, 1930's maps of the farmland etc. Spring Farm Boy, I will send them to you as well if you leave your email on this site. Also I am still hoping that Christopher Cusworth will contact me as I understand that he has a photo of the kitchen at Hatton Bank Farm which I would dearly love to see as I lived there as a child in the 1950's. In those days Dad had a box brownie camera which could only be used outdoors so I have no photos of the interior.
Cheers, Carol
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #14 by David
Posted: December 6, 2009 at 15:35
Very interesting,myself and family have owned and farmed Hatton Bank since 1996.Like Duncan said the farm has changed alot in the last 50 years.Due to the pressure of modern farming and making it profitable myself Duncan and Al cover 2700 arable acres.Im told that Clyde Higgs employed over 100 staff when at his peak, is this correct?

Check out www.countrychannel.tv they have produced a once a month arable farming programme based on our modern farming business called "The Naked Truth" I started the series back in january and just have this month left to film.
The programme is also on Sky 171 along with other countrychannel.tv productions.

Regards

David jones
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #15 by sharon major
Posted: February 14, 2010 at 18:03
just typed in Hatton Bank Farm as trying to trace the Bishop family tree . on one birth certificate in the family our Grandfather albert Edward Bishop must have worked here so anyone with memories back to 1937ish it would be great to hear from as nothing much is known about him .
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #16 by Andy Crofts
Posted: March 31, 2010 at 19:39
Clyde Higgs. Now, you're taking me back...
I lived on the 'Percy Estate' in Warwick - essentially a council estate. I, as a child, looked forward to Clyde Higgs' milk bottles arriving on the step, usually with a new slogan every month.
One I've never got out of my mind since I was a nipper (45 years back):

"Cleopatra used to have
Her bath in best Clyde Higgs
400 pinta's every day
And extra for the wigs."

I live in Finland nowadays, but hanker - still - for the cry of 'Milko!'
If anyone else remembers it, send me a.j.crofts@gmail.com
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #17 by Andy Crofts
Posted: April 1, 2010 at 11:40
@Carol Rose
Would You be so kind as to e-mail copies of the milk bottle poems? I'd be grateful. As my previous post shows, I was enthusiastic about that area of Warwickshire. I worked at Bearley Radio Station, knew "Don" the organist at Snitterfield Church (His full-time job was storeman at Bearley Radio Stn. - excellent sense of humour, we'd chat for hours*) in the mid-70's (He must've passed away by now, of course).
Happy days.

a.j.crofts@gmail.com

*When we had a new apprentice, we'd send him to Don for "a long weight". Usually about lunchtime. Don'd go to the canteen for his lunch, while the unsuspecting lad would sit on a stool. After about an hour, Don would return, and tell the unfortunate urchin that he could go now, he's had his 'long wait'. Yeah, he caught me on that the first day (I wasn't falling for 'Skyhooks', however - even thought it was an aerial farm)
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Reply #18 by Roger Smith
Posted: April 4, 2010 at 20:13
Carol, I was very interested to read your last comments.I am Don Smith's son. He died in 1991 although my Mum is very much alive and was born at Spring Farm and then lived at Lower Welcombe Farm. Although I have lived in London for many years I have never forgotten my links with Bearley and Snitterfield and often visit. I can remember accompanying my dad to work when I had left school, walking up through the woods of Ghost Town to the radio station at Bearley. He often used to say how lucky he was to be able to walk to work through quiet woods and bluebells on his way to work. I remember seeing a Clyde Higgs milk bottle with the ditty 'Seven days without milk makes one weak' on the side in the familiar green writing. Later I graduated from Clyde Higgs milk to Ansells Best Bitter and spent many hours drinking in the Foxhunter at Snitterireld with Bernie Lewis and other characters!
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Re: Snitterfield in 1954
Reply #19 by clyde higgs milkman
Posted: April 4, 2010 at 22:03
"EAST WEST, HIGGS IS BEST" OR "FOR SKIN LIKE SILK DRINK CLYDE HIGGS MILK"...These slogans stay with you, don't they? And the eggs were always Heggs....and TWO pint milk bottles if you wanted them!! The shire horse, named Wizendene,a huge grey and white animal,recently retired from the brewery,being driven by Amos Pritchard and pulling the flat cart, painted green and carrying shiny milk churns from the milking bails to place by the side of the road for Cyril Crooke to collect on his Austin lorry, also painted in that familiar green livery...it all sounds very pre - war, but this was the early 1960's and a wonderful place to enjoy the happy childhood that I was so lucky to experience,and in an environment that has all but vanished from our modern world.
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