Discovering the history of Barrow Upon Soar......

Brook Lane Farm

Brook Lane Farm (now called Fishpool House farm) 

1939 Sydney and Vera Iliffe living in Brook Bungalow (next to the Apiary)

1945 E.R. Roberts and Vera Georgiana Iliffe (between the Apiary and Barn Farm)

1958 James and Marjorie Irvine

1968 June and Ronald A. Grainger

1970 Alison Marie Grainger, born 14th December, father Ronald Arthur, mother June, baptised Methodist Church, April 25th 1971

1978 Helen M and Trevor R Hodges 

Brook Lane Farm Sale 1973

(*Record Extracted From Local Studies Office, Wigston, Leics)  

DE5099/365 Sale catalogue in Woolley Collection

Sale of Brook lane Farm Barrow on Soar by auction Monday 1ih SEPTEMBER 1973 BY DIRECTION
OF Messrs A.G. & R.A. Grainger

Freehold with vacant possession at The Lodge Hotel, South Street, Barrow on Soar

Vendors solicitors Straw and Pearce, 18 Rectory Place, Loughborough

Auctioneers Shakespear, McTurk and Graham 17 Wellington St. Leicester

Drawing no. 4783 scale 1/2500

Small agricultural property comprising a modern bungalow, range of farm buildings, arable and
pasture land extending to 23.982 acres or thereabouts with vacant possession

Tenantright In addition to purchase price purchaser will pay for any unconsumed hay and straw
remaining. No other claims nor any allowance for dilapidations if any.

Outgoings Dwelling rates £19.75 per half year

Rights of way across field 0.5. No 65 and a Bridle Road between points A,B and C on attached plan.

Wayleaves and Easements Property sold subject to and with benefit of.

Planning Consent for bungalow was granted on s" January 1968 subject to conditions.

Viewing by appointment with Mr R.A. Grainger tel. Quorn 3395

Modern bungalow constructed with concrete panels, inner wall and asbestos roof.

Utility room 10' x 9', Kitchen 11'x 10' with sink unit, work surface and electric cooker point,

Sitting room 16'x9'10" with boarded floor, tiled fireplace with back boiler, Entrance hall, Bathroom
7'x8'4" panelled bath, washbasin, W.c., airing cupboard with immersion heater.

Bedroom 1 11'4"xTj Bedroom 2 10'6"x9'6", Bedroom 3 11'6"xl0", Bedroom 4 11'6"x9'9"

Services: Mains water, electricity and telephone connected, drainage to a septic tank

Farm buildings near bungalow can be used for a variety of purposes.

Brick and asbestos range of 3 piggeries

Concrete, brick and asbestos roofed range of 6 piggeries

Concrete and asbestos roofed range of 2 loose boxes with leanto

Concrete, brick and asbestos range of 5 piggeries

2 bay Dutch barn with leanto

Concrete and corrugated iron roofed calf shed

Timber and asbestos roofed store shed

The land is divided into a number of conveniently sized enclosures with an adequate number of
mains fed trough water supplies

OS Number                             Area

65 Pasture and arable              10.525
68 Arable                                 3.222
69 Pasture                                2.412
145 Pasture                              1.434

147 Pasture                               0.940
70 Bungalow and pasture            1.583
71 Pasture                                 0.940
66 Pasture                                 0.360 
67 Farm buildings and Paddock    1.801
150 Arable                                 1.602
Total                                          23.982 acres or thereabouts            

 My Recollections of Brook Lane Farm from 1967 to 1972

My first visit to Brook Lane Farm was on a hot, summer day in June 1967, I was 16 years old. The farm yard seemed to be full of bits and bobs of machinery, the yard itself was surrounded on all sides by farm buildings including a hay barn but no obvious dwelling place. I remember seeing a sign that read “Public Footpath to Cream Lodge” on the edge of the farm yard. The resident family and some of their friends were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine, it was a Sunday afternoon so a slightly less busy time for the farmer.

The next time I visited I was welcomed into their home, which consisted of a wooden dwelling with a central living room, two small bedrooms, a tiny kitchen and a “bit” added on the side. I was asked if I would like a cup of tea and a great effort was made to find the one china cup and saucer which was always on “stand by” for new visitors. As I got to know the family, I was given a mug of tea along with everyone else.

This tiny abode was home to the farmer, his wife and their 3 children, aged 11, 9 and  5 . The three children shared the two small bedrooms and mum and dad slept on a sofa bed in the living room. There was a small table in the kitchen, a stove where the farmer’s wife would cook fabulous stews from rabbit or chicken as well as pigeon pie, her pastry was terrific. In the late summer and autumn she would collect blackberries from the hedgerows and with sour apples from trees on the farm she would rustle up juicy blackberry and apple pies.

When the family first moved to the farm there was no flushing lavatory, just one pan lavatory in the “bit” on the side of the kitchen. A proper flushing lavatory was installed in a shed in the yard to improve sanitation for the family. They did not have a bathroom so the family would go, once a week, to visit relatives in Loughborough so they could all have a proper bath although the younger child would have a bath in a baby’s bath in front of the living room fire.

The tiny house had a coal fire, with a brick chimney, on winter nights this room would be very cosy, actually it could get really hot. The “house” cat, Sooty, he was huge, would curl up in front of the fire, eventually he would have to move because he became too hot, then he would jump on a lap and purr whilst kneading his enormous paws and claws into your arm or leg, whichever was easiest.

I think, at the time, the farm consisted of 33 acres but some of this land was rented. The farmer’s father would often work on the farm. I remember him clearing trees, most of them hawthorn from and area called “The Binges”. This area stretched from the then edge of the field to Fishpool Brook, now it’s cleared you can see that it increased the size of that particular field quite considerably. There was a caravan on the edge of the Binges where a traveller and his wife lived. Actually, we were never sure whether they were ever married. Next to where the caravan was situated there was an area covered in scrap metal which was eventually cleared away. There was also a very old coach which would be classed as “vintage” today, I think this was scrapped as well.

I believe the family’s main income was from keeping pigs. I used to help at feeding time. Waste food was collected in oil drums from a variety of cafes/restaurants in Loughborough. I remember going on the “swill” collection on a regular basis. Empty bins would be unloaded from the back of a van and full bins (full of waste food) would be loaded up. Back at the farm the waste food was emptied into a huge drum to be boiled up in water, then cooked under pressure. I remember that the waste food had a sour rancid smell but the smell of the swill cooking was not unpleasant. The cooked swill would then be loaded into buckets and fed to the pigs with some pig meal ( a type of flour). In the days when pigs could still be reared on swill I could always tell when pork,  cooking in the oven, had come from swill fed pigs.

I remember a couple of cows, one of which was a “Jersey”. These were milked, by hand,  twice a day. If there was an excess of milk I’d be given some, in a “pop” bottle to take home. It was delicious, the cream would settle on the top of the milk, it was so rich you could spoon it out of the bottle to save to make cream cheese, if you had the time.

There were always a few chickens scratching about also a few ducks, for the eggs, again, if there were more than were needed by the family I was given some to take home. My mum wouldn’t let me eat the duck eggs but they were used for baking.

Grass was grown for hay which would be used for winter feed for the cows. There was an old hay baling machine which would often break down, it was usually something to do with feeding the twine through the machine. I spent many happy hours on the back of a flat bed lorry loading up the bales of fresh hay and stacking them as they were gathered up from around the field and tossed up to me with a pitch fork. I became quite proficient in “binding” the bales, which meant they had to be stacked in such a way that they did not topple over, they were stacked at least 5 or 6 bales high.

Some nights, after hay making all day, someone would drive the lorry around the harvested field to look for and shoot rabbits. The farmer would be on the back of the lorry, ready to shoot with his gun, someone else had a spotlight which would confuse the prey, it wasn’t a very successful way of hunting, in fact I can’t recall that any rabbits were ever shot on one of these night hunts..

My husband, Alan, remembers the machinery when the farmer first took ownership, he had a Fordson Major tractor, that used a type of fuel called TVO, Tractor Vaporising Oil, a crude type of fuel, more crude than diesel oil. It was sometimes called “tractor paraffin”. This tractor was replaced by one called “International Harvester”, much more up to date and able to operate with diesel fuel.

There was also a huge tractor with caterpillar tracks that was operated by levers rather than a steering wheel, the make was,”Fowler” . This piece of machinery was initially used to remove tree roots when clearing “The Binges”

The old rustic, wooden farm dwelling was replaced in 1969, I think, with a modern bungalow built with concrete sections and lined with breeze blocks and plaster. This new home was a luxury to the family, there were 4 bedrooms, a large family bathroom and a dining kitchen. The old house was partly demolished and part of it was used as a workshop/shed. Not long after the new house was completed there was an addition to the family, another daughter born in 1970.

The family didn’t remain in the new house for very long as the children, all girls, had no interest in the land or farming and the farmer’s wife really wanted to move away from the land. The property was sold in 1972, the family moved to Avon Road in Barrow. The farmer carried on with his shooting hobby but returned to his previous type of employment in the building trade.

Ginnie Willcocks



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Last Updated. 15-April-2019 By admin