07 Finedon Farms 1920

Finedon was laid out as a typical farming village with about 20 farms in the center of town. The farmhouses were on High Street, and the farmyard entrance on Orchard Road. Another set had the farmhouses on Well Street and Regent Street, and their farmyard entrances on Bell Hill Wellingborough Road, and Ivy Lane. Plackett’s Yard overlooked the farm operated by Wallis in the typical method of the time. I spent my childhood days “helping” on the farm. The wheat was cut by a binder and stacked in the field. It was tough trying to get the sheaves to stand upright so that the heads would dry out. Later the sheaves were loaded onto a horse-drawn cart and taken from the field on Burton Road to the rick yard on Orchard Road and unloaded. Each sheaf was taken off and carefully stacked. The stack was shaped so that it could be thatched to shed the rain. On the trip through town the carts shed lots of straw. Later in the year the thrashing outfit consisting of the tractor, thrashing drum, and straw elevator, would be set up by the stack, and the men would toss a sheaf at a time onto the drum. The feeder would pick up the sheaf, cut the twine, and spread the straw over the revolving drum but retain the twines in his hand. Meanwhile we boys, armed with stakes would chase the mice that came out of the stack. Thrashing was a labour intensive and was soon abandoned with the advent of the combine, there were four teamsters on the farm at this time, and often they would take the horses to pasture in the field next to the Tainty. One night a teamster lifted me onto the back of one of the horses and told me to hang on to the mane, which I did, and we trotted down Orchard Road with me hanging on for dear life. I was thankful to be helped down at the gate..