Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

Millennium Map Project. Park House Farm

Contributor: Mrs Joyce Allison, Park House Farm
Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

50 years ago, Mr Hugh Handley, his wife Florrie and two daughters lived at Park House. Mr Handley was born in 1891 and came to live at Park House when he was two years old. He left Park House in 1957 and moved to West View, still in Ravenstonedale, and continued to farm in a smaller way. He died in 1974. During his earlier years at Park House, the farm workers were Bob Robinson, Jimmy Pratt (Mrs Handley's brother) and Tom Wilson. Their daughters, Mary and Winifred, also helped outside when necessary.

The farm workers' wages averaged about £13.00 per week, including free milk. They hand-milked about 30 Northern Dairy Shorthorns and had about 300 Rough Fell Sheep. They worked with several horses, on a character called Tommy, who hated being caught. When asked by someone what kind of horses they were, Winifred replied "big ones". Other horses were called Boxer, Charlie, Molly and Bonny. One had twin foals, which was very unusual; they named the foals Rex and Queenie.They also had 3 Fordson tractors. All the implements, such as side-rakes, rakes, turners etc. were converted from horse-drawn machines. They had a stationary baler and had a threshing day once a year, when neighbours came to help.

All the staff had the same 'term week' holiday, or there would often have been someone missing from work. Other local farmers used to come and help out at these ''term week' holidays.In the year 2000, Ken Allison, Gilbert Allison and one farm worker farm Park House. Contractors are hired to do the silage crop and big bales. The farm has Swaledale sheep and milk about 50 Friesian cows.