Lower GreenBank Farm
Lower Greenbank Farm sat in open ground below the slopes of Lee Fell, a small mixed holding of about 60 acres of a hilly terrain, divided by the road that ran from Galgate, a small village to the even smaller hamlet of Dolphinholme further on. On it were parcels of meadow, pasture for cattle, milking cows and sheep along with the invariable pigs and poultry. When I arrived all work was done with two horses that I got to know and love as we did not have a tractor. On the farm Mr Kidd did the bulk of the work with a casual but dependable Irishman. So as sorely needed extra help, from the WLA I proved a great aid in increasing the productivity of the farm.
The farmhouse square built in the 1600’s of stone and with a pleasing front elevation was set back from the road, and behind it a tidy yard, the stone barns, the dairy, shippons stables and sties. Inside it was comfortably finished and furnished, and I was given to myself a lovely room upstairs at the front looking out to the rising fells. There was no electricity, Mrs Kidd cooked on a coal burning iron range that kept the kitchen snug and warm in winter, but hot in the summer. Oil lamps and a candle lighted my way to bed.
Mr Kidd in appearance was nothing like the traditional farmer, with his spectacles and slight build he seemed more schoolmaster. Mrs Kidd was pleasant enough to me, but understandably reserved, probably wondering about my affect on her husband. She had no cause for concern as he always was a proper gentleman in his behavior toward me, as I was to find were all the other men for whom I worked, The Kidd’s had two children, an older boy who so far as he could helped his dad, and a daughter Audrey about four years younger than I. Mrs Kidd was an excellent housekeeper with the house always immaculate and a good plain cook, making her own bread, cooking superb pies and serving appetizing meals. I lived in and ate all my meals with them, which I enjoyed. Mrs Kidd’s abilities and her all round competence in all these fields impressed me the most. After my mother’s ineffective housekeeping, cooking and management this was the first time I had experienced living in a properly and well managed household. It was wonderful, and I reveled in it.