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.
irene nee kidd says
I am grandaughter to the Kidds. It was interesting to read about being at Greenbank. My father is still alive. Thank you
Admin LandGirls says
It was very nice of you to contact me, I’m only sorry it has taken me longer than I hoped to respond.
I have very fond memories of Greenbank Farm; how kind to me your Grandmother was and how patient your Grandfather with a young Land Girl virtually straight from the Liverpool streets and knowing little of farming. From your grandmother I learned much about management of the household and from your wise grandfather much sound advice, and help, in learning the practical side of hill farming.
I have not been back to the Trough for over 25 years as I left the UK in 1990. John is my husband and we have two sons also resident in the USA, one here in Montana the other in Utah. Both have American wives and I have three teenage grandchildren, one girl and two boys. We are very happy here in the USA and I’m in reasonable health in my 91st year.
Whereabouts are you living?
Also I’m curious as to how you came across the reference to your grandparents?
It was very kind of you to write and make yourself known. I appreciate it.
All good wishes to you and your family,
matthew heard says
hello, i am dulcie drinkalls grandson, she is still alive and kicking in lincolnshire,uk.
would be nice to hear from you. regards, matthew
Admin LandGirls says
What a pleasant surprise to hear from you, Dulcie and I knew each other from our childhood days in Liverpool, we trained as Land Girls together at Hutton and then met up again at Marshaw where she was married to Edward. Thank you for getting in touch.
Our ways parted when I left Marshaw at the end of the WarII and I left my days working on the land behind. So after seventy odd years it’s very pleasing indeed to meet up again-though several thousand miles separate us-and to renew the acquaintance. And to learn she is, as you say, “alive and kicking”. I think that too might be said of me.
Please give your Grand Mother Dulcie my kindest regards and very Best Wishes,
Ann Rossall says
Hi, I’m Gwen Baxters daughter, I remember Mum and Dad talking about you. I was raised and lived at Moorbottom for 37 years, farming it myself with my (now)ex husband for a few years untill we sold up and gave up the tenancy in 2001. I dont know how up to date you are but sadly Mum passed away quite a few years ago and Dad last year. I hope you are well. I’ve only had a quick read of your story and will settle down and read it properly once lambing time is over! Ann Rossall nee Baxter
Admin LandGirls says
How nice to hear from you particularly at such a busy time-lambing! Thank you so much and for your news.
I was in touch with your mother Gwen over the years and gathered that things were not all that well and when her Christmas cards ceased I did wonder why. And now I know.I’m flattered too you knew of me from your mother and father and Gwen was always fun to be with. There was not that much fellow female company of our ages in and around Abbeystead. I did hear occasionally about things from Vera, who came later as fellow Land Girl to Marshaw but she sadly died a few years back and I had not heard anything until recently when my website attracted attention. The wonders of the internet age and me in my 91st year. Who’d have thought it back then
Your mention of lambing brought back many memories of that hard work often in bad weather, but the lambs were always a delight and to bring one back to life in the Aga was an especial occasion as was introducing them in the skin of a dead one to a foster mother. And then to see them gamboling about. Allow me a little nostalgia. And going to bed very tired with it all to go through again the next day. Happy and fulfilling days that I was enabled to spend through the kindness of so many, like your mother and father, in the Trough.
I do appreciate your getting in touch and hope you will enjoy my website.