Work at Marshaw
I found the work at Marshaw similar to that at Greenbank Farm, but on a much larger scale. Livestock at Marshaw consisted of 1,500 breeding sheep that increased to over 3000 sheep after lambing, a smaller herd of about 20 milking cows, some store cattle and the customary hens and pigs. The holding was also similar but much larger with rough fells, and on the lower ground meadows and arable fields. These arable fields had previously been very stony meadows that Mr. John ploughed up with reluctance, and only at the insistence of the agricultural committee, as all land had to be brought into use even if marginal.
Proper Footwear – Clogs
Having had the experience of the work at Greenbank Farm none of this fazed me. And drawing on that I knew I would never be comfortable without proper footwear. Wellington boots worn constantly are no good, nor were the heavy issue shoes really suited to the wet, muck and other things I spent much time walking through. So as soon as I could get into Lancaster, I went to the clog maker. He was an old man living in a small house in a back street, with the walls of his front room workshop covered with patterns of all his life long customers, and mine were to join them. Clogs are ideal for places such as dairies where the floors are hard, cold and damp. They have wooden soles and leather uppers. Around the sole is an iron ferrule that keeps it off the ground and thus lasts longer. Though not fashionable by any degree they are warm to wear and keep your feet healthy, and in winter with some straw inside my feet were never cold.
My Initial Duties
When I arrived in October 1942 the main work with the sheep was over; they were now loose on the fells. So the first work I did was the everyday tasks. As before it was a 7 day 24 hour job. Among the countless jobs was the daily attention to the horses, cattle, cows, hens and the pigs. Milking with its collection by the milk lorry also needed my attention. Work on the arable land changed with the seasons and, while we had a tractor, most of the work we did with a horse.