Page 8 of 19
A Walk Through Hilton in the 1930s, continued
In the adjoining house lived Fred Childs, his wife, two sons and a daughter. He was a butcher and was employed by William Furniss the village butcher. The next house was the home of Fred Neil, his wife and daughter. Fred was a farm labourer. In the last house down Maze Road lived Mrs Dawes a widow.
At Park Farm where the modern dormer bungalow now stands was a large farmhouse it was the home of Lavinia Britten and Betty Britten, her niece. Lavinia was an elderly lady and died in 1936. Betty joined the forces and contracted and died of TB during the war, the house was then unoccupied. It was intended to restore it and convert it into the village hall but the war came and it became dilapidated and eventually collapsed.
The Grange Farmhouse was the home of two brothers, Alf and Fred Furniss, neither of them did any work. The farm which included most of the land to the south and east of The Green was farmed by their brother, Wilf, who lived on the south side of The Green. Wilf was also the village butcher, the butcher’s shop was a wooden building on the side of the left drive to Grange House, at the end of the drive was the open fronted coach house and beyond that, the slaughter house.
There was a large insulated cupboard in the corner of the coach house and in the hot weather, sides of beef etc would be hung in the cupboard and blocks of ice would be placed in the bottom to keep the meat cool. There was no electricity or gas at the farm, so no refrigeration. I do not know where the ice was purchased from but I remember seeing it arrive in a T ford van.
Beyond the slaughter house was a large room with an access door into the farm house and another door that opened onto the farmyard. This room was called the dairy as it was here that some of the milk from the farm cows was brought and turned into butter. The milk would be put into a separator which was a machine that by turning a geared handle on the side would rotate the container of milk at high speed and separate the cream from the milk, some of the cream would be turned into butter.
The cream would be put into a small wooden barrel which was suspended on trestles. The barrel had two spigots on each side to which a handle could be attached and slowly rotating the barrel, end over end, would turn the cream into butter. This could sometimes take a long time and was the job of Nellie Bently, who was housekeeper for the two Furniss brothers.