Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Recollections of the Green Path area by Bunty Schofield (nee Taylor)

Before she married my mother was Edith Loxam; there were 9 brothers and sisters and two others died so there would have been 11 Loxam’s. Her father, my grandad, Robinson Loxam, farmed Carr House, Edenbreck and Ripley; it went under R Loxam and Sons. The sons were John, Robert [Bobby] and Thomas [Tommy]. Grandad [Robinson] and Uncle John, had Carr House; Uncle Bobby, Robert, farmed Edenbreck and Uncle Thomas farmed Ripley.

At Ripley, on the opposite side of the road to Ripley school, virtually up to the railway, grandad [Robinson] used to have a piggery. Also soft fruits like blackcurrants, raspberries, things like that. But after the war the Council gave that over for prefabs [Princess Avenue]. All around the Infirmary was meadow; it was all fields up to Nazareth house. It was all R Loxam and Sons; Tommy and his wife Lily farmed Ripley farm but lived on Portland Street. Hedrick was Tommy’s son. Ripley land ran in to Carr House land and Carr House land ran into Edenbreck land.

Uncle John who worked at Carr House, but lived on Wingate Saul Road, and ran the milk round. Uncle John had a float with a horse, ‘cause I used to get a ride in it, they came out with a jug and he filled it.

My mum died an hour after I was born; my mum’s third sister, Mary Loxam, brought me up. My father lived at Quernmore so he used to bring my older brother and sister down to Carr House while he went to work. My sister spent most of her time at Carr House to go to school at Dallas Road. In summer dad probably brought her down to school in the car but in winter, and then with petrol rationing, she more or less lived at Carr House and went to Dallas Rd School. So I also spent a lot of time at Carr House when I was growing up.

Uncle Bobby was at Edenbreck; all the cows were named after one of the family, there was Edenbreck Edith, Edenbreck Alice, Edenbreck Mary, that herd, they were all Frisians. When I was a baby I had the milk from one cow, you wouldn’t be allowed that now.

We used to walk to Edenbreck from Carr House all the way around by the short Pads; past the Girls’ Grammar school playing field, past the allotments, and to Edenbreck. I think the allotments between Carr House farm and Edenbreck farm started in the war; when you had to dig for victory. I would have thought that land would have belonged to Edenbreck because it was all farmed together; it was all R Loxam and Sons, everybody had a share. Despite the fact that they were tenant farmers, the Council owned the land that they farmed, so the Council could take that land off them for the allotments; every time the council wanted something they’d lose their tenancy, so they would have taken it over for the allotments.

Or we just walked across the fields between Carr House and Edenbreck. As you went along the back of Carr House towards Edenbreck there was a big dip, we called it the gun range, it was just always known as the gun range. I wonder how the gun range got its name.

We didn’t play in the fields but we used to go in the fields at hay time, to help out; we used to take the drinks and stuff down when they were hay timing and we sometimes used to get a lift back on the cart. All the farms helped each other out at hay time.

Then Lucy brook, I’ve spoken to my sister Alice and my cousin, Margaret Loxam, and they’ve said they can remember Lucy brook. My sister who is 90 said one bit of it was really clear and you could get watercress out of there.

Behind Edenbreck was the Long Pads that went down to the canal. I did walk the Pads, it was just a narrow rough path, nettles either side. Just as you started off there were two big houses called Edenbreck. Pinches, Pinches wholesalers on Common Garden Street, lived in one and a Major, who had a daughter called Marigold, lived in the other. There were the old Miss Pinches and their brother Edgar built a house where you go on to Sunnyside Lane. Then Thoms builders had one next to it. There was a convalescent home for the Infirmary; Longlands Convalescent Home. Sunnyside Lane, before the houses were built and on Sunnyside Close, Sunnyside Lane continued up the back of the houses on Ashfield Avenue to the nursing home at the top on Westbourne Road.

When granddad got old they split the partnership up; in about 1945 or maybe even before. When they split the partnership up my granddad went to live in Edenbreck, Bobby and John moved out to other farms and Uncle George came down from Newlands to Carr House. Uncle Thomas still farmed at Ripley but then they [the Council] took land off for everything [hospital etc]. When granddad moved into Edenbreck my sister went to live there with him because she was still at Dallas Road School.

I remember Edenbreck; you went in the door into the kitchen and you looked up Sunnyside Lane from the kitchen window. Then you went down a little passage into the sitting room come dining room come everything and that had a window looking towards the allotments and it had a window looking on the Pads at the back. I think there were two bedrooms and there was an outside lavatory down on the side of the allotments. Next to the house was a wash house and dairy, then a barn. When my sister lived there, she was telling me, she’d gone to the toilet, she came back and said to granddad ‘there’s a fire in the barn’ and he said ‘don’t you tell tales lady’ and sent her up to bed. Then Pinches rang the fire brigade and said the barn was on fire and they came and put it out.

When my grandad left Edenbreck he went to live with my aunty Alice, up at Mount Vernon, which was where he originated from before he went to Carr House. Then one of the cousins that I was brought up with, Jean Atkinson who married Fred Wilkinson, went into live at Edenbreck and their son was Michael Wilkinson. It wasn’t a farm then, just lived in and the land for it was farmed from Carr House. Marilyn used to have a pony, Molly, in the Edenbreck stable; my children learned to ride on Molly. Edenbreck dairy got into a really bad state after the Wilkinson’s left, it was left empty but now it’s been done up. Uncle George [another of Robinson’s sons] farmed up at Newlands [Quernmore]. Later George’s son Thomas married Dorothy Winder and they farmed Carr House. They had David, Robin and Linda. So Robinson was Robin’s great granddad.

Bunty Schofield (nee Taylor)

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