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  Eastfield Farm 1925 - 1955


Eastfield Farm 1925-1955 by Jessie Newborn – a Summary


This paper is based on the notes and photographs made by the late Jessie Newborn who lived at Eastfield Farm for 30 years and was a member of the Tickhill Local History Group.

Frank Stephen Newborn, Jessie’s father, became the tenant of Eastfield Farm in February 1925. The farm, extending to 350 acres on the northern side of Tickhill, was of ancient origin. When Mr Newborn took over there was a substantial farmhouse (without mains water and electricity), yards for livestock and harvested crops, and outbuildings which included barns, a blacksmith’s shop, a steam house and a dovecot.



The work of Mr Newborn’s wife, Alice, was vital to the farming operation, not only providing substantial meals for the workers, but caring for weak newly born lambs and piglets, cleaning and sterilising dairy equipment and, with daily help, keeping the farmhouse clean.

Mr Newborn’s workforce had a wide variety of tasks to undertake according to the season, as they tended crops and livestock. Before the Second World War the workers relied heavily on horses for ploughing, planting and harvesting. Some crops such as peas and potatoes needed extra help from casual labour at harvest time.



During the Second World War Eastfield Farm was required to increase the amount of arable land by ploughing up some pasture land. Mr Newborn bought four tractors in all, largely replacing the reliance on horses. Eastfield Farm was not isolated from wartime tensions and dangers. A large decoy, built about half a mile from the farmhouse, could be lit by RAF personnel to lure German bombers from intended targets. Mr Newborn was Head ARP Warden in Tickhill. He also advised other farmers on how to increase production.





The farming year was interspersed with customs, some like Plough Sunday, revived after the War. For the children, May Day celebrations involved crowning the May Queen at the Buttercross. The culmination of the farming year, harvest, was celebrated at Harvest Supper for all the workforce.





After 30 years of managing Eastfield Farm, Mr Newborn, aged 69, retired and held a sale of equipment and livestock in March 1955. He and his family moved to a house on Northgate.


This is a summary of a paper which covers this topic in full detail and which is illustrated with numerous photographs. It is available from KSM Dry Cleaners, priced £1.50 or you can click here to read the full article on line.

(It may take a while to download as it is a large file)


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