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  Duncan Dewar


Summary of Living Memories interview with Duncan Dewar (and his wife Imelda)

by Richard Tusson - March 2008



Below are excerpts from the interview which you can read in full via the link at the end of the summary.






Well, Duncan, Have you always farmed?

 Pretty well, yes.  I had a place at London University to study veterinary science and then it was a complicated story really.  At that time of day the War Agricultural Executive Committee had great powers and my great uncle was getting old and getting past it and they were looking for another person to run the show so I was just of an age to do it.  I’d had a couple of years in the army and I came in to do it.

 …And has the type of farming changed in the time that you’ve been here?

 Yes, because people have gone largely out of livestock

 ……Well, there was no electricity, obviously, they had paraffin lamps and candles.  And I remember my father, about 1954 or so, broaching the subject of electricity and the great aunt said “Oh no, I’m not fussy about that at all.  No matter how careful you are, you’re sure to get electrocuted, no I don’t think so.”

 …..The Council had tried for years to condemn the water supply saying it was unfit for human consumption and actually it made the most beautiful cup of tea I’ve ever tasted.  It was lovely, yes, it was a little spring that bubbled up in a field called the Vicar’s Well Close.  A little stone-like chamber and this lovely clear water bubbled up.

 …..This field, it carried a payment called Skinner’s Dole and according to Stan Lane, who used to keep the records, it was … he said it had been paid every years since 1612 which is as far back as the parish records go.

 …I suppose the biggest change is that Tickhill was very rural when I came and things were geared towards the rural and the farming community, whereas now it’s different isn’t it ..... it’s a bit like a dormitory town in a way isn’t it?

 …How far do the Dewars go back?

 Well they’ve traced them as far back as the battle of Flodden.

Oh dear we’re going back into the reign of Henry VIII arne’t we? So one of our people was killed then apparently.  What he was I’ve no idea.  He could have been a sheep stealer for all I know.  Doesn’t do to delve too deeply. 

……There was a paper mill down here.  This stream at the bottom is called Paper Mill Dyke and there were the remains of an old mill down there which was destroyed when they put the railway in.  We’ve got an old mill dam that has always been known as Wrigglesworth Dam after the last miller that was down there.

For a transcription of the full interview, please click here

Duncan and Imelda have recently (2011) spent a lot of time and energy restoring the Old Water Mill at Limestone Hill Farm. For more details, follow this link.









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