Living Memories interview with Duncan Dewar (and his wife
Tusson - March 2008
Below are excerpts from the interview
which you can read in full via the link at the end of the
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
…And has the type of farming changed in the time that you’ve
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
…..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
…How far do the Dewars go back?
Well they’ve traced them as far back as the battle of
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
For a transcription of the full interview, please
Duncan and Imelda have recently (2011) spent a lot of time and
energy restoring the Old Water Mill at Limestone Hill Farm. For
follow this link.