Work at Homestead Farm in the 1950s

Homestead Farm was just beyond where St Barnabas School now stands up Drove Lane which was once called Cemetery Lane because there is a cemetery just below the school.

It was never a big farm but in those days of yore a small farm could support a hard working family. The hard working family at Homestead Farm was a branch of the Gye family and in the photo below we can see that they had enough income to run to a tractor.

A loose hay stack looks to be under construction, brought in on a trailer which might well have had a horse drawn origin.


Work at Homestead Farm in the 1950s

Work at Homestead Farm in the 1950s

We believe Mrs Gye is standing on the stack whilst her husband is forking material up from the side. A girl, probably Betty, is standing on the right in front of the stack.

There is clearly a small pen surrounding a hen house. This doesn’t look much like egg production for sale, but rather for domnestic need. In the distance we look over the top of Northbrook, down into the village centre and then up to Lavington Hill and Salisbury Plain.

Let’s take a closer look at the tractor and people.

That looks like a grey Fergie!

That looks like a grey Fergie!

The tractor looks like a Fergusson, the ubiquitous tractor of its day and these days often called ‘little grey Fergies’. Mr Wordley, the agricultural engineer based in the Market Place certainly sold these tractors but possibly not this one with registration LWV 899. That would seem to have been first registered in Wiltshire. Possibly somebody can tell us a date of manufacture.

It isn’t the clearest of photos but it certainly tells us a story of times past.

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7 Responses to “Work at Homestead Farm in the 1950s”

  1. Jim Spencer Says:

    The WV registration belonged to Wiltshire up to 1974. So probably locally supplied – possibly Wordleys, T H White or perhaps Farm Aids of Marlborough. A very popular tractor and one of 517,651 grey fergies made in Coventry, England between 1946 and 1956.

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Hi Jim

      Thanks again for useful info. How many Fergies still survive? Any ideas?

      • Jim Spencer Says:

        I have never seen an estimate but possibly over half of them. They were also made in France and the USA and exported all over the world.
        France produced 37,384 and Detroit made 60,000 with a variant having a larger engine, another 80,000.
        LWV889 doesn’t appear on the DVLA website but it may well exist in somebody’s garage being restored!

  2. Jim Spencer Says:

    Sorry, I meant LWV899!!

  3. John Young Says:

    I can narrow the registration date down a bit. The LWV registration was issued by Wiltshire County Council, County Hall, Trowbridge from 1st January August 31st 1955. The numbers went up to LWV999 so the tractor being LWV899 would have been new during July or August of that year.

  4. John Young Says:

    Oops. I missed out the ‘to’ between January and August.

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