Where do you start when writing your first blog post!
The beginning with grandad Smith. (Harry Smith)
He was sent with a pouch of money strapped to his belt with a clear mission to view two farms, make a decision on which he liked best, then ride like the wind back to Keighley. Not to stop and speak to anyone and put the money down on his choice.
Harry was in his late teens. His father wasn’t too well, but he had been saving up for a deposit for a farm for his family all his working life, working a rented farm at Long Lee.
Riding his father’s cart horse with no saddle and with only a trap harness, he rode from Currer Laithe farm, Long Lee, Keighley across the town to the county boundary. Firstly looking at Whorles Farm (he referred to it as Three Lapps Farm) there hangs a tale. Then on to Valley Farm over the boundary into Craven, this was the furthest he had been away from home in his whole life.
That day he never went through the gate to Valley Farm.
He only got to Sutton Stoop about half a mile from the farm, which is the county maker stone for North Yorkshire. He had been riding all day and knew he had to get back to Keighley to pay the deposit in the sales office by the end of the day.
That was close enough, he knew which farm it would be.
He said “looking down the valley into Craven was like looking onto a new world and a new beginning”. It was beautiful and so in the distance was his new farm he made his choice immediately, from just one look. He jumped back on his horse and “galloped like the devil was chasing him with sparks flying from its shoes”, to put his money down. (These were his own words)
In 1929 the Smith family took ownership of Valley Farm it was run down overgrown in in a very sorry state. It took several days to drove the entire farm contents from Long Lee to Sutton, a distance of six and half miles. Ducks, geese, hens, cows, sheep, pigs, cats, dog and last of all, the furniture being pulled along in the cart by the cart horse. Piled on top and strapped in her rocking chair was my great grandma, every animal and everyone else had to walk.