What a Fascincating Find in Liskeard Cornwall!

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Last week I received a very interesting email from Debbie Davies, which I am sure you too will find interesing.

She wrote:

 

We have been on holiday in Cornwall this week and I thought you'd be interested to see what I spotted in an Antiques Centre in Liskeard yesterday!

 

A staddle stone from Huddocks Moor Farm.

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Staddle stones were used as supporting bases for granaries, hayricks and game larders, protecting structures from water seepage and vermin.

After seeing the message and photos I began to delve into my archives in the hope that I would find a photograph of Huddocks Moor Farm showing a staddle stone, regrettably I was unable to do so, however, I thought that readers would be interested to find out more about Huddocks Moor Farm, its location and family who lived there.

I published the following article in my Pelsall Times magazine in 2002 following an interview with Mr and Mrs Atkins.

Huddocks Moor Farm, Pelsall

Huddocks Moor Farm

Shortly after publishing an article about Pelsall Coal and Iron Company on Nest Common, Pelsall, I received a call from Mrs Margaret Atkins who told me that she used to live at Huddocks Moor Farm as a youngster with her father Arthur Follows, her mother Thurza Follows, her brother George and her husband Mr Atkins when they first got married.

Arthur and Thurza Follows, owners of Huddocks Moor Farm

George, Margaret and Arthur Follows

The Follows family and Mr and Mrs Atkins

Mr and Mrs Atkins on their wedding day

Huddocks Moor Farm was situated behind Pelsall Coal and Iron Company and next to 'the Cracker'.

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The Cracker

Arthur Follows bought the house from Mr Harrington in 1926.  It is thought that the building was used as offices by Pelsall Coal and Iron Company.

Huddocks Moor Farm was a huge provider to the people of Pelsall being both an arable and livestock farm.

Dairy products from the farm were sold village wide and during war time milk was taken out in churns and delivered directly to villagers.

Chickens, eggs and vegetables in amongst other provisions were also delivered to villagers.

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It is believed that Arthur Follows was the last farmer in Pelsall to farm with horses.  He had around 5 or 6 cart horses on the farm.

Arthur, Margaret and George Follows

There was another property behind the farmhouse, and when the family moved on from there, with the extra space needed, Arthur Follows used the property to extend the dairy

Arthur Follows at the rear of Huddocks Moor Farm

Huddocks Moor Farm stood alone in that part of Nest Common.

Mr Atkins recalled how in the evening the only light that could be seen was coming from the 'stop house', which made him appreciate how isolated the farm was.

Mrs Atkins recalled the farm house being a big beautiful house.

However, due to its location the farm house went without a direct supply of water, electricity and gas for many years.

Water, one of the most vital supplies was derived from quite a step away.

At that time, the 'stop houses' on the canal side did have a water supply derived from a nearby well.  This supply was re routed to supply 2 cottages that were situated on the nearby common.

One of the cottages was owned by Bill and Violet Sedgwick and the other was owned by Sid and Doris Blakemore.

The water supply for Huddocks Moor Farm was re routed from the cottages.

Electricity to the farm did not take shape until the 1960's when a generator was put in situ and the house wired up to be connected with it.

Margaret recalled how the new switch in the house enabled them to have a television for the first time.

In 1968 the farm was sold to Mr Blakemore, owner of a local sand and gravel company.

Shortly afterwards, the farm was sold to J J Gallagher, then again to Boardsley Green Civil Engineering.

During the 1970's, Huddocks Moor Farm was pulled down.

Although today, there is nothing left of the farm, Mr Atkins told me that the land is quite precarious to the unsuspecting passer by.

Mr Atkins recalled that in his time of living at the farm, deep disused pit shafts were only ever covered with a sheet of corrugated iron, which could be moved easily, rather than being properly capped off.  He often used to move the sheeting across and throw down a stone to hear how deep the shaft was.

Today we have a 'Timberland Trail' to follow when exploring Nest Common, but please bear in mind hidden dangers when leaving the trail.

If you remember Huddocks Moor Farm and would like to share your memories, please get in touch.

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 Huddocks Moor Farm and 'the Cracker' to the left