Hi everyone. Unfortunately, due to recent health issues, I have had to cancel my talks for the first half of the year and won't be taking any new bookings for the time being. I am aiming to be fit and well for the beginning of the new talks season in September. Apologies to those groups affected, but thanks to all for your support and understanding. Dave.
It is lovely to hear from readers who have enjoyed my books and who have then had brought to the fore some long lost childhood memories. I thought I'd share with you this recently-received message from Val McCowen, for which I am most grateful:
Having just finished reading "My Family and Other Scousers", I felt compelled to write to you.
I also read your book about the Liverpool Cowkeepers. As family history, I found 'Cowkeepers' a revelation, although my great aunt remembered sitting on the milk float as a child (born 1897 in Preston), dangling her legs over the back. She would go round with the milkman as customers brought their jugs to fill from his churns.
It was the horses in your book about your days in Liverpool , that triggered so many memories for me. My dad was a Lancashire Mounted Policeman. As a child in the 50s and early 60s I have fond memories of the policeman's wives and children going on a day out to The Lancashire Agricultural Show, and sometimes travel to the national shows, where the police horses would display their skills and do a "musical ride". My dad and his horse "Trafford" won best trained police horse several times. Some band music triggers so many fond memories for me.
In the early 1950s my dad was transferred from stables in Formby to Hutton, Preston, where the Lancashire Police Headquarters stables were and still are. We lived at "the stables" for some years in the lodge to the big house "Holmemead". As children we would play in the barn and hayloft. We were told never to climb on the hay, which was the horses food. We could play on the straw bales, which were used for bedding , but I remember them being very scratchy. The hay was much sweeter smelling and softer to climb on and play in. Your antics in the dairy hay loft brought back many memories for me, making dens and jumping from great heights!
As children we would often be rounded up and gathered in the field next to our house. We were provided with football rattles, tin cans, anything that would make a noise to simulate a rowdy football crowd . We would make two lines of noisy rabble while the horses walked through our noise , mostly ignoring us. Once they could cope with us without being disturbed they were passed fit to be let loose at Preston North End and other football fields!
Our grandchildren don't have those wonderful playgrounds and freedoms of the past. Looking into our family history has made me acutely aware of how important it is to talk to our children and grand children about our precious memories. So, thank you so much for your inspiration - and a couple of good reads.
With kind regards,
At this morning's talk for Upholland U3A, I was asked about the demise of the Milk Marketing Board, but I couldn't recall the year of its end. So, just to put the record straight, following deregulation in 1993, the Milk Marketing Board continued until 2002.
At a recent talk I spoke with Walter Whitfield. He told me that his father had been Matthew Whitfield who was a cowkeeper at 19 Browne Street, in Liverpool. Unfortunately, the dairy in Browne Street was bombed during the war, but the family relocated to Shropshire to farm there.
I also had a chat with Susan Sunderland and her family. Susan's mother used to work for Tom Parker, a hay and straw merchant located at the top of Smithdown Road, and she can recall the local cowkeepers (including the Hogg family) calling in to pay their bills.
At the end of my talk at the Lancashire Infantry Museum, Fulwood Barracks, Preston, earlier this year, someone had kindly brought with them documents relating to the Fawcett family of cowkeepers. With having so many people to chat to, I didn't make a note of your email address. Please do drop me a line as I'd love to find out more about this branch of the Fawcett family. Ta. Dave.
I recently had an enquiry from Ray Smyth about Greenbank's Dairy - Ray's father used to work for them as a driver. Here's what I've been able to discover:
Richard Greenbank (1846–1920) married Elizabeth Burton (1848-1904) in 1870.
Children: Elizabeth (b.1870); Mabel (1870-1952); William (1875-1955); Margaret Ellen (b.1876); Robert (1879-1885); and, Agnes (b.1883).
1881 – Farmer of 43 acres near Nateby.
1891 – 1/2 Carisbrooke Place, Liverpool. Cowkeeper.
1901 – Milk House, Bedford Road, Liverpool. Cowkeeper.
1911 – 36 Bedford Road, Liverpool. Cowkeeper and Milk Dealer.
Following Richard’s death (1920), the Bedford Road dairy was subsequently run by Mrs Lucy Ann Burns (1955 + 1964).
William Greenbank (1875-1955). Son of Richard. Born in Dent, died in Liverpool. William lived at home working with his father until he married Lucy Millward in 1905.
Children: Richard (1904-1904); Elizabeth Mary (1906-1974); William (1910-1974); Ivy (1914-1955); Richard Stanley (1915-1997); and Alan (b.1919).
1911 census – 72 Walton Village, Liverpool. Cowkeeper.
Any other information would be gratefully received. Ta. Dave.
Just wanted to say a big "thank you" to everyone who attended my talk at the Grassington Festival on Monday, especially to those who went to the trouble of bringing in their beautiful cowkeeping silverware to show me and also their cowkeeping ancestry to share with me - do keep in touch! I hope you all enjoyed the event as much as I did and, hopefully, you will enjoy reading my books equally as much. Thanks again. Dave.
Hi everyone. Just to draw to your attention my new email address: email@example.com
[After some 20 years or so, tesco.net is finally closing down - that's where I bought my first computer!]
Hi everyone. Just finished adding more info to my website. This time it is a couple of family histories and more lists of prize-winners at the various agricultural and cattle shows held in Liverpool in the 1800s.
One of the new family histories concerns the Capstick family of Sandy Lane Farm, Fazakerley. Much of the information I have about this family is contained in a folder, handed to me after one of my talks. Unfortunately, I didn't make a note of who it was who kindly donated this information. If it was you - please get in touch! Cheers, Dave.
Hi. I've just finished posting another cartload of Cowkeeping stuff on my website, including family histories, memoirs and photos. Many thanks to those who have contributed material.
If you have material that's suitable for creating an article about your cowkeeping ancestors, drop me a line and I'll see what we can do about adding it to the website. Ta. Dave.