Stow Memories

On 27th January I posted the following on Facebook: U3A walk today: ‘Stow cum Quy to Lode return; pause at St James, Lode, by Rhode Haskins 1853 (David Horan in full flow); lunch at The White Swan, Stow, nice food and cheery service.’ It prompted some memories and stories.
Carola Rush: ‘My home turf of old! My Grandfather came from Lode and then moved to Quy when he became shepherd for the estate farm there. I spent much of my childhood in Quy before moving there when I got the job at the Darkroom. I miss that part of the world. I hope you all enjoyed your walking and your lunch in the Swan (the shepherd’s house was one of the cottages opposite the pub).’
U3A Lode 160127 -  Lode MillBrian Human: ‘Hi Carola, what a small world! And how things have changed. As we walked we commented on the huge fields, now brown and bare after ploughing (photo [Lode Mill from NW]) or flushed green with early cereals, and no sign of livestock – it’s hard to imaging a shepherd there tending his flock. Hope you are well.’
CR: ‘When I was a child, the sheep used to follow the crop rotation but that is no longer practiced. We used to move the sheep wherever they were needed, to Lode, Wilbrahams etc. I loved getting up at 4am to go out with Granddad to move them but I can’t imagine a huge flock on those roads now! Lovely to see the photo.’
BH: ‘What a wonderful childhood memory. I can’t match that, but I have happy recollections of being taken to the Cambridge cattle market when hundreds of cows, sheep and pigs were auctioned; and the market had it’s own bank and pub. Going back a generation, my Dad used to help drive sheep from the cattle market to outlying farms. Who knows, maybe even Quy or Lode!’
CR: ‘My Grandfather rarely strayed from his home turf but the cattle market was one place he did go. He used to tell the tale about one of his horses spooking there and running all the way home to Quy – the horse was pulling him in his cart at the time! Perhaps he and your Dad met? We shall never know…’
BH: ‘I remember cattle escaping from the pens and scattering crowds in panic. As Hartley said, “The past is a foreign country…” and no, we shall never know what paths crossed there.’

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