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History in the Attic

Carrier bag found in attic during renovations containing a wonderful snapshot of the life of a farming family 1916-1957:

  • A pair of wire  rimmed spectacles
  • A  tin of menthol and eucalyptus  pastilles from Timothy Whites
  • A tin of cork tipped Craven A cigarettes ‘Made specially to prevent sore throats’ containing Kodak negatives of 2 smartly dressed  couples (unbelievable to think those days existed when there may only be a single photograph taken of a family during its lifetime.)
  • A road map  of Great Britain with NO motorways
  • German, Italian and Spanish phrase books 6 shillings each
  • How to become quick  at figures – 7 ½ old pence
  • Warships  and Aircraft  of Japan 1 shilling 3 pence
  • A  Missionary prayer wheel 1d.
  • A Lewis’s Standard Masonic Rituals September 1926 and the Scottish  Masonic Historical Directory 1916


The Leigh School of Motoring 200 Test Questions;  194 of these relate to mechanics!

  • Explain the Ackerman principle of steering a motor car
  • How would you braze a flange on to a pipe?
  • What is the speed limit in England?


The farmer’s wife sends off for a jar of Cynthia Stafford’s ‘Wrinkola’ and gets a hand typed accompanying letter informing her that this  is  the ‘most successful treatment ever discovered for  the banishment of lines, crow’s feet and unsightly sagging.’ (Some things don’t change)

There is a booklet about emigrating to Australia dated 1946 with passages on rural production highlighted.  An envelope from the Chief Migration Officer arrives in 1951 but it is empty so we don’t know who went if anyone although there is a 1951 Australian Football Pools coupon so perhaps someone did.

However, the vast majority of the information relates to country life.  Letters  from the Kennel Club 1926 and 27 – the family bred Airedales.  Invoices, cleaning  instructions and business cards for shot guns, cross bows and rifles ‘birds and animals  preserved and mounted’.   Some immaculately written ‘Farmer and Stockbreeder Diaries’ from 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1957 containing reminders  for cutting straw, accounts, cricket  results, interesting newspaper cuttings on how to prepare ducks for storage.  These records of activities give us a fascinating glimpse in to the lives of post war farmers.

Have a look when you visit – they are all on display in the cottage.

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    Other ways to contact us Telephone:

    Liz : 07751 674706
    Paul : 07966 146298
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    Dale Farm, Bartindale Road,
    Hunmanby nr Filey, North Yorkshire,
    YO14 0JD

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