Anecdotes from Tommy Shuttleworth about Life at Green Farm, Rylstone
1. Aquiring Green Farm
Tommy largely grew up at Green Farm, Rylstone and his family moved there (from a farm near Gargrave) in 1917. His father had the tenancy of the farm from the Standevans. When Tommy married Vera, and his father was ready for retirement, he asked the estate manager if he could take over the tenancy as was usually the case in tenanted farms. The manager initially agreed but then said that he could only have the farm if he bought it so the Shuttleworth family did just that. His mother and father moved into the Kennels, property just below the farm and Tommy and Vera moved into the farmhouse. They stayed at Green Farm until 2014 and then handed the farm over to their son.
2. Catching rabbits
When Tommy was a young lad, he spent a lot of time catching rabbits with his ferret(s). The fields around Green Farm - particularly to the East of the farm - were full of rabbits. He sold each rabbit for a few pence each to a man who picked them up from him and sold them on to local butchers. The price he received per rabbit depended on the current premium on rabbits, which in turn depended on their availability and time of year. He received most money close to Christmas. He earned so much money at one point that he was able to buy his own first cow.
3. Farming and schooling
Tommy only ever wanted to be a farmer and he did not particularly like going to Cracoe School. His grandmother lived in the farmhouse close to the school and he initially went for his lunch to her house, but this stopped when his younger brother went to school and she said that she could not manage both children for lunch. He then took sandwiches and when it was lambing time or some other important event was happening at the farm, he gobbled these down, walked back to Green Farm to see what was going on and then returned to school for the afternoon. He left school at the earliest opportunity and has farmed ever since.
4. Milking the cows
It was Tommy's job, even from a young age, to milk the cows and he did this every morning before he went to school and again in the late afternoon when he returned to the farm. He had his own milking stool, which was hung up in the milking shed.