Ninety Years of Hardcastles at Tythe Farm by Terence Hardcastle

 

It was a cold and snowy April 5th 1929, when Grandfather, John Robert Hardcastle and his beloved wife Ada, moved their few simple belongings into a very bleak and inhospitable Tythe Farm. They had four sons and one daughter, two of the boys Don and George, along with daughter Elsie, worked with their father on the tenanted farm of 150 acres.

 

Times were very hard in the early 1930's and when Ada died aged 59, it all proved too much for John Robert and he decided to hand in a notice to quit. The landlords however, rejected it and told him that he could have the place rent free, until things improved. It took the Second World War to improve the lot of farming, when home grown food became essential to the survival of the country.

 

JR's heart was always more in tune with his garden than the farm and he won many prizes at local exhibitions for his sweet peas and chrysanthemums. When he died peacefully in his rocking chair after tending his garden, it was my father George who took over the tenancy.

 

George and his wife Rita, reared five sons here. Eventually three of them moved away, leaving my elder brother, Mervyn and I to carry on the farming tradition, tragically Mervyn died of leukaemia, age 37. 

I eventually managed to acquire the freehold of Tythe, by borrowing a large sum of money. The only way of paying it off was to diversify and so I started a business, manufacturing crop storage equipment. Farming by this time had again hit hard times and I took the very difficult decision to sell off most of the land, apart from the ten acres which forms the property today.

 

The Crop Storage business provided me with enough funds to eventually demolish the draughty old farm house and build the new house, connecting it to the old cow house and the partially covered fold yard.

 

In the late nineties, all the trees you see today were planted, with the exception of the large, lake side ash tree and the few old fruit trees, which were on the original 1929 Farm Inventory.  The lake was also dug out in the late nineties and the garden more or less established as you see it today. The long perennial border, along with the avenue of fruit trees are more recent additions. The 200 yard long border, designed and planted in 2017-18 will in due course, become a shrubbery providing further shelter from the North West winds. 

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Tythe Farm 1950 

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Tythe Farm 2017