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February 2017 Print E-mail

Local History
Farming Question Time (FQT)
March 11th‘, 6 pm
Our next promised event will be on Saturday 11thth March in the Village Hall and open to
all. This time there will be the opportunity to find out how farming has changed (FQT), to look at
early footage of farming life, investigate pieces of antique farming equipment and interrogate our mystery guest ‘Ermintrude' about farming from her perspective. The event will run from 6 pm to 9 pm and refreshments will be served! As always, we will be delighted if you bring your memories and pictures of farming with you or contact us in advance to have items included in the show.
This is our penultimate article following our farming theme. Murray has been busy capturing
your photos and associated data from the pub hub evening to add to the archive. Philippa Adams has been talking to Bob Carter. In this issue, she focuses on his farming work — there will be more to come! As she writes:
"Bob Carter is a familiar and popular sight to us all walking around Hambledon with his beloved Bassett Hound, Denby. He is also never without his Pompey scarf and can be found on the terraces, passionately supporting Portsmouth football team. Bob very nearly died a few years ago, and he enjoys sharing his renewed love of life and the colours that he sees vividly in the surrounding countryside. He was born in Gosport but does not reveal his age, saying simply that he is recycled! He lived in Fareham with his father Rupert, a milkman, and mother Dorothy. At the age of four ‘the war was hotting up' and Bob remembers his parents loading furniture onto a tractor and moving to Hambledon. He lived at 1 East Hoe Cottage with his parents and two brothers Roy and Dennis. His father became a tractor driver and ploughman for Tom
Parker Farms. Bob recalls the competitive Ploughing matches once a year when he used to
help his father to mark out the course. Bob attended Hambledon School. He would
walk down to Green Lane where he met up with Ian Grant to continue across the fields to school. He was good at art and he loved to draw all the wild flowers he found in the hedgerows and woods.
He describes going ferreting with David Taylor, the postman's son. The butcher, Reg Langtry, would buy any rabbits they trapped in their nets. However, they were caught poaching red handed and marched home by Mr Perkins, who also took their ferrets.
The family moved to a big farmhouse on the crossroads at Hoe Cross when Bob was twelve and his father became the farm manager at Tom Parker's Farm. He was taught to be a beater.
When he reached the age of 16 he started work at Hoe Cross Farm. He was a tractor driver sometimes working 7 am to 7 pm at harvest time for £19.50 per week with one hour for lunch and half an hour for tea. Combine harvesters were in the early stages and Bob had to cut the corn with a binder which would also tie the stems into small bundles, or sheaves. These sheaves were then ‘shocked' into conical stooks, resembling small tepees, to allow the grain to dry for several days before being threshed.
In 1960 Bob married Ann and lived in Gosport and went into the building trade. However farming life soon drew him back and in 1964 Bob moved back to Hambledon with his
artist wife Ann to Beckless Cottage, Brook Lane. Tom Parker had started a new venture and gave Bob a job with poultry where he worked until 2005. Bob started with three small sheds of 5,000 chickens. They were small, white American hybrid chickens and laid white eggs. They were also very temperamental and hard to look after. Soon the industry grew and Bob became the site manager of 96,000 chickens and moved 75,000 eggs each day, every clay with a staff of eight. EEC rules got so strict that it became impossible to renew the licence and, in 2005, Tom Parker had to shut the poultry farm down. 

Our photo shows Bob discussing modern egg production with leaders of Japanese egg and poultry co-operatives."
Philippa is just one of our interviewer volunteers
— she has enjoyed it a lot, might you? If so, please
do contact Pat Crew or Caroline Lambert.