Remembering life, farming, by Norman Gibbins
When Pam and I married, my Father bought Feniton Mill and gave it to us. There was a chapel on the land too.
The chapel was quite high so I put another floor in, so I could keep pigs in the bottom and chickens up the top. There was a door on the side so the pigs could run out. I put a lean-to on so that I could milk the cow. I kept one cow, a Jersey.
There was another chapel in our garden, that was washed away years ago. We got flooded twice whilst we lived there. The turbine was put in 1935, by the Ackland family (nothing to do with the Colonel but it’s spelt exactly the same) who lived at Feniton. They had the big house, Hatton Court, and they had a farm there, Home farm. They ran a cable from the mill – underground to Feniton (a mile) and charged all their accumulaters in the big house and the farm and ran all their electric. The accumulters where running over night; they were always charging. Feniton went on the main electric in 1952, so they took the cable up. That was when they sold the mill because that was when they had the mains electric. That was when my Father bought the Mill.
We sold the Mill and the field and the chapel for £6000. When the next owner died, it was sold for about £450000. It shows how times change you see.
I worked ever so hard in those days, bringing down the corn and grinding it and mixing it. I sold it to Spillers and RW Paul, who manufactured feeding stuffs. Lockyers of Sidbury had a yard where Cotford garage was. Every day, he went to Bristol for me and brought back feeding stuff. I had a small lorry and I would collect. I worked about 12 hours a day, about 80 hours a week, but I was busy you see. It used to be 10 o’clock at night when I finished my book-keeping after I had done my manual work.