Teenagers ran Thorpe Acre farm as dad over­saw them

Loughborough Echo - - LOOKING BACK -

“UN­CLE Wil­fred was a kind and gen­tle man and noth­ing ever seemed too much trou­ble, there was al­ways laugh­ter around him.”

Can you re­mem­ber Bar­nett’s farm in Thorpe Acre?

Look­ing Back read­ers have been in touch with their mem­o­ries of Mr Wil­fred Bar­nett and his farm, and his niece has been in touch with her mem­o­ries of the place.

Mr Bar­nett’s farm fea­tured in Look­ing Back a few weeks ago when a for­mer farm­hand got in touch and told the in­fa­mous tale of the bull that es­caped and ran riot in Lough­bor­ough cat­tle market.

Ruth Clift, 78, who now lives in Ut­tox­eter, but was born in Dise­worth, is the niece of Wilf and she said that her un­cle was one of 11 chil­dren.

She said he had seven broth­ers (Robert and Christo­pher - who were twins - Ber­tram, Oliver, Ce­cil, Bernard and Sydney) and three sis­ters (Ma­bel, Mar­ion and Hilda) and that him and his brother Sydney (Ruth’s fa­ther) were of­ten con­fused be­cause they looked so alike.

Ruth said that Wilf and Sydney were sent by their fa­ther, along with their el­der sis­ter Ma­bel to run the farm at Thorpe Acre when they were in their early teens, and that their fa­ther would come to over­see their work be­cause at the time he lived at Burton on the Wolds on a farm there.

Ruth said that Wilf And Sydney’s brother, Bernard Bar­nett, was part of the Royal Ar­tillery in World War One and was killed in France in 1917.

When he died Ruth said that her fa­ther and Wilf thought that one of them should go and re­place him at war, so they flipped a coin and her brother won, so he signed up and went to fight in France.

Ruth said that she was brought up in Dise­worth on Old Hall Farm. She said that the farm once be­longed to her grand­fa­ther, and then when her fa­ther mar­ried her mum (Elsie Cordell) they took over the farm.

She said that her mother was born on Lock­ing­ton Grange farm, which is now East Mid­lands Air­port, and that she learned to drive a car on the old run­ways at Lock­ing­ton Grange.

Ruth also said that the fa­mous rac­ing driver Reg Par­nell used to keep his rac­ing cars in an aban­doned hangar on the farm, and that she could hear him tear­ing around the rac­ing track there af­ter the war.

Go­ing back to her un­cle Wilf she said: “Wilf and Sydney looked very much alike, there was only 15 months be­tween them.

“They some­times got mixed up, as in the case of a man try­ing to pay my dad for a load of straw that he had bought from Wilf.

“It was only re­solved when Sydney took the man to Wilf in The Golden Fleece in Lough­bor­ough town cen­tre, where they used to meet for a pint on cat­tle market days.”

Ruth said that Wil­fred and Ethel (his wife) also ran a milk round in Lough­bor­ough from Thorpe Acre, and that she loaned one of the ponies af­ter the clo­sure of the round.

She said: “There used to be a tennis court at Thorpe Acre farm and we used to play there a lot, and were well en­ter­tained af­ter­wards. It was al­ways fun to visit with very warm hos­pi­tal­ity.

“Un­cle Wil­fred was a kind and gen­tle man and noth­ing ever seemed too much trou­ble, there was al­ways laugh­ter around him.”

Coun­cil­lor Roy Camp­sall, from Lough­bor­ough, also told Look­ing Back about his mem­o­ries of Mr Bar­nett, and said that him and his fam­ily used to rent out Mr Bar­nett’s mo­bile car­a­van in Lin­colnshire for fam­ily hol­i­days.

Roy said that that him­self, his dad, Wilf Camp­sall, and mum, Anne Camp­sall, along with his broth­ers, Steven and Robert, would go to the car­a­van in An­derby Creek, and that they would love go­ing on hol­i­day there.

He said that Mr Bar­nett would drive all the fam­ily to car­a­van, and then would come and pick them up when it was time for them to go home.

He said: “Mr Bar­nett was a lovely man, and was al­ways so kind to me and all my fam­ily and I can still re­mem­ber that he had the farm in Thorpe Acre un­til the 60s.”

Do you re­mem­ber Mr Bar­nett or any of his broth­ers and sis­ters? Maybe you used to go to the farm, or used to work on it? If you know any­thing more about Bar­nett’s farm in Thorpe Acre please con­tact Liam Cole­man on 01509 635806 or email liam.cole­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

Pic­tured is Wil­fred and Ethel Bar­nett (nee Cot­ton) on their wedding day (cen­tre). On the left is Hilda Bar­nett (sis­ter of Wil­fred) and on the right, best man Sydney Bar­nett (brother) and to his right Daisy Bar­nett who was mar­ried to Ber­tram Bar­nett.

Pic­tured is Ruth’s fa­ther, Sydney Bar­nett in his mil­i­tary uni­form.

Pic­tured is the back of the photo of Robert and Christo­pher with the ad­dress of J. Lowe pho­tog­ra­phers. The photo states that J. Lowe had a photography stu­dio at 50 Bax­ter Gate, Lough­bor­ough. Do you re­mem­ber J. Lowe? Or know any­thing more about the pho­tog­ra­phers? Please con­tact Liam Cole­man on 01509 635806.

Pic­tured are Wilf Bar­nett’s twin broth­ers, Robert (left) and Christo­pher (right) Bar­nett, taken by Lough­bor­ough pho­tog­ra­pher J. Lowe.

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