Tuesday, January 16, 2018
INNGS FARM ©
Mi first look at Inngs farm was a sight to behold. It erased Skoal Carr at once. Inngs farm, Parrok Nook, was mi new address.
'Not much to remember there.' I thought.
Mi mum gets out of LandRover to open gate. It was a big, heavy gate with a chain around the opening side. The chain was fastened to a black stone pillar. Off to the side of sone pillar was, (what's called in Yorkshire), a style. A style is a small opening at the beginning or in the middle of a wall. Sometimes they're located in the corners where the stone walls meet. Between the two pillars is a slab of stone standing upright. Sometimes, there's also a stone step each side of slab, making it easier to climb over. Styles and Snickets allow people to go through without opening gates. They also stop the animals from getting out. Cows and pigs don't like going up steps so snickets work very well.
Mi mum couldn't open gate as it was too big and heavy for her so we all pile out and give her a hand. After closing gate, we drove straight up field following tire marks left by the previous occupants.
Inngs Farm. It was a great whopping big farm house, in the top left hand corner of field. In the middle front wall of the house was a large door with windows on one side. On the second floor there were two more windows. Out the front of the farm was a natural spring with water trickling out into a hole with stones around it. To the side of the house was another gate. This gate led to the yard and the barn. The yard gave access to the pig styes around back of house. There was a large tree to back of pig styes and then came the back wall which was our 5 bob week boundary wall. Off to the right, at the front of the house, was the outside toilet.
It was a very beautiful scene. Even though this farm house was also damp, it was nowhere near as bad as Skoal Carr farm house. We all jumped out of neighbors LandRover and mi dad pulled out of his coat pocket this great big key. It must have been six inches long and rusty brown looking. On one end it had a simple designed handle and on the other, 3 large looking teeth. Mi dad pushed key in the big keyhole and turned it. It was hard to turn. The lock was probably rusty as people didn't need to lock up houses in these parts, mainly because there were no thieves and partly because there was nowt to steal. If anyone had any wealth in those parts, you wouldn't know it by their appearance.
The farm door lock resisted opening by making a squeaking, scratching sound. Then came a loud 'clack' sound. The door hinges were squeaking as mi dad pushed big door open. Squeaky hinges were music to mi ears. Later on, I used to stand there, swinging the door backwards and forwards, listening to the sounds it made. Mi mum and dad never did get to appreciate my musical abilities on those door hinges. Although unknowingly they both put words to mi music. "Get away from that bloody door!" and "Leave that door alone will ya. Ah, what poets they were!
The door opened and revealed a small entrance porch. Most farm houses were designed this way. The porch was the place where hats, coats and scarves were hung. Pig-dung boots and wellies took up residence against 'tuther wall.
Mi dad opened next door up to reveal the largest room I had ever seen. It was big enough to ride mi three-wheel bike around. Even mi dad said,
"You could ride a bike around this room, it's so big."
To the left, against wall, was a large fireplace, much the same style as Skoal Carr. To the right was what looked like a kitchen door. Mi mum was first through this door. She looked quite happy, as the kitchen was in good shape. There was even some old oilcloth covering the stone slab floor. On the wall was a window and underneath window was a deep sink, (the cow trough type). She seemed pleased as it was quite light. Inside the kitchen were steps leading to the bedrooms. Up the steps mi mum goes, mi too and mi sisters in tow. They were shaped like an L. Up 4 steps, then a left angle turn. Open the door and continue up the remainder of steps into bedrooms. One large bedroom and 2 smaller rooms.
"Perfect!", sez mum.
Each room had a window that looked out over green fields and walls. I could see for miles out of mi window. Green ivy was growing all over my side wall of the house. It was no problem to push the sash window up a tiny bit and reach out for the ivy.
"Close that window! Trust you to be into mischief straight away! I don't want you falling out of there." said mi mum.
Sometimes I used to wonder about mi mum. Did she think I was stupid? I would never have fallen out of that window. I may have jumped out but that's different. The difference is, see if I jumped out and never got hurt, that was fun. If I jumped out and got hurt, well that was an accident. It all made perfect sense to me.
Down the stairs we go. As we went down, I noticed a dark loft. It was the under-drawing of the kitchen roof. I made a mental note that I would investigate this scary looking place, given an opportunity. Mi mum had eyes like a hawk as well as being a mind-reader. She had many hidden powers did our mum. She had eyes in the back of her head although she claimed she didn't.
Downstairs, in front room again, I noticed in far corner, there was a long bench under back window. To my great surprise, there was a top hat and cane sitting all alone, just waiting to be picked up. I ran across the room and stood in front of it. I stood there and stared at it. It never moved. I promptly picked it up and stuck it on mi head. Sometimes mi mum said I had a big head but that top had swallowed mi head as soon as I put it on. The only thing that stopped mi head disappearing was mi nose and ears. I grabbed the cane and took off running around the room,
"Look at me mum! Look what I found. Can I have it mum? I found it first mum!"
"Get that thing off your head! Take it off at once!"
"Why?", I sez, I found it first.
"It doesn't belong to you."
"Who does it belong to then?"
"It belongs to man who lived here before.", mi dad sez.
"He mustn't have wanted it or he'd have took it with him."
"He couldn't take it with him.", mi dad sez.
Mi dad sez, "They carried him out feet first. That's why."
I grabbed the had off mi head, fast as I could. Those days, in Yorkshire, when anyone died the coffin was brought to house and the body was put inside. The lid was put on with a few nails holding it down. It was then carried out the front door, 'Feet First'.
In later years, sometimes I used to see that old man sitting on that bench looking out window. I told mi mum but she she said she never saw him. Mi sister Sheila saw him a couple of times and it gave her a right fright it did.
Mi dad went through a door in back wall next to bench so I followed him. It led into a small room with some large bins. These were obviously feed boxes. They were lined up along walls. When mi dad opened 'em, there was still some cow nuts in one and some hen mash and corn in 'tuthers.
He sez, "Well, that's handy, rum-looking feed bins they are."
I was thinking the same only I saw them as hide and seek places.
Another small store-room, off to the side, revealed a load of rubbish and a large beer barrel. I looked inside, it was empty. Out the back door of feed room, opened up into a massive barn. The walls were dotted with nest boxes for hens. Scattered around were old iron plow parts. Hanging on the walls were old rotting horse harness straps. In one corner was an old paraffin incubator. Mi dad sez, "I'll fix that up. It'll come in handy for eggs and day-old chicks."
The barn floor was covered with hen muck and dry cow clap. At one end of barn were 2 large doors that went from the floor to ceiling. Barn doors are always big and tall so hay cart can be brought inside and unloaded. Mi dad pushed one of these doors open. It led out into yard and round back to pig styes.
The rest of the day, and many days following, we spent moving in our new home. There was a lot of work to do, scrubbing and cleaning. The ceiling was black from the gas lights. It didn't stay clean long. As soon as they were lit, they started drawing a big black circle on the ceiling again.