HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED ON MONKHILL LANE.....
by MARION TOMLIN
My father Joe Raine standing outside the gates
of Prospect Farm just weeks before it was demolished.
Photograph submitted by Marion Tomlin
things have changed on Monkhill Lane, which some years back was known as
Newtown. What used to be the farm known as Prospect Farm where I was
brought up is now a housing estate and the only thing that remains is
the duck pond which is now a feature that is fenced off.
granddad, William Raine, ran the farm up to his death in 1954. It was
then my dad Joe Raine took over and we moved in to the farmhouse where
we had lots of happy hours. My brother Dennis worked on the farm along
with my dad. They both worked very hard and long hours. My Dad Joe
worked for my granddad from the age of 13 years old and worked the land
with horses as it was well before the days of modern farm machinery.
the start of our days living at the farm I remember my Dad going out in
to the fields to hoe at 5 o’clock in the morning and being out in the
harvest field until 9 o’clock at night. The only break he had was for
dinner from 12 o’clock until 1 o’clock. My mother used to do a lot
of baking and took apple pies and jugs of tea to the field late
afternoon. He often used to come in at 9pm and go for a couple of pints
to the Railway Hotel at Monkhill which was the old Railway Hotel then
and I remember a couple called Teddy and Hettie Bastow ran it. I
remember my Dad buying an old bus from George Beckett to store corn in
but that never happened as me and my friends made it into a house and
put curtains up at the windows and used orange boxes for chairs. I
remember one day in the school summer holidays we decided to wash the
curtains in an old bath of water that the horse used to drink from. We
fixed a line made of string across the stack yard, hung the curtains out
and within an hour my Dad and brother came in the yard with a load of
straw to stack in the barn so we had to remove the washing dripping wet
My Dad, Joe and my brother Dennis at
work unloading with a tractor.
Photograph submitted by Marion Tomlin.
the school holidays we used to have a picnic round the duck pond and
when it was half-term in October I used to go potato scratting to earn
money for the fair. If I remember correctly I got ten shillings for a
weeks’ work but I can honestly say I enjoyed it. I also used to go out
hawking with my Dad on the horse and cart selling fruit and vegetables
– all the veg he had grown himself. I used to get half a crown for
working Saturday. We went round Monkhill, Prince of Wales Terrace and
will always remember one year being a very good year for cauliflowers
and because it was a hot summer once they were ready for cutting they
had to be sold while still white and we went to Airedale one Friday
night. I had to go knocking on doors selling them for three for a
shilling and I must say we came home with an empty cart.
that time in the 1950s the slaughter house was straight opposite the
farm and sheep were brought down the road guided by a couple of men for
slaughter. My dad used to keep a few cattle and pigs. When he used to
take them to Doncaster market to sell I sometimes went with him but if I
didn’t go, me and my mother would be waiting for him returning to see
if he had had a successful day, which he had on a lot of occasions, but
he had his bad luck days too.
worked on the land with a shire horse called Tommy who he got from an
advert in the Yorkshire Post from a lady called Mrs Newton in Leeds who
rescued animals from slaughter. The agreement was to let her have him
back when there was no longer any use for him. Sadly that day came when
tractors took over and Tommy had to go back. When the cattle wagon came
to take him away my Dad couldn’t bear to watch him go but in the end
he had to assist the chap who came to collect him as he wouldn’t go in
the cattle wagon until my Dad led him in, which was a sad day for us
dad and Dennis still worked the farm even when my dad was in his
eighties, but after losing my mother in 1993 he seemed to go down hill.
My brother Dennis struggled to keep it going alone and he had to retire
at the age of 65 where it all ended with a farm sale in 1994. By that
time my Dad was confused and didn’t realise what was happening and he
unfortunately passed away in 1996 aged 92, unaware, we believe, that it
was the end of Prospect Farm.
Marion Tomlin (nee Raine)