Life in Kirkby Underwood

As remembered by Gordan Coupland born 9.2.1932A

Life in Kirkby Underwood as remembered by Gordan Coupland born  9.2.1932.

I arrived in Kirkby Underwood when I was about 8 or 9 and went to the school in the village before going on to Rippingale School and leaving at 14.  Then I left the village about 1946 and went to Bulby for 50 years and arrived back 19 years ago.

There were 5 boys and 5 girls in our family plus my mother and father and we lived in Greystones opposite the Manor House.  Our house had three bedrooms, no inside toilet, a kitchen and two other rooms.  The bedrooms had big beds with two or three of the children sharing.  Mostly we ate roasted rabbit with tates and gravy.  We had separated milk from the farm in the village.  Our water came from the taps in the village, one opposite Irene House and one by the Manor Field.  Rain water was collected in a pit which we used for washing.

My father worked for Mr. Barnard the farmer who lived at Irene House.  Mr. Barnard had two farms one in Kirkby Underwood and one at Bulby.  His farms had cattle and grew crops.  He was from Philadelphia and if you swore he gave you a bible, my brothers had quite a few bibles!  Mr. Barnard was very particular and when the cows went across the road from Irene House he made sure it was swept clean afterwards.  He had an old pony called Jack who lived in six acres and beyond that there were brambles where we used to play and pick wild strawberries.

A keeper called Mr. Whatton, a big bloke but a real good keeper, lived at the Kennels.  If kids did jobs for him he made up a bundle of sticks for them in payment.  Those stick bundles were called “kids” but I don’t know why.

The lady at the Three Tuns was called Aunt Bessie and she was very large.  Lovely in a good mood but you didn’t want to be around when she was in a bad one.  She had three evacuees.