Home » Extract of an Interview with Mr Parker

Extract of an Interview with Mr Parker

Mr Parker, a former brickworker who was born and lived all his life in Cranfield, talks about his childhood going to lay hedges with his father.

Listen to the interview: Real Audio or Windows Media

“I was born 9 July 1934 in Cranfield. My grandfather used to be a hedge-layer… he used to walk all the way from Cranfield to Little Linford to Colonel Napp(?)… I used to have to go with my dad (hedge-layering)… we used to cut half-way through, then bend it down… most of them were hawthorn hedges, whitethorn hedges.

We used to get £1 a chain (22 yards)… just over a chain a day… we always used to take all the dead wood out of the bottom of the hedge and that was all in with the business and used to bring it home for firewood; we couldn’t afford no coal or nothing. That was our fire.

Mr Parker, a former brickworker who was born and lived all his life in Cranfield, talks about his childhood going to lay hedges with his father.

Listen to the interview: Real Audio (download) or Windows Media Player

“I was born 9 July 1934 in Cranfield. My grandfather used to be a hedge-layer… he used to walk all the way from Cranfield to Little Linford to Colonel Napp(?)… I used to have to go with my dad (hedge-layering)… we used to cut half-way through, then bend it down… most of them were hawthorn hedges, whitethorn hedges.

We used to get £1 a chain (22 yards)… just over a chain a day… we always used to take all the dead wood out of the bottom of the hedge and that was all in with the business and used to bring it home for firewood; we couldn’t afford no coal or nothing. That was our fire.

This was to create new hedges or to work on established hedges?

Well, it was to make a thicker hedge. A hedge that just grow up tall, has got no “bottom” to it. To keep animals in you used to have to layer them. We used to do all that and then at end of summer time, harvest time, we used to go with my dad thatching. We used to do straw. We used to do the haystacks and the corn stacks.

What time of the year did you do hedge-layering

Autumn time. You always cut a hedge when the saps down… right through the winter… when all the leaves are off… each farm used to come round and say, “Can you layer a hedge, Geoff”. That was my father’s name… He used to get up early in the morning and get down the fields. I used to have to get all the dead wood out and trip the hedges while each started layering the hedge .

The farmer always used to have horses, horse and cart and if we had to get the ‘stakes’ and ‘headers’, and then wait until we got a load and get the horse and cart and fetch it home. You wasn’t finished when you got it home, cause we had to chop it up to make firewood.

Didn’t you go to school?

I did go to school. You used to have to do it at weekends, you see (hedge laying).”

Back

 



The Forest of Marston Vale Trust. Registered in England No 3462405, Registered Charity No 1069229. Marston Vale Services Ltd. trading as The Forest Centre Registered in England No 3538255.
Marston Vale Farms Ltd. Registered in England No 6537891. Registered Office for all: The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, MK43 0PR
© The Forest of Marston Vale Trust. Web design and development by Bonfire Creative Intelligence