August 6, 2017

Milking Machine Eggs – Hazeldown Farm, Longstock, in the 1950s

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:57 pm by aleksan

Walter and his dad, old Mr Ash, sat on their 3 legged milking stools and pulled rhythmically on the teats of Daisy, Buttercup, Marigold and of a few more lovely ochre and white coloured Ayrshire cows in the new dairy. Warm white milk splashed into the pail, and I was occasionally offered a drink of the frothy and warm white stuff. But one day I was told I was going to see a Milking Machine with my dad. I was very excited and mum gave us some hard boiled eggs to take with us, donated by the hens in the yard looked after by Brommer, who also did the plucking when we had a rare treat for Sunday lunch – roast chicken.

This was the 1950s when the men on the farm wore sacks round their legs tied up with twine, and when it was raining, wore sacks on their heads as well. Otherwise they wore old suits and waistcoats, and the odd Army beret left over from the war, recently ended. Dad used to repair barns, trailers, fences and bits of machinery in the Shop. I was his Boy at the Forge and worked the bellows for him when he was blacksmithing, watching the different colours of the iron at different temperatures and enjoying the musical clang of hammer on anvil.

We got the milking machine, and Brommer ran a local milk round in Stockbridge. At Christmas my dad made clotted cream in little tubs with holly on them as gifts for the clients. He also made butter using wooden paddles to give the butter shape and pattern. Whenever we had boiled eggs in those days my mum and me called them Milking Machine eggs – always a favourite food for trips out and farm sales.

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