For the time being the site is closed to all visitors following the tragic result of the latest storm damageObviously we have been overtaken by a greater threatWe now anticipate a total closure for the majority of 2020 while work is concluded to make the building safe
for more information contact email@example.comWe are in limbo for the time being as County Council personnel are working from home and all sites are closed.If you want something to read we have begun to transfer Frank Dobson’s hand-written autobiography to an electronic copy. The early part (up to 1906) can be found here
OUR ACTIVITIES ARE BASED AROUND OUR DEVELOPING AWARENESS OF OUR MILL AS AN IMPORTANT, UNIQUE LINCOLNSHIRE ATTRACTION, DESPITE OPINION ELSEWHERE TO THE CONTRARY Burgh le Marsh Heritage Centre Special Events 2019 To give you a flavour of our actvities we include the 2019 calendar of regular Annual Events we held at The Burgh le Marsh Heritage Centre Saturday 30 MarchDiscover Lincolnshire WeekendSunday31 MarchThe start to our season when we open the mill and Heritage Centre to visitors Free drinks for visitors; Very much dependent upon the weather!Monday29 AprilEnd of Season for our Monday GroupSpecial ticketed event with entertainment by Lincolnshire folk lore group ‘Far Welted’Saturday11 MayNational Mills WeekendSunday12 MayA National Event when visitors are invited to visit via the National Mills Organisation websiteSaturday08 JuneGarden Party(members only)Celebrating the Queen’s official birthday; members receive a special invite as a ‘thank you’ for their supportSaturday6th JulyFestival DayOur Annual Event with stalls and entertainment on the paddock, this year we are planning some extra activitiesSaturday14 SeptemberHeritage Open DaysSunday15 SeptemberSaturday21 SeptemberSunday22 SeptemberAnother National Event when visitors are invited to the Heritage siteBrief talks on the topic of engineering in windmillsSaturday28 SeptemberMacmillan Coffee MorningOur Annual Charity Fund Raising EventWe raised £400Tuesday01 OctoberLincolnshire Cheese and Chine DaySpecial ticket only event, open to all Ticketed in advance to avoid waste and congestionFriday01 NovemberTheatre Group VisitingSaturday02 NovemberOur friends from Canada are visiting for schools’ drama workshops and a novel, interactive theatre experience for adultsSaturday14 DecemberSanta In the MillWonderful day for the children of the town to meet Santa with presents provided by the Town Council; craft stalls in the granary; entertainment
In 1975 a group of enthusiasts set up Burgh le Marsh History Group.This group continued until it merged with the Friends of Burgh le MarshWindmillandthenewlyformedHeritageGroupin2014.Meetings had been held regularly on Monday evenings during the winter months. To boost attendance, the meetings are now held on aMondayafternoon.Thecurrentprogrammeisdisplayedbelow.
201916 September Introduction & Welcome23 September Sue Lumb'Chatsworth – Past, Present & Future'30 September Colin Young'Antiques & Auctions'7 October DVD14 October Christine ChapmanSir John Franklin21 October Chris Hewis'Skegness- A Victorian New Town'28 October DVD4 November Howard LeaderGardening for Butterflies11 November David Coleman'Tales of a Pitman'18 November Sonia EltonBaumber Walled Garden History - Old & New25 November Geoff EspinOrchids in Europe2 December Jeff WhyattSome of my experiences as a police dog handler9 December DVD16 December Christmas Special202013 January Mark MiddletonLondon to Mongolia in an 18-years-old Ford Fiesta20 January Eileen ChantryAmong my Souvenirs (Pt 2) 27 January DVD3 February Neil WatsonBoston & Surroundings - Then and Now10 February Ian EvansFrom Yorkshire to the Gates of Auschwitz: A Family History Story17 February DVD24 February Anthony Poulton-SmithWhat's in a name?2 March Stephen LovellCuba - it's time to Salsa!9 MarchDVDCANCELLED SCHEDULE FROM TODAY16 March Paul EllisStone Monkey23 March Stephen GayRailways in a Cornish Landscape30 March DVD6 April Erik GriggMagna Carta13 April EasterNo Meeting20 April DVD27 April End of Season Celebration BuffetProgramme kindly compiled by Gaynor AstleyIn order to maintain a level of speaker attendance at a reasonable cost to members, we include occasional DVD viewings to spread the overall rate, compensating for the travel expenses etc paid out at other meetings. Meetings begin at 2pm each Monday in the Granary Heritage Centre.Entry is £3 including a raffle ticket (reduced to £2 for DVDs). Membership is free.
THE LINCOLNSHIRE WINDMILLER: Frank Dobson(These notes, mainly unabridged apart from the removal of ‘and’ in lengthy sentences, were the basis of a much shorter article written by Frank Dobson for the Lincolnshire Life magazine. In some places the time scale seems a little disjointed but it has been left in deference to authenticity. I understand that the famous author, Margaret Dickinson, used these as a research document for her novel about a windmill – ‘Plough the Furrow’ and possibly subsequent books.)Before 1906Family HistoryMy mother was born: November 22nd 1859Married: February 21st 1879Died:February 27th 1929 (would have been 70 if she had lived until November) Her parents were named Graves and there was a family of 14 children. Her father was a farmworker. Once, when work was scarce in a ‘wet time’ he had to bring the whole family to the workhouse having no money or allowance to keep them. It was the time when each parish had to maintain their own poor. The farmer soon fetched them out and found them some work. They lived in a village called Farlesthorpe near Alford.My father wasborn: August 8th 1860Married: February 21st 1879Died:January 1st 1920 (aged 60)My great grandfather had a mill at the Riverhead at Louth. So we come from a very long line of millers. My father had two sisters, one of which I used to stay with at Louth during my summer holidays.Up to 1900 my father was working for a big firm of flour millers at Goole in Yorkshire, coming back to Lincolnshire to Huttoft Mills about 1900. I was born February 17th 1901.At Huttoft, there was a windmill with four sails and it had a gallery round, also a big three storey high steam mill (that was what they called them in those days). It had an enormous brick chimney and had been run by a Cornish steam engine. They stood upright with fire at the bottom with a steam gauge not like the traction engines. When my father went there, they had built a Blackstone paraffin engine and done away with the old steam boiler. I remember it didn’t go right at first and used to backfire with a loud explosion that could be heard all over the village. My father had the job of sorting it out as the builders had gone home.The mills were owned by Mr & Mrs Lowe. The windmill had been moved from a farm further in the village. Mrs Lowe’s maiden name was Willson. Her father farmed in Huttoft, ran the mill and baked as well. Her father had a brother called John Willson who was an auctioneer at Hogsthorpe and that was when the firm of John Willson and Son was formed. His son moved to Burgh in 1930, the same time as I did.Family LifeI started school at Huttoft and my first teacher was Miss White and the headmaster was called Mr Plant who later became headmaster at Burgh when I lived there. I remember playing in a sand heap at midday break and being late. I was sent into a big room to see the master and he thrashed his cane on the floor to impress me. I also remember going with the coastguard boys to Huttoft Bank after school and my brother, Alf, had to come and look for me.My brother made a truck out of a box and four old wheels from a pram and he put me in it on some cushions. There was a horse and reaper going down the road and he tied the truck with me in it to the rear. Unfortunately, it tipped up and threw me out. He bundled me back into it and didn’t say anything about it. A Mrs Twigg came past on horseback and her horse shied at the truck. She said it was only a box on wheels!There were four in our family, three boys and one girl, John, Alice Alfred and Frank. It was a family with a lot of difference in ages. My brother, John, was 24 years older than me and Alice 19 years older than me. Alf was only 4 years older than me.I remember my father kept doves and they used to walk across the road from the shed to the house. One day a dog killed them. Alf used to keep white mice that he won at bagatelle. At that time there was a farmer in the village, Arthur Pain, and he had two or three boys who were always up to something and always got blamed for everything. The Royal Mail was delivered and collected by a horse-drawn mail cart from Alford and these boys put a rope across the road to stop the Royal Mail. I believe they were taken before the Magistrates’ Bench at Alford and severely warned.There was a very poor old man, called Ancient, just outside the village centre who lived in a low parlour house and when anyone in the village killed a pig, he would fetch the insides. He used to put them in tubs and old baths outside his back yard. The boys told him someone had killed a pig several miles away and would he fetch the insides. He duly set off and, while he was away, they strung the insides that he already had all round the back yard. Another time they climbed on his roof and dropped a loaf down his chimney and stood listening at his window to hear what he would say, which was, “If the Devil has brought it, the Lord has sent it.”Mrs Lowe was Plymouth Brethren and Mr Lowe had been a butler or servant in gentleman’s service. At nine o’clock each morning all work in the mill, and bakehouse had to stop while all the men went into the house for morning prayers.I never did know why my father left Huttoft unless he couldn’t get on with the two bakers and roundsmen, two brothers – Henry and Billy Peacock, who took on the bakery side of the business when Mrs Lowe died. Mr Lowe sold out and went to live right out in the country at Langham. The milling business was sold to Mr Edmund Davey of Dalby, who also had the farm in Huttoft. I was living in Burgh at the time and was told it went for £500. Mr Scott, who later came to live at Spilsby, managed it for him. I don’t think they did very well though at the mill. The Peacock brothers split up after a few years and Billy took a business at Hogsthorpe. After we left Mrs Lowe always sent us 1 lb of groats and a calendar at Christmas. At that time people creed (steamed) the groats and added raisins, currants and spices and that was their Christmas pudding. Mrs Sowerby who lived opposite used to bring me a plate of bullet sago pudding and when we went to Trusthorpe I cried. I wanted to go back for Mrs Sowerby’s pudding.
1906 – 1909We moved to Trusthorpe in 1906. At Trusthorpe the mill was alongside the Wold Grift that carried the water from the mill to the sea. At a place called Massey there was a pumping station to lift the water out of the lower land into the Wold Grift. It was trapped off from the sea by huge doors which used to shut automatically when the tide came in and would open again when the weight of the water in the Wold Grift was more. There were lots of eels and dabs in the river and people used to get them by a prong with a long shaft. It had a sharp point in the middle and a shaped blade at each side and you stuck it in the river where you saw a rail in the water.There was a bridge over the river to carry the traffic to Mablethorpe. My uncle had a blacksmith shop and house just over the bridge. He was in partnership with a man called Walker. On the corner near the river there was a bit of waste land and he had an iron platform where they used to shoe the wooden wheels, that is putting an iron rim on the wooden rim. It was heated up with fire on the ground and put on the wooden wheel hot and slacked with water. It shrank and tightened the whole wheel.The Trusthorpe mill was brought on a barge and beached on the shore at high tide and was taken off when the tide had gone out, of course that was all the workings. the brickwork came from Mablethorpe brick yard. The workings came from a mill at Hull. It was a four sailed mill with a twist two storeys up and would run with the wind caused by the tide coming in. there was an old portable steam engine alongside the mill and it was in such poor state as the tubes used to leak. My father used to put barley meal in the tank where it sucked the water from and that used to block the pipes temporarily. One day when the factory inspector came into the mill, he traced the piping down and found the old engine, immediately condemning it. The boss blamed my father for it but the man found it himself. The old mill and warehouses are now turned into summer residences.We lived in a parlour house with a room and two bedrooms. It was very damp. It had a stream right round the house. My mother was always grumbling about it and said it was like a pigsty with the pigs coming down to feed from their beds. So eventually we left and went to Alford.When we first got to Trusthorpe there was a woman school teacher at the school which was right down in Trusthorpe Thorpe. My mother would not let us boys (Alf and me) go there for some reason. They were building a new school at Mablethorpe and I had to wait until it was built. It was about three miles away. I went there in the day time with several children who lived nearby. We took sandwiches and cocoa in a tin with a handle on top and they used to give us hot water. We had to leave home at 8 a.m. and got back home at about 5 p.m. The school master was called Mr Hooter. It was a very good school in those days. Alf had to cycle to Sutton-on-Sea school and the headmaster, Mr Surfleet, was very strict.One of the bakers was called Jim Barnsdale and he had a phonograph, which was an instrument with a huge horn that had to be held up with a stand. The records were shaped like a jar and fitted into cylinder cases. I remember a few of the tunes. One was ‘The Miners’ Dreams of Home’. The baker had it on in the bakery and a few of us boys could go and listen.One night it came a big storm and washed away a lot of the wooden shops that were near the beach at Mablethorpe. Next day us boys went to retrieve what had been left in the clays. I remember I got some minerals which were in the old glass alley type bottles and quite drinkable. There was also a lot of ornaments.There was a lot of coal used to wash up. We collected it and it burned very bright. My brother found some old ship’s beams. They were held together by copper bolts. My father got them, took out the bolts and made quite a bit of money from them. My brother used to go for a bathe in the sea about 5 a.m. One morning he found a huge conger eel. A man came up and said, “You can’t eat that boy. You ought to throw it down.” Alf said, “I am taking it home.” It ate beautiful. A woman just over the river used to used to deliver us milk at 1 ½ d a pint.One day my father took some grinding back to a farm. I went with him. It was bad weather and the farm was down an old clay lane. When we came out he said we would go and wash the cart wheels in the sea, they were in such a state. We got in the sea and we got in a quicksand. We kept sinking and the horse couldn’t pull the cart out. I remember some men came and carried me ashore. They had to put some ropes on and pull the horse and cart out. Those baker’s carts had drawers underneath and there were a lot of plum loaves in them which all got damaged by sea water. My father put them in the pig bin but I don’t think he told the boss. The boss was Charles Foster. He had six daughters and no son. The daughters eventually married various business men in Mablethorpe. I remember one was a butcher and another a plumber. My mother used to go to work for the drapers called Dales at Mablethorpe, doing housework at 2/6d per day.The sea defences on the coast from The Humber to Gibraltar Point were chiefly Sand Hills made by the sand that had been built up by the tides over the years. They are chiefly held together by a coarse type of reed and repaired by bundles of thorns put in the weak places. There are breakwaters running out from the beach built from huge timbers and set at an angle to break up the force of the waves. At Mablethorpe, Trusthorpe, Sutton and Skegness they have promenades. There was another Wold Grift at Mablethorpe, only there it comes into a big pool in the sandhills and was filled up at high tide. A man called Bocock who had only one leg used to dive and do swimming demonstrations for visitors.The Great Northern Railway, later the London and North Eastern Railway, used to run special trains from Leicester at about 1 shilling per head. The trippers would get about two hours at Mablethorpe in the evening. It was a spur line Louth to Willoughby off the main line to London. My brother used to collect the Lincolnshire Echo to deliver in Huttoft. The guard used to throw them off the train at a bridge in Huttoft.My uncle, the blacksmith was called Graves. The road to Mablethorpe ran right past his house and the sandhills were the other side of the road. He had a spring of water that ran into a ditch at the back of the house and when the tide came in the pressure would make the spring run faster.Sutton on Sea was a more select place and did not get the trippers. At one time there were lifeboats stationed at Mablethorpe, Sutton and Skegness. They were pulled into the sea by horses.We used to go to The Primitive Chapel down Victoria Road in Mablethorpe and I attended the Sunday School there. When the new chapel was built the Sunday School children collected money and had their initials put on a brick. I remember mine was in the entrance. Anyway, owing to mother complaining about the damp house, my father decided to move to Alford about 1909.
1909 to 1915WewenttoliveinChauntryRoad,Alfordnotfarfromthe CongregationalChapel.InChauntryRoadwasanoldgentleman calledLudlow.Hehadbeenajoinerandhemademymotherapaste boardforkeepinghereyeonhim.Hisdaughterusedtobringhim breadcutintosquaresforhisbrothbuthealwayswasheditinhot water,afraidtheymighthave‘putsomethinginit’.Welatermovedto Hamilton Road, just around the corner.MyfatherworkedforMrCWMyersatasixsailedmillwhichalsohad asteammillattachedtoit.Ithadbeenrunbyasteamenginethat hadahugechimneythatwasstillthere.Thenithadbeenchanged overtoaHornsbyengine,16BHP.Inthesteammillweretwostoreys bothconnectedtothewindmillasthetwofloorswerenotthesame level.Therewasarundownfromthewindmilltothesteammill.The childrenwouldgetamillbarrowandsitonittoridedowntheslope. Therewerethreepairsofstonesinthesteammillontheground floor,twopairsofgreystoneswhichcamefromBakewellintheDerbyshirePeakDistrictandonepairofFrenchstonesfor grindingwheatforflour.Onthesecondfloorwerethecornbinsthatwerefedfromthegroundfloorbyelevators.Alsoonthe secondfloorwasaflourdressingmachine.Itwasveryspecialasithadsilkpartitionstodresstheflour,mostmillsonlyhadwire sieves.Myfather’swagewas£1perweekandhehadhisownrenttopayforthecottage,£8ayear.Mymotherdidthewashing forthebakersinMyer’sbakehouseandalsowenttoworkatMrRichardCorey’swhohadtailorshopsinHorncastle,Boston,Louth and Sleaford. They were very good to mother and she often brought some food that had been left.IstartedschoolattheNationalSchoolinWestStreet.Itwasjustforboys,onlytheheadmasterhadhisowndaughtertherecalled Kathleen.HewascalledHadfieldandwasalsoacaptainintheTerritorials.Hewascalledupin1914togotoFrance.Hewas woundedinthelegandIbelievehewasgivenanartificialleg.AmancalledMrRichardscametotakehisplace.Hewasaniceold gentleman.In1913IsawanadvertinthepaperthataCountyScholarshipwasvacantattheGrammarSchool(Alford).Iboughtan Atlasfor1shillingandreadthat.IappliedtogoinfortheexaminationwhichwasheldattheGrammarSchool.Therewere thirteenboysenteredforthreeplaces.Fortunately,IcameouttopwithaboyfromMaltbysecondandaboyfromBeesbythird: 1stDobson,2ndGraves,3rdJackson.Unfortunately,ifIhadtriedtheyearbeforetherewasaSpendloveScholarshipthatfoundall books.Mymotherhadtobuyminebuttherewasalotofsecondhandbooksfromotherboys.Itwashardworkformotherto clothemeandbuybooks.SheboughtafootballshirtfromTedTomlinsonfor1shilling.TherewasalwaysrivalrybetweenNational SchoolandGrammarSchool.NationalSchooloneswerecalled‘Gnats’andGrammarschoolwerecalled‘Bugs’.Ilikedbeingat school and worked hard. All the time I was there I won 5 prizes out of 6 first year and 4 out of 6 second year.MyfatherwasaPrimitiveMethodistpreacherandwewenttochapelinSouthStreetbuthewouldalsopreachforWesleyanand FreeMethodistsandtheCongregationalChapel.HewouldalsogototheSalvationArmy.ThePrimitivesformedabrassband.I playedsecondcornetandmyfatherbeatthebigdrum.WeusedtogotothePrimitivechapelsinthevillagesaroundAlfordto playattheircampmeetingswhichtheyusedtoholdonceayearinafieldwithawagondrawninthefieldforapulpitandatea afterwardsintheschoolroom.Ofcourse,theywereheldonSundayafternoons.WeweremarchingdowntheHighStreetin Alfordwhenthedrumstickheadcameoffandmyfatherhadtorunafterit,putitonagainandcontinuedbeatingtimeallthe whileonthebigdrum.WewentandplayedinthebighousesaroundAlfordinvariousvillagesonBoxingDayandthepeoplegave us cake and coffee. We weren’t allowed to drink beer etc as it was a Temperance Band.TheGrammarSchoolmasterswereMrJAStaley,Head,whowasverystrict,andthesecondmasterwasaMrRicheswhowasvery nice.HistwoboyswenttotheBluecoatSchoolinLondon.TherewasayoungermasternamedMrEvanswhowascalledupfor NationalServiceintheArmyandhereturnedafterthewar.WewenttoschoolonSaturdaymorningsaswell.WehadWednesday afternoonoffbutwewereexpectedtoattendforgames.Theheadmasterwasakeencricketerandhelikedhavingtheboysbowl athiminthenetsforpractice.Inthewinterheformedafootballleague,6-a-side,andcalledtheteamsbyprofessionalfootball teamsatthattime.IrememberminewascalledSunderland.ThecaptainofourteamwascalledWilliamBeltonandhegotkilled inthe1914/18War.TheboycalledGraves,ascholarshipboywithme,hadahabitofsaying,“Inobbut.”AwordIcannotfindinany dictionary and the master was always telling him about it.OneoftheboysfromtheNationalSchoolwascalledCockerelHornbybecausehisfatherwasahucksterwhichmeantapoultry dealerandhehadcratesbuiltintohiscart.ForsomereasontheboyandmehadafightneartheCongregationChapel.Idon’t knowwhowonbutweweregoodfriendsafterwards.HemarriedoneofHarryWholey’sdaughtersfromBurghstationand worked for years at Carnleys Solicitors office in Alford.1915 to 1930InOctober1915mybrother,Alf,hadbeeninvalidedoutofthearmyhavingbeengassedatMons.Myfatherdecidedtotakea businessonhisownatTheddlethorpebelongingtoJosephHoylesofMaltby.AtAlfordmyfatherhadworkedfrom6a.m.to6p.m. and5p.m.onaSaturday.HehadtogototheshoponaSaturdaytocollecthismoney.Hesaidtothebossthereis4hours overtime that will be 1 shilling. WhenweflittedtoGrebbyinApril1916our(delivery)roundranintotheirsatWilloughbyandwegotalotoftheirtradewithbeing first there on flitting day which was April 6th each year.I paid for a trap from Richardson’s of Louth for eight pounds out of my Post Office Savings Book.MyfatherstartedatTheddlethorpebyborrowingfiftypoundsonalifeinsurance.Thelandlordlethimacart,weighingmachine, doughbinsandalotmoreutensils.Myuncle,JamesSmith,madeonehundredbreadtinsforsixpenceeachwhichweusedfor yearsatGrebbytomakeplainbreadin.HeborrowedahorsefromasmallholderatTheddlethorpeworkformeatandheusedto buyoatsheavesfromthemanatonepennyeach.Theovenwasanoldbrickovenandtoolargeforustouse.Itusedtoburnthe bread.Somyfathergotalivingbygrindingcornforthesurroundingfarmers.Irememberthatonecottagesentagrindingand they hadn’t paid for something else so the sack of corn was kept in pawn till they paid.Thehousewasn’tanygood.Ithadbeenkeptaddedtoassomepreviousmiller’sfamilyhadincreased.Ithadtwostaircasesbut youcouldgetthroughupstairsbyahalfdoorastheroofcamedowntoyouradjoiningroom.Theysaiditwassothemaidcould get to the room without going downstairs. There were some lovely marble fireplaces.Themillsailsweren’tverygoodandmyfatherputaploughtracetothesailfromtoptobottomtohelptoholdtheshadesin.so hedecidedtotryforsomethingelse.Inspring1916hewenttolookatawatermillatBarrowden,nearGrantham.Itwasonariver. TheyhadaneeltrapthereandusedtosendeelstoLondoneachdaybuttheinventorywastoomuchforhimtotake.Hewentto lookatWithernwatermillintheadjoiningparishbelongingtoMrTickler,ajammanufacturerfromGrimsbywhomadealotof jamforthetroopsinFrance.Itwouldhavebeenverysuitableaswecouldhavetakenthetradewewerealreadydoingwithus.It wasaturbinewatermillwiththewaterwheelontheflatfedbyaspoutwhichdidn’twastesomuchwater.MrTicklerwasat Londonandhedidn’tgettheletterbutalettercamefromhimthesamemorningasmyfatherhadbeenacceptedastenantat Grebby.FromOctobertoDecember1915,IstayedatGrammarSchoolandmyfatherpaidfiveshillingsperweektosomefriendsofours calledGeorgeHoyles,brothertoJosephHoylesatMaltby,andtheyhadabaker’sshopwithasmallcaféandsweetshopanda grocer’sshopjustopposite.Theyalsohadanicecreamstallonthemarket.Iusedtohelpthemintheschoolholidaytime,either atthegrocer’sshoporontheicecreamstallbymyself.Therewerefirstandsecondcornetsandwemixeditbyhandinthe morning by packing ice around a tub which we turned by hand.IusedtocyclehomeatweekendsfromAlfordtoTheddlethorpeanditwasoftenbadweatheratthattimeofyear.Wecouldgoto schoolatnightanddoprep.Themasterswouldtakeitinturnstosuperviseandyoucouldusetheschoollibrary.Youcouldalso buyabookofanswerstothemathematicsbooksfromthenewsagentsonlysomeoftheboyswouldputtheanswersdown without any workings, which would cause trouble.MyfatherwenttotakeovertheGrebbyMillthelastweekinMarchandontheTuesday,aboutMarch26th1916,itcameanawful stormandblewaboutfiftyfirtreesdownonWeltonwoodside.MybrotherandIwerelefttosquareupforleavingandthat Tuesdaywehadgotallthecorngroundandhadtoleavethemilrunningonbarepoles.Amillissaferinagaleifitismoving. Anyway,movingdaycameandCaptainHoffsenthiswagoner,JonnySouthwell,thenightbeforeandputhishorsesupat Hodgson’s farm, a friend of my fathers.Wegotthewagonloadedupwithmyfather,motherandAlffollowinglateraftertheyhadcleanedup.Myfathersaidyouwillhave togowithJonnySouthwellashesaidhedidnotknowtheroad.SoIhadtowalk.TheycaughtusupatWilloughbyandthenIgota ride in the trap.Wehadtostarttheroundsandbakebreadnextday.MrPycock,theprevioustenant,wenttoAlfordandkeptsomeofthe Willoughbytradesowehadsomebreadtosparefirsttimeround,butwegraduallypickedsometradeupandmanagedtomakea living.Iwas15whenwewenttoGrebbyandsoonhadtogoontheroundbymyself.Itwasveryhillythereandtheroadswere slipperyinthewintertime.Weusedtoputspecialstudsinthehorses’shoes.MiriamSmithwasmaidatGrebbyHall.Ona Monday,whenthehousekeeperandCaptainHoffwenttoSpilsbymarketanditwasmyfirstcallwithbread,themaidswouldask meinforstrawberriesandcreamwhentheywereinseason-alsoatuneonthepiano.ThatwaswhenIactuallystartedcourting Miriam,whichwasmostlymeetingheronthewayhometotheHallforafewminutesafterIhadgotthedoughmadeforthenext day’s bread.Istartedrearingchicks.Iboughtasecond-handincubatorandsetsomehensatthesametime.Isoldtwelvechicksatsixpence eachandahenforfourshillings,makingtenshillingsinall.OnedayIdeliveredaclutchoflivechickswhileonmyround.Ihada horsecalledBartoft.Ihadputthechicksinonebasketandtheheninanother.Thehenkeptcallingtothechicksandpoorold Bartoftcouldn’tmakeoutwhatwasgoingon.So,whenIstoppedatacall,hewouldspinround.Wasn’tIpleasedwhenIgotthem delivered and paid for!MyfatherusedtogotoSpilsbymarketonaMondaytomeetthetravellersofflour,maizecornandoffalsoIgotwelltrainedinto buyingcornandflouratthebestrate.ThetravellersworkedfordifferentfirmssuchasMessrsRank,Spillers(formerlyMarshall fromGrimsby)andHowsams,whowerejustcornmerchants.HewouldbringflourbackfromSpilsbystation.Themerchantshad stockinthegoodsshed.Wehadgotextrahorsesbythattime.MyhorsewascalledDaisyandhadbeenboughtatPycock’ssale forforty-fourguineas.Shewasaniceoldmareandwehadthreefoalsbyher.Thefirstonewasahorsewhichwehadtocastrate. Hewasn’tmuchgoodthoughhewaswhatwecalledacribsucker.Hewouldgetholdofthecribanditmadehimhavewindsohe didnotputmuchfleshon.ThesecondonewasamareandwecalledherLady.Shewasabeauty.Whenshegottofiveyearsold shewentotheblacksmithshopandgotaloosenailinherhoof.Wedidn’tknowatthetimeandshediedoflockjawinthreedays. I can’t remember much about the third foal. Daisywouldonlydrinkoutofacleanbucket.InoneortwoplacesontheWilloughbyroundtherewerespringsrunningintoa stonetroughandsheusedtoliketodrawupthereforthatwater.Often,whenshewasinfoalandIcouldn’ttakeheronthe rounds,IhadtotakeanoldkickingmarecalledKit.Shewouldn’tletmegetintothecart.ShewouldsquealandkickeverytimeI putmyfootonthestep.SoIwalkedallroundSkendlebyandledher.WhenIgottoBolton’sfarmyardIhadtogoaboutamileto thenextfarm.Themeninthefarmyardwerestackinghay.Igotintothecartoverthetailboard.Theysaid,“Whatareyougetting inlikethatfor?”Isaiditwasgoodexercise,Iwouldn’tletonthatIwasfrightened.AnothertimeIwasgoingupBassinghamHill andgotnearlytothetopandthethroatbandbroke.Ijumpedoffclear.Kitstartedkickingandkickedherselfclearofeverything exceptbridleandreins,whichwerebrokenandtheremainsofthecollar.Fortunately,shespunroundandthecartlandedinthe hedgebottom.Ihadaboxofbunsonthetopofthecartboardswithbreadunderneath.Thebunsslidoffbutdidn’tdamageany goods.Itookthemare,Kit,andsawtheforemanatBassYard.Ileftherwithhimandwalkedhome.MybrotherboughtmeDaisy thatdayandIhadtobeverycarefulwithherandnotbackherintothecartwithalltheweighton.Eventuallymyfathersaidtake KitinacartandsellheratLouthFair.Alftookher.Whenhegottherethegipsiessaidtakeheroutofthecart.Mybrothersaidhe hadtosellthembothtogether.Theymadearingliketheyusedtodowhensellinghorsesandhehadtorunherupanddownin thering.Thegipsiesstartedtoprodherwithstickssoafteratimeortwohegottotheendofthering,drovestraightthroughand camehome.Shewasturnedoutintoafieldandsupposedtobesoldformeatbutweheardafterwardsthatshehadbeensoldto someone else for work.Myfatherboughtacow.AlfusedtomilkitatfirstuntilhewenttoRhodesia.OneMondayhegotalldresseduptogotoSpilsby marketandthecowkickedthebucketoverhim.Wehadakickingstrapmadeforsafety.Lateron,Iusedtohavetomilkit.Iused tohavetocomehomeonaSundayfromcourtingtomilkthecow.Shewasaredcowandcost£50andgave14poundsofbutter when she first calved.Folow the story so far:
The 5 sailed windmill that turns clockwise
Continuing Frank dobson’s autobiography. there is now a lot more information for this period which has been split into two web pages. the second will be added soon.
Continuing the unabridged autobiography of Frank DobsonThe pages may seem to be long. It is difficult to split down any further without the narrative being lost.Grebby MillThe windmill was six storeys high with two pairs of grey stones and one pair of French stones. It had four sails and was well blown in three quarters, east, north and south. On the west there was a belt of trees near. In the house there was a stove on the second floor that we used to light at night in the winter. I remember once in a gale my nephew, Jack, and myself ran three pairs of stones and the dressing machine for making flour. It kept us busy.And so on until 1920 when my father died on January 1st. My brother John who worked on the railway at Goole decided to come home and help with the business. He sold his house in Goole and bought out my mother’s share of the business which was a third of £1000. My other brother, Alf, had married in 1919. His wife, Elsie, was my wife’s sister. She was also living and working at Grebby Hall for a time. My brother’s health was not good so he decided to go to Northern Rhodesia to an orange farm which was owned by Major Rawnsley from Well Hall near Alford. Elsie moved in with her mother and Betty was born in 1922. Owing to the farm being 150 miles from the nearest doctor, Alf decided to move down to the Transvaal so Elsie and the baby could join him out there. He didn’t settle very well there being a different race of people, the Africanders (Afrikaners), there to him. He moved up into Southern Rhodesia and took a government section which was 250 acres. He went into dairy farming. They all came to England just before the Second World War, about 1937. In 1939 he was producing milk for our forces stationed in Rhodesia.I was married at Scremby Church to Miriam Smith, Elsie’s sister, on April 17th 1923 and stopped at Grebby Mill until 1930. Edwin Dobson, my first son, called after his grandfather, was born at Grebby on November 3rd 1924 and in the year 1929 Marjorie was born. In May 1935 Kathleen Mary was born in the Grace Swann Hospital at Spilsby. This being advised by Dr Wright owing to complications with Marjorie’s birth at Grebby.Before my father died, he arranged to have a lorry made. He bought it through L S Dodds of Spilsby. We got it in 1920 at a cost of £300. It was a 1912 Ford car with a brass radiator front. They took two rear wheels off and put sprockets on and bolted a Boico attachment to it with solid tyres and ancillary wooden wheels driven by a Reynolds chain from the sprockets. We kept it four years but it was useless on the roads when it was frosty. We decided to buy a horse dray in 1924 but it needed at least five horses to get it up Bassingham Hill. Burgh le Marsh MillOne of the travellers told me that Martin Barker of the five-sailed windmill at Burgh le Marsh was retiring so my brother and I decided to go into partnership and keep both businesses going. We paid £1400 for property, Mr Barker leaving £800 at 5% which we paid off in 2 years. All the other inventory we paid for at once. Mr Barker had two one-ton Ford trucks. One was left hand drive but they were more modern than the one we had. In 1938 we did improvements to the house and replaced the old brick oven with a Patent Oven from Bristol Steam Ovens which used coke instead of coal. We had a boiler put in over the fireplace to supply hot water to the house and the bakehouse. Unfortunately, when Bill Smith came to make the bread in the morning, he used all of the hot water and Miriam did not have any for washing. So we had a Beatrix stove put in the stokehole and when Bill came he took some fire off the oven and started the Beatrix oven. We had a special pipe put in to connect. It worked very well and Miriam could keep it going all during the day for all purposes.My brother, John, retired from Grebby in April 1939, just before the Second World War broke out and I paid him out. Just after the war I had an extension built onto the bakehouse. We kept the trade on in the Grebby area and one of John’s men, Leslie Borman, came to live in Burgh.From Grebby Mill Captain Hoff used to let his men have half a stone of flour per week, so many potatoes and ‘kids’ which were ash twigs done into bundles for firewood and a 30 stone pig once a year. In 1932 Captain Hoff gave up farming and Miriam’s father went to work for a Mr Dixon at Candlesby Top, only Mr Dixon died that year. The farm belonged to Magdalen College Oxford. I had a word with Miriam’s father and he said he could manage the farm if I could look after the money side. That was in 1933. The farm was about £1 per acre but produce was not making very good prices and for six years I lost £600. Then the Government brought in a wheat quota and I retrieved my loss in the first year.In 1935 I took some more land at Burgh belonging to the College. I eventually had about 70 acres there. In 1937 I took College Farm, Candlesby, from them so it made quite a large holding, about 300 acres. Lincoln Red cattle were bought from Mr Robinson at Anderby. He had a wonderful breed of cattle. I bought two cows and three heifer calves. I did a bit of showing at agricultural shows at Lincoln and Peterborough and got a second prize with Candlesby Bob, which was an A1 calf, at Peterborough. I went for Lincoln red cattle and quite a lot of pigs. We farmed through the NFU and Lincolnshire Quality Bacon Association with a factory, Roberts and Birch, at Burton on Trent. It did very well, we were each allotted a district and persuaded a grocer to sell it in that area. Afterwards I had a lot of poultry on free range in huts on wheels which we kept moving when the grass got stale. Later we went into deep litter method and battery cafes at the Hollies at Burgh which I had bought. It was a five bedroomed house. I made it into two. One for Marjorie and one for the poultryman at a cost of £1200.
Continuing the story: Farming Changes and World War 2Changes in Farming MethodsFarming was on the old methods in 1930 with horses and implements usually many years old. It was on the four-field system of crop rotation, cropping wheat, turnips, barley and grass or clover – crops for growing or mowing. On the strong land they would have a bare fallow which meant ploughing land over about every fortnight. It was mixed farming with stock and crops so there was work all the year round. The smaller farms would keep poultry running around in the stock yard, a milk cow and a fat pig to kill for bacon each year. The farmer’s wife’s only means of money for groceries etc was from the sale of eggs and butter.When first we got tractors, we used to pull the old horse implements behind. There were steam cultivators which had an engine on each side of the field and with a wire cable that pulled a plough or drag across the field with a man riding on it to steer the implement. The first tractor I bought was an International 10/20, second-hand costing £200. It was on spade lugs with a road rim to bolt on to go on the roads. I eventually bought two trucks, one with a 100 gallon tank on for paraffin and one with a little shed on to carry oil and spares such as plough points and drag teeth and with a draw bar to pull the implements behind while moving from one field to another. There was also a hook on the shed to carry the tractor driver’s bicycle for him to get home between operations each night. The trucks were made at Messrs Cawthorpe and Sons at Ulceby, near Alford, and proved very satisfactory at that time. We were a few years before we got tractors with rubber tyres. Ford Ferguson brought out a power lift draw bar which was a bar for fixing implements on. The tractor driver could move from field to field with implements attached. Also, he was able to use the tractor like a motor car to get home from work. Then came the combine harvester. We used to sack the corn off on a platform like with the older threshing machine and drop the sacks off all around the field to be picked up again. Next came the tanker combine, running the corn through a spout into farm trailers which would pull alongside. With that came the problems of storing and drying grain. We had to build corn dryers with the corn on ducts and a big fan driven by electricity to dry the corn. Also we had to have a moisture tester to ascertain when corn was ready for combining. It took a lot of the heavy work out of harvesting. The combines were very dusty machines for the men driving them at first. Then of course you had to bail the straw. Nowadays a lot of it is burnt to the detriment of people living nearby.The weights of sacks of corn were different: oats - 12 stone, barley – 16 stone, wheat – 18 stone, beans and peas – 19 stone (a stone equals 14 lbs). In the old days corn was measured by the bushel. There were 4 bushels to the sack, hence the different weights of various sorts of corn. The miller didn’t use to charge for grinding but he had a system of tolling so much out of each sack to pay for grinding.Going back to windmills, both Grebby and Burgh had a wooden floor on the ground floor which was four feet from ground level to facilitate loading of vehicles. You could wheel the bags of meal straight out of the mill onto the dray. We got rats under the floor so we had both mills filled up with chalk and then concreted. At Grebby, when you started the mill from the outside and went inside up the ladder, a rat would come from the top of the mill and jump over your shoulder and down the ladder. When we were doing Grebby mill floor, we fastened our trouser bottom up. We fetched Captain Hoff’s two dogs. The groom and gardener brought them up. The mill chain that we used for pulling sacks up was down and the rats started to run up the chain. We got twenty-six rats killed that day. My brother made a block of wood and covered it with tin so that the rats outside would not knarl through it. We used to put it down every night and fasten the doors to it and so we dealt with the rats. Burgh mill was a bit different. We had to leave a pit in the floor because of the elevator carrying the corn to the steam stones. Anyway, it all worked out very well.In 1938, Anne Elizabeth was born at Burgh. Miriam stopped at home and Mrs Dawson came and looked after her. In the same year we did the oven replacement. In 1940 Michael was born at Burgh and Mrs Dawson looked after Mother as before.The Second World War broke out in September 1939. We were soon on rationing both for feeding stuffs for cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry and ration books were distributed for household commodities. Howard and Norah came to Burgh and took Marjorie and Kathleen back to Gloucester to stay with them as it was considered a safer area than the Lincolnshire coast. In fact I got the first bombs dropped at Burgh in my field down the Green Lane at the rear of the Red Lion. One was an unexploded one and we saw the round hole in the field about nine inches across. We reported it to the military that were stationed at Burgh and they came and exploded it. I had to hire a bulldozer to fill the holes in but got paid for it by the Government.Jim Cox and Johnny Johnson who were baker’s roundsmen were called up for military service. I replaced them by three girls, Kathleen Simpson, Eva Baxter and Margaret Chester. Eddie joined the navy as soon as he was old enough.Wartime Service I had various voluntary positions during the war. One was Leading Fireman in the AFS (later the NFS) with about 12 men. We had Farmer’s Garage opposite (the Mill) to keep a tractor and trailer fire engine and we used to get all the air raid warnings by phone which was ‘Air raid warning Red’ and then ‘All Clear’. We had a warning buzzer in the garage which we could use if necessary and the firemen had to take it in turns to fire-watch all night with the Air Raid Wardens. It was quite interesting. We had a pump that we used to pull about with a truck. We attended lectures at Boston or Skegness either at weekends or at night. We would train with the Skegness Fire Brigade and along with other village fire brigades we would meet at the boating lake in Skegness. We would practise with the turntable ladder over the lake. We had several call outs with bombs being dropped in the neighbourhood and once to a farm stack fire at Halton Fen to relieve Skegness Fire Brigade. The first job I had was to fetch a gallon of beer from The Three Tuns at Thorpe. The landlady put it into a gallon chamber jug full to the top and I had to drive with one hand and hold the jug to stop spilling it. I kept having a drink so it wasn’t wasted. It was hard work pulling a stack to pieces. We had a room in Burgh and used to play darts to fill the time in. I was also on the War Agricultural Committee to supervise the wellbeing of the land and order the cutting down of thistles. I had to supervise a farm at Well for Bob Allis who was not farming it very well. I used to go every Thursday afternoon. The first time I was going, Mrs Allis phoned me and shouted at me for doing the work. I told her to wait until I got there and see. Anyway, after that we never had an angry word. Bob was £3000 in the red at the bank. With the help of Bill Needham’s father of Bilsby who farmed at Thurlby we got him £3000 in the black but he did not live long enough to enjoy it.
The concluding part After 1945The War was over in 1945 and we soon got back to normal. The men came back from the services. As I was taken ill with a burst blood vessel in my inside and laid up for six weeks, Eddie was given a discharge from the navy by The Welfare Officer.In 1947 I put an entirely new ogee cap on Burgh mill which is a Lincolnshire name and some of it was paid for by return of Income Tax. It was called Excess Profit Tax and was allowed for different repairs. It was in the region of £5000 and I also put a new oil engine in. A Ruston from Lincoln. It ran on diesel instead of paraffin. I built a new section on to the bakehouse with new steam ovens in place of the old flash oven. It made it into a very up to date bakehouse. I also installed a lot of electric machines in it to make the work easier.Community InvolvementI was a member of Burgh Parish Council 1934 to 1971, being Chairman from 1956 to 1971. I was also a member of Spilsby Rural District Council for 28 years from 1946, being Chairman of Public Health, 1955 to 1960, Chairman of The Council from 1960 to 1963 (during this time I was also a Justice of the Peace) and Chairman of Planning from 1971 to 1974. I retired when the new district was called East Lindsey District Council.I was on two charities in Burgh, 1942 to 1987. One was Thomas E Walls’ Bequest. Walls had been a brewer. He left £500, the interest to be given each year to any unmarried mothers. Eventually we gave it to the needy at Christmas.The other charity was Jane Palmer’s Charity (from 1938 to 1987). It was land left in Burgh le Marsh, the rent to go towards the education of children at the Skegness Grammar School, but when the state scholarship was formed, we gave a grant to older children such as nurses when first starting, any students at university and apprentices. They had to be living in Burgh. Sometimes it was £100 each, paid in three terms which helped them get home more frequently.We formed Burgh Bowling Club in 1932 out of some land that had been tennis courts. I was a member for 50 years. Tom Willson bought the land and when he died his sister gave it to the Bowling Club. My first lot of bowls were lignum vita and cost 21 shillings.After Burgh le MarshIn 1955 I went to live at College Farm, Candlesby, and let Eddie take over the business for which I charged him 30 shillings a week rent. He carried on until 1965 when I sold the mill and premises to Hansons of Skegness. It was too costly delivering bread to all the places in the country. The supermarkets had spoiled the trade. Eventually Lincolnshire County Council bought the mill and premises and turned the bakehouse into a restaurant.In 1966 I took over Park Farm at Candlesby which belonged to Major Owen, solicitor at Spilsby, making my full acreage to 550. Major Owen let me have the farm for £5 per acre. In the meantime, Michael had got married and worked on the farm. He lived next to the grocer’s shop in Candlesby.1966 Miller’s RestI bought 72 Boston Road, Spilsby, a very nice bungalow which Mother liked very much. It cost nearly £5000. I retired in 1971 and kept doing a few jobs on the farm until 1972, my being 71 years of age.Church InvolvementI was confirmed at Burgh church by the Bishop of Grimsby about 1938. I was elected Vicar’s Warden from 1942 to 1947 until we went to live at Candlesby where I was church warden for Candlesby Church for a period of thirty years from 1947. Miriam was electing member for The Mothers Union and, for most of our time at Candlesby, did all of the cleaning etc in the church.I had been President of Spilsby Master Bakers Association in 1937, Chairman of Spilsby National Farmers Union from 1951 to 1953 Masonic Lodge InvolvementIn 1964 I was invited to become a member of the Masons at Spilsby, Shakespeare Lodge, and a member of Royal Arch in 1965. I was a member of Mark Masons and Royal Ark Mariners in 1972 and 1973. A founder member of Eccles Lodge in 1975, I was Worshipful Master of Eccles in 1976 and the Chair of the Royal Arch Chapter in 1979. I got two promotions in Eccles Lodge - first to Past Provincial Standard Bearer in 1979 and a further promotion to Past Provincial Junior Deacon in 1985. In the Royal Arch Chapter I was promoted to Past Provincial Grand First Assistant Sojourner in 1983.At this point the journal stops. it is now our intention to try to complete the story with a few updates and reminiscences
Dobson’s Mill in Burgh le MarshWhilesomehistoriansthinkthemillwasbuiltaround 1813,amapfrom1810showsawindmillalreadyon thesite,thisparticularmilltowercouldpossiblybethe one described as ‘newly built’ in 1850s!ThewindmillisoneoftwobuiltinBurghinthemid- 19thcentury.Theothermillfellintodisrepairinthe 30s.Ithasnowbeenrenovatedandisaprivate residence.The miller’s of Burgh were:Before 1810 - c. 1840 Thomas Jessopc. 1840 - 1855 Agur (or Agar) Jessop 1856 - c. 1880 John Hewitt Jacksonc. 1880 - c. 1885 Robert Barkerc. 1885 - c. 1913 Mrs Susan Barkerc. 1913 - 1930 Martin Barker 1930 - 1965 E Dobson & SonsThewindmillispreservedasaheritagesiteandgives aclearpictureofawindmillatworkintheearly20th century.
Burgh’s History in picturesIntheGranarybuildingonthewindmillsite, thereisafascinatingtime-linedisplayshowing thehistoryofBurghleMarshfromearlytimes up to the present. This is accessible by stair lift.Other historic sites of interestTheothergrade1listedbuildinginthetownis the parish church.Thecentreofthevillageisaconservationarea andthemarketplaceandthesurrounding streets have changed very little in recent times.AnotherfocalpointofinterestisCockHill(so calledbecauseitisbelievedcockfightingwas organisedthereinthepast). Thisisapreserved sitewithRomanandAngloSaxonconnections. Aseriesofpicturesinthewroughtironrailings depict Burgh’s heritage.Allofthesearewithinwalkingdistanceofthe millsite.Thereisampleparkingonoursite and it is free.
On behalf of Burgh le Marsh Heritage Group based at Dobson’s Mill, I wish to draw your attention to the following developments in the life of Lincolnshire’s Heritage as it affects our group.History TimelineThe Burgh le Marsh Heritage Group has been in existence since 2011 and in 2013 merged with The History Group and the Friends of Burgh Windmill, both longstanding local groups. In 2013 The History Group’s ‘museum’ was relocated to the Mill Granary from the old school buildings where the items were stored in boxes, no longer on display, and retitled a Heritage Trail to avoid the constraints and expense of museum authentication. This has been regularly updated with the assistance of grants from various sources and is now almost completely up to date with new signage, information boards and display cases. Local people regularly provide us with fresh items which we try to incorporate into our displays. Alongside this we have just revamped the tea room layout, having recently replaced the utility furniture and, through grants from the Marsh Heritage Project, the other display areas have been a ‘work in progress’ - this is taking some time to get right but is now almost reaching its conclusion.Throughout this time, we have duly brought about the restoration of the mill to provide a working example of a unique Victorian building. As the mill site is owned by Lincolnshire County Council, this has not been easy, and more recently almost impossible, as the County Council finances have been stretched to the point that the rate of even general maintenance costs has proven too much for the shrinking budget. Historically, our mill has always been the last to be repaired due in some measure to a minimal input from previous groups responsible for running the mill.We now have a membership approaching 100 as we have taken measures to increase the use of the outbuildings surrounding the mill by 500%, and, as a result of our maintaining an all-year-round presence, we have expanded the footfall of visitors (tourists and regulars) to the site.
Thank you for your interest in our current efforts to ensure the ongoing preservation of the mill buildingsThe following form was published at the event (an attached version is available for completion off-line and for returning to the mill)The agreed strategy agreed at the meetings is•to form a steering group, as an independent subcommittee, to pursue the acquisition of the site for the village hopefully to preserve the mill as a working machine•to investigate fund raising possibilities•to acquire charitable status•to negotiate with the County Council to achieve these aims
High StreetBurgh le MarshLincolnshirePE24 5JTwww.heritageburghlemarsh.co.ukThe Future of Dobson’s Mill, Burgh le Marsh, including the Heritage CentreIwishtoregistermysupportforactioninmaintainingthemillasaunique,working,historic buildingI am prepared to assist in the following mannera.Registering as an interested member of the communityb.Being involved in Fund Raising activitiesc.Assisting in organising Fund Raising activitiesd.Being included in the list of volunteers (for future use) The following information will not be stored electronicallyNAME(S) :ADDRESS: TELEPHONE:EMAIL: Comments for consideration
Burgh le Marsh Windmill Heritage Centre
To find out more about the steering group and express your interest in assisting please follow the link to the next page