Personal Memories

Brenda Osborne

Colwick Remembered – Jackie Wood interviewed Brenda Osborne (nee Fell) on Thursday 14/10/10

Her mum and dad lived at Top Farm where Jesse Boot school is now before they went to farm at Woolley Edge nr Wakefield. They then came back to Nottingham because of mum’s health and were tenants of Manor Farm at Colwick.

Brenda and her family moved to Manor Farm at Colwick when she was 7 years old. The farm was a big semi-detached building and the farmer next door and her dad used to work together. They lived in the left hand side of the farmhouse. She remembers when you walked through the front door to the back there was all oak panelling – beautiful. There were also wine cellars. There was a dairy attached to the farm. Made butter. It had a courtyard. Off one bedroom was a dressing room. There was a separate building just outside the house up the steps where they used to do the laundry – there was a copper in the corner and you hung all your clothes up to dry and you had your bath in there as well. There was a toilet across the yard. It also had an orchard – it had everything. It was a lovely house when we lived there.

One day we woke up and all the churns were rattling – the bull had got out and poor Tommy Willis, the cowhand, was gored in the arm.

We used to live opposite the soap works and the sugar beet factory, the petrol tanks and Armitages – that was all there was on that road.

She can remember her dad having an accident when she was 7 – he and some others had been trying to secure a tarpaulin over the haystacks with weights when he got blown off and fractured his spine. It was as though he had had a stroke and mum had to carry on. He was like this for 16 years. Because of this the family moved to Carlton when Brenda was 15, just at the start of the second world war (1939). They said he would never walk again but he did – they eventually put him in a corset and he managed to walk Brenda down the aisle in 1947. Unfortunately he passed away in 1948.

Her brother used to deliver milk in the vicinity with a horse and cart. The chap from Manor Farm cottage used to come and collect 2 milk churns full. Because of the similar names things often got mixed up.

She went to the Colwick school on Vale Road. You didn’t move up to another school when you were eleven in those days you stayed in the same school all through. There used to be a cinder path just below the school which took her home. The area near the river was called Little Trent. Of course it is all different now – can’t really remember where it was now as the area is all built up. Think it was where the vicarage used to be but which is now a children’s playground.

Garage on the old Vale Road on the corner used to be Rose’s in my time.

Where the garage was, where all the houses are now, that used to be a big house – Baggleys – they used to have a donkey and we used to go and feed it.

There used to be a round house the other side of the old Colwick Road somewhere near where the Starting Gate pub is now. It was beautiful. I used to visit here too.

She remembers Lawrences factory in Vale Road and the Vale Social Club.

Her dad used to go to Colwick Hall on a Sunday for a drink so it must have been a pub then. They lived in Old Colwick and the fields they crossed to get to Colwick Hall were called Jinking Platts. A children’s playground now exists where the old Vicarage used to be at Colwick.

From Colwick you used to go over the railway tracks, with Colwick Woods to the left and up over Bakers’ fields to Carlton top or up and over the hill and fields to Carlton. It wasn’t built on in those days. There used to be a little cottage in the woods which sold milk. There was also Keepers’ cottage – that was Tommy Willis’s cottage – he was a cowman at Manor Farm. The cottage didn’t have running water – they had to get it from the spring. Cress grew round there. Her mum used to visit there.