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Hoo Ash Farm

Location

Hoo Ash Farm gave its name to the Hoo Ash Island roundabout at the south end of Swannington.  Hoo Ash Farm House is in Ravenstone, but a significant portion of the farmed land at the time of the Second World War was in Swannington.

Farmers at Hoo Ash Farm

1856 Henry Burton

The 2nd May 1856 Leicester Journal contained an advertisement for the auction of farming stock at Hoo Ash Farm, near Swannington station, because Henry Burton was leaving the country.

1926-1941 (probably longer) Reginald Charles Waltho

The 1939 register recorded:

  • Reginald Charles Waltho, General Farmer, born 1910 (Newborough Staffordshire)
  • Kathleen Muriel Bennion Waltho (nee Walthew), Unpaid Domestic Duties, born 1914 (Seal Wood, Linton, Derbyshire)
  • John K Waltho, Under School Age, born 1937 (Ravenstone).

 

During World War Two they had two more sons..

Reginald’s sister Linda Margaret Waltho (1908 Newborough – 1993 Griffydam) married Swannington Butcher Arthur George Toon, whose shop was just up Hough Hill from the Station Inn.

Fordson model F tractor with 20 horse power last made 1928 - image posted on Youtube by steamer123

World War Two Farm Survey

Reginald Charles Waltho paid an annual rent of £369 to Wyggeston Hospital for his expanding farm.  He had farmed 128 acres since 1926, added 50 acres in 1937 and a further 73 acres in 1940.  It is not known if his fields were in a single block.

He had a 3.5 horsepower Hornsby engine and a 20 horsepower Fordson tractor (this would have been a model F which ceased production in 1928)

The soil in half of the land was described as good and half as fair, none as bad.  The farm had both piped water and a pond.

The assessor wrote

  • This farmer has recently become tenant of some of the land included in this survey.  This land is in a poor condition and the hedges and ditches are bad.  Nevertheless I feel sure that the present tenant is capable of bringing it back to good condition.

For 1941 the Wartime Agricultural Executive Committee instructed him to plough up 6 acres of grassland, 5 for oats and 1 for barley.

Farm size = 244 acres

  • Grain – 93 acres
  • Roots – 22 acres
  • Fodder – 7 acres
  • Grass for mowing – 33 acres
  • Grass for grazing – 89 acres

 

Farm animals

  • Cattle – 105
  • Sheep – 130
  • Pigs – 14
  • Fowls – 232
  • Ducks – 43
  • Horses – 12