Memories from my Childhood at Hoathwaite Farm
By Joyce Halton (nee Herdman)
My parents Frank and Lily Herdman, came to Hoathwaite Farm, Torver, in the spring of 1928. Farming was hard in those days, especially with the slump in 1929 which affected the whole Country. The weather often ran to extremes with very wet summers and bitterly cold, snowy winters. Animals only brought a low price at market and farming implements were very primitive compared to today’s modern machinery.
My Mother was a very good cook, and the guests enjoyed the lovely home cooked meals she made for them. The area has always been attractive to walkers and climbers and Coniston Lake was only a short walk across the fields from our farmhouse.
The winter of 1940 was very severe and cold. A deep fall of snow came in Jan/Feb coupled with a strong wind, which caused drifting and the snow was several feet deep. Snow-clearing equipment was not very good and there was no salt treatment in those days so it hung about for weeks making the roads impassable. A lot of sheep were buried in drifts on the fell for days until the farmers located them and dug them out.
The Herdmans’ left Hoathwaite farm in the Spring of 1955.