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Norwich Road & Aerial View Mill Street & South Green AJ Farrow of Mattishall
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AJ Farrow
Motor Transport and Threshing Contractor
Dereham Road, Mattishall
 
PICTURES OR MEMORIES - Do you have anything you would like to share?
If you have email me HERE
 
May and AJ Farrow
with their two sons
Ronald Ernest and Gerald Arthur about 1906
Arthur John Farrow
1871 - 1953

Flora May Mary Farrow nee Critoph
1875 - 1934

     

John Farrow and his son Arthur John (AJ) came to Mattishall from High House Farm at Beetley and were living in the village by the time of the 1901 census. Arthur John Farrow (pictured above) went into business at May Farm in about 1904 and apart from farming he included steam haulage with one steam engine and trailer timber drug at first. They started by carting stone, sand, gravel etc, for Norfolk County Council for road building and the like. He also went into the threshing business with drums and straw elevators. At the height of his business AJ Farrow was the biggest employer of men in the area, a record that has not been beaten to this day.
For more information on AJ Farrow and his story click HERE

 

Ray Taylor ©
This picture was taken about 1920: - The position is Dereham Road, Westside of Mattishall at the front of May House. Just before the barn on the left was the entrance to Farrow’s yard.

 
Ray Taylor ©
Those early days, steaming up in the yard: - Jimmy Orton at the front wheel, Jimmy Isble is the driver, Sol Smith at the rear wheel .
 
Ray Taylor ©
Bob Taylor is standing in front, Charles Smith is the driver, The onlookers are unknown.
 

Ray Taylor ©
Burrell 2-cylinder single crank compound engine purchased in 1912 for £450 - The trailer is loaded with logs for Hobbies of Dereham……
Tom Williamson is standing on the left, Walter Garner leaning casually, Jimmy Isbel is wearing his First World War demob coat.

 

Ray Taylor ©
At the rear of Farrow’s yard - Trailers are all tilted up - the picture shows 3 Drums and a Straw Elevator: Note the engine-wheel to the right outside the Blacksmith Shop.

 
Ray Taylor ©
 

Ray Taylor ©
Farrow’s men loading beer barrels at Cooper Browns Brewery, Norwich Road East Dereham.
Cooper Brown also had premises at Eaton as seen in the next slide

 
Ray Taylor ©
Farrow’s at Cooper and Browns Brewery, Newmarket Road Eaton, Norwich about 1920.
 
Ray Taylor ©
Another Brewery run with barrels of beer all loaded - Not sure what’s in the trailer.

 
Ray Taylor ©
The same driver as in the Eaton picture, he is unknown - Boaz Dodman is in the cab.
 
Ray Taylor ©
The Matthews family of Welborne - Mr E. Mathews was a small threshing contractor. AJ Farrow bought him out in the late 1930’s.
 
Ray Taylor ©
Boaz Dodman pulling a lorry from a pond on Dereham Road - Picture dated February 23rd 1938
 

Ray Taylor ©
Pulling one of Farrow’s lorries from a ditch on Dereham Road - Bertie Tilney (left): Jesse Gogle: unknown: Bertie Gogle: Billy Hudson: - The boy in front is Peter Arthurton watched at a distance by PC Knightingale.

 
Ray Taylor ©
Meanwhile back at Farrow’s Yard – It was said there was a real close bond between the staff who were like a family.
Back: Tom Williamson: Billy Hudson: Bob Taylor: Sol Smith: Charles Smith: Jimmy Orton: Boaz Dodman: Fred Green: George Green.
Front: Bertie Woodrow and Jimmy Isble
 


Ray Taylor ©
Looks like there was a roundup of men for this picture:
Back: A. J. Farrow: William Hudson: Walter Woodrow: Jimmy Orton: Fred Green: Cecil Howard: Jack Cranma: Sid Taylor: Rolo Smith: Walter Garner: Ted Matthews: Ernie Peachment: Harry Reeve: Charlie Rudd: Bertie Webster: Charlie Eke: Cyril Daynes: Walter Hall: Clifford Pyman: Steve Rose.
Middle: Chris Orton: Bob Taylor: Frank Clarke: Fred Woodrow: Lawrence Wells: Jimmy Woodall: Jimmy Richmond: Jack Howard: Russell Smith. Reggie Meachen: Jimmy Isbel: Boaz Dodman: Charles Smith: Geroge Marsham: George Green.
Front: Freddy Footer: Pete Arthurton.

 

Ray Taylor ©
A much later picture with another gathering of some of Farrow’s men - The lorry is a Leyland Terrier which had a maximum load of 11 tons. The workforce are:-
George Green: Frank Clark: Steve Rose: Bertie Webster: Ernie Peachment: Charles Rudd: Rolo Smith (driver): Charles Smith: Jimmy Medler: Chris Orton:
Crouching at the front is Russell Smith (grease monkey!!)

Once again, I'm in the stackyard as Farrows steam engine with its train of thresher and elevator rumbles in on a freezing November morning to start the threshing for my Grandfather. I can remember the smoke, the smell, the slap-slap-slap of the great driving belts, the shouts of the men, the dust and my father giving me a stick to strike at the rats when they ran from the bottom - Brian Lusher

 
Ray Taylor ©
Loaded with cereal but still time for a quick picture. Taken about 1960.
Back: Derrick Smith, Russell Smith, Albert Blanch.
Front: Brian Matthews, George Pearce, Neville Smith.
 
Ray Taylor ©

Ray Taylor ©

Ketterinham about 1910 - The steam engine is driving a large belt driven saw bench. This was quite a modern peace of equipment in its time.
The blade on the table was spun by the traction engine, enabling large amounts of wood to be cut by a far more portable means then ever before. Where necessary wood could even be cut to length on site.

 
Ray Taylor ©
Sunday School Outing - Farrow’s would always take the village children for their annual summer outing to Ringland Hills. Sadly we do not have a picture of this but we do have one that shows a Dereham outing. This give us an idea of what it would have looked like - I wonder what Health & Safety would have to say?
We can just imagine the fun it would have been and no doubt a good time was had by all!
 
Ray Taylor ©
 
Ray Taylor ©
Ford Lorry built for AJ Farrow by Messrs W. Grane of East Dereham.
 

Image courtesy of
The Museum of East Anglian Life

After AJ's death in 1953 the business was taken over by his son Gerald until he too died suddenly and after a few attempts to get the business on track by the other brother Ronald and their secretary Edna Jolly the business was eventually sold to Walpole and Wright of Dereham. The transfer date was June 1st 1964. Eight steam engines were sold to A. King of Norwich for scrap. They paid £25 each for them. It is said that many of the Farrow's workforce watched with heavy hearts as they were taken one by one, dismantled and cut-up in the yard. Fortunately two escaped and were sold to museums at Stowmarket and York. The one above has recently been restored to it former glory by the 'Museum of East Anglian Life' of Stowmarket.

Museum of East Anglian Life - Traction engine 'Empress Of Britain'
Burrell traction engine No 3399, 7 NHP Single Crank Compound, completed at Charles Burrell's Thetford works on 24 July 1912. For most of its working life it was used for threshing and agricultural haulage, owned by Messrs A.J. Farrow who bought the engine through George Thurlow & Sons Ltd of Stowmarket, Burrell's principal East Anglian agents. Recently it underwent restoration at the Museum of East Anglian Life and took pride of place during the Queen's jubilee visit to Stowmarket on the 17th July 2002. For more information or to visit their website click HERE.

One of the 1936 six wheeled Layland lorries is in a collection in the West Country.

 
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Norwich Road & Aerial View Mill Street & South Green AJ Farrow of Mattishall
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