"Bora da, rwyn gobethio bod mae
I gyd mewn iechyd da"

Sunday, February 1, 2004

Starting out

It has been said that getting married and moving house are the two most stressful things one can do in a person's life time.

Margaret and I were married in 1955. Since then, we have lived in 8 different homes!

My first home was on my father's farm in Flintshire, where I worked very hard, unpaid.

My loving father compelled me to leave school (which I had loved) at the age of 13. I worked very hard for Pa until I was 25. Then, after a disgraceful family dispute, my father decided to disown me - I was going out with an English girl, a heinous crime according to Pa, and just the excuse he needed. I could see no future working for him, unpaid, any longer.

In 1955, I married Margaret and other than our clothes and my ex-army Norton motorbike, we had less than £4 to our name. But we managed.

I began work as a head tractor driver on a large farm in Cheshire. We bought just the essential bits of furniture from a Cheshire store, who gave us 6 months free credit. I was working more than 72 hours per week and took home to our cottage - after deductions for rent, milk, eggs, insurance and tax - £10. Margaret was also working part-time at an egg packing station, bringing home another £5, so our combined income was an astronomical £15 a week.

However, in less than 2 years, we had saved £120. I was desperate to have our own farm. With an aunt of Margaret's standing as a guarantor for £500, we applied for and obtained a 11-acre Flintshire County Council farm.

After much hard work, we progressed through a series of larger farms, to a 36-acre, then a 65-acre, finishing up on a 120-acre farm milking about 70 Guernsey cows, plus their followers.

Now we have retired from farming altogether, and for the first time in my life, I am living in a detached house with Margaret and our son, Russ. We are all very happy here.

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