Inside this issue:

The Prize Winning Cow
This month, Toni Arthur-Hay interviews more local residents...

One of the many treasures of Northwold is a walk round the village. Not just to see the buildings and the rare Easter Sepulchre in the church, but to walk round the back of the main street and take in the common. It seems untouched by the ravages of our modern times. Then suddenly, silently, staring at you, there are some beautiful beasts. Highland cattle. Their deep red long-haired coats provide a colourful contrast to the variety of green in this verdant part of Norfolk.
They belong to Jim and Brenda Ayres. No, they're not farmers. Keeping Highlanders is their passion. 'Some people play golf
- we've got our animals' says Brenda.
How did this interest come about? Well, not on the spur of the moment, that's for sure. Here's the story.
Brenda was born in Northwold. ' I lived in Beckfield Cottages up on the top road. It's a great big house now, but when I lived there it was like four little cottages, all two up two down, with outside loos. You knew everybody who lived in the village in those days. I remember going to the shop one Saturday afternoon, for mum, and coming home excitedly telling her that there had been a lady in there that I didn't know, 'cos you didn't see many strangers. I was quite an event.'
'Everybody brought you up. If you were doing something you shouldn't someone would lean out of a window and shout at you "Hey, don't do that!" But they daren't do that now dare

Jim was born in Methwold in the Black Fens and lived in Catsholme Cottage. 'There were five of us in all. My father was a farm worker and mum worked on the land as well as doing all the housework. They had come to the Fens from Bedfordshire. All the farm work then was very labour intensive. 99% of it was piecework
- the more work they done the more money they got. They worked daylight till dark. The type of living in the Fen must have been quite a lot cheaper - all the vegetables were grown there. If there was the odd rabbit or hare running around it would accidentally get knocked on the head and put in the pot. Dad was too old to be called up in the Services for the war. So, he just worked and worked and worked until he'd saved up a couple of hundred pounds - which was a lot of money in them days - and he bought a house. It was one foot on the ladder. Later moved out of the Fen, when I was about seven, and we eventually got a house in Brookville.'
Children in the '50's, in this area, went to small village schools throughout their education. Schools with only about  40 pupils. Jim went to Methwold Primary and Brenda to Northwold Primary. 'We always had our own desk and you sat at the same desk everyday - all day'. Pupils at Northwold Primary stayed there until they were 14 and then, for the last year of school, they had to go to Methwold Primary. 'No one was quite sure why,'

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