Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Birthday Greetings From Lexden

Emily Nevard wrote this letter to her brother, Horace, in Canada in 1909.
36 Straight Road
Lexden, Essex
My Dear Brother
I don't know if I owe you a letter or not but I am just writing to say we all wish you many happy returns of your birthday and hope you will have good health and good luck . I hope you are having good weather for the harvest. We have had very stormy, cold and unsettled weather for the last 3 weeks so it has been very bad for the harvest. We are in September now so I hope we shall have fine weather. We managed to have it fine all yesterday and this morning the sun is shining lovely.
Cecil picked the Greengages yesterday. We have more than a half bushel. They are not ripe. If we had left them on the trees we should have lost nearly all as the birds, wasps and flies won't leave them alone.
Mother has been down with Louie for a fortnight. She came home on Monday. I was glad to see her as we have a good lot of work. The stormy weather put me about so I had to work early and late so at the end of last week I felt quite done up. I was so busy I could not go to bed on Friday night. Mother wouldn't have went down only Cecil and I persuaded her to go. And she would have come home before only I wouldn't let her know how busy I was. Cecil was very good to help me all he could. He is going up to London to see Miss Cornish for the weekend tomorrow.
Mother didn't enjoy herself much down at Louie's as the children were troublesome. The boy was much more trouble than he is here. Mother make him mind her when he is with us only Mother didn't tell Louie but she would have been just as happy at home at her work. But don't you say anything about it.
Grandmother was 88 years yesterday. Mother cooked her a bit of fresh fish and I took it down for her dinner. She seemed quite nicely. She had managed to get the dinner ready and sat waiting for Grandfather to come downstairs. He was busy dusting the bedroom.
Laura Payne was married last Monday week just after 8 a:m. Percy and his wife went to Church with them. Percy and the bridegroom went round by Church Lane and Mrs. Payne and Laura went by the street. They furnished their house from Mrs. Bortell's Church Lane and they are living in one of the houses near the loop in Spring Lane where Mr. Ford used to live.
You tell Daisy Mr. Ford had to leave Colonel Corse Scott's in a hurry as he was so often drunk. So they are living in the town and they are still out of work. Harry Lusted is home this week for a holiday. His young lady is with him. Tell Daisy and Mary I will write to them next.
I am so sorry Earn have not been able to go out to work as I fear he will miss the money so much.
You don't know how much I think about you all every day. I do hope you will get enough to carry you through the winter. Tell Daisy I received her letter. Now I must leave off as Cecil is going.
So good bye dear Horrie with love from us all to you and all from your loving sister ...
Emily Nevard

Emily at the gate on 36 Straight Road, Lexden, Essex

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From Lowestoft to Lipton (letter from Cecil to Horace)

August 1, 1914

My Dear Horace

Thank you very much indeed for the most useful present which you so very kindly sent me. It is indeed most kind of you for I fully understand that ready money in Canada with you on the farm is a great object and I fully appreciate what you have sent me. As we want a dressing table for our spare bed room I shall put a little more money to what you have sent and buy one. Then when you come over (which I hope will be in the near future) you shall sleep in that room and look at your present.

We have such a dear little house, home and garden which I should love you to see and with which Ethel and I are very proud.

Doubtless Emily wrote and told you that Mother came down to stay with us with Louie's little boy for a fortnight and had a good rest. Dear Ethel wouldn't let her do anything while with us. Emily and Louie will be coming down shortly but at present we have Ethel's mother and father with us for 3 weeks. Then we have my new brother and sister in law coming down for a fortnight. We shall be full up.

What do you think of the crises now? I see that Russia and Germany are mobilizing but I pray that there may not be a European war for that would be terrible for every civilized country.

Ethel and I have just had our fortnight's holiday. Part we spent in London with Ethel's people and part at Lexden with Mother, who by the bye, is quite well, as is also Granny and Emily.

Each place I went to I done up their gardens for I am rather keen on it and would just like you to see ours for we have a lawn in the front and back of the house and a flower border all round. Then I have a piece of ground away from the house on which I have green peas, potatoes, beans, cabbage veg. marrow, lettuce, cauliflowers so it keeps me out of mischief.

You must excuse this paper but I am writing in the office. I hope you will get on well with your job and make plenty of dollars and also have a good crop on the farm.

Yes Horrie, I am most glad to say I am very happy. I have never been so happy before for my wife is a model in every respect and really waits on me so much she'll spoil me. She sends her fond love and would so much like to see you and wishes me to thank you very much indeed for your very nice present

With much love to you all I remain your ever affectionate brother, Cecil.
Cecil at left in later years.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Threshing Syndicate

In 1910 the Nevard brothers, Arthur, Ernest and Horace, went into partnership to buy threshing equipment with the Goffs. Tom, Alf and Jack. It was a major expense and was not paid for in cash but over several years of installments.
The engine was a 20 horsepower International Harvester "Famous" portable. The thresher was an Aultman-Taylor 27 inch cylinder with 42 inch wide body which was a good sized machine in those days.
Disaster struck shortly. Prairie fire swept across Alf Goff's farm where the outfit was set up . Nobody was around in time to fight the fire and the separator was a complete loss. They had to buy a second one to finish the harvest putting them even further into debt. They did a little custom threshing for neighbours Jake Martin, Jimmy Gray and Cecil Lewis to help pay the bills. The partnership lasted into the early 1920s when they decided to go their separate ways and purchased their own outfit for each farm.
In the photo you can see my grandfathers Horace Nevard and Tom Goff.

Letter from Cecil Nevard to Emily

Recently married to Ethel, Cecil Nevard was working as a clerk at the district registry of the High Court of Justice and County Court Offices at Lowestoft at the time he wrote this letter to his sister, Emily Nevard.  
15 St. Aubyn's Road
Aug. 27, 1915
My Dear Emily
I was pleased to receive your letter as I was wondering how you were all getting on.
Well Emily dear, as you see we are not at home. I think I told you that Mr. Cornish came down to Sax. on the Saturday and took Ethel home with him for a while. I was intending to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Wakeling at Number 15, St. Aubyn but as there were so many rumours about as to Zeppellin bombardment, which I don't for one minute believe, Mrs. Wakeling could not sleep at night. Fred, her husband, decided to get her away. So she left here with the children by the 5:15 Monday for Bungay. Since then Fred and I have been batching at his place together.
We were getting along so well that I wrote and told Ethel that as she was at home she had better stay another week and at the last moment (although she hates being away from me) her mother persuaded her to stay. Next Saturday, tomorrow, we hope to meet at Sax. Ethel leaves Liverpool st. at 1:00 pm and reaches Sax at 3:37. As I am cycling I hope to be at Louie's at 5:00, then cycle back on Monday morning. Of course if its wet I shall have to train.
You would smile I guess to see me head cook and bottle washer. Well the other day I made a cake and some jam tarts when I had the fire going to cook a joint. All turned out A1.
Last evening I cooked another joint (which we have cold for dinner) and made a rice pudding and a bread pudding.
Fred is on duty at 8:00 so I get up at 7:00, get breakfast, bacon, etc., then do a bit of cleaning up until its time to get to the office, then home to dinner. I have from quarter to twelve til one and Fred has from 12:00 to 1:30.
I've told you all we do and you see we shan't take any harm. Ethel calls herself lots of unkind names because she says her duty is with me but its no use her being here and having bad nerves and can't sleep, is it? One lady has been so upset she has had to be taken away to an asylum.
It has upset everybody and ever so many people have left the town. Mind you, I believe most of it is imagination. For instance, on Wednesday evening all lights had to be put out as Zepps were supposed to be about but we didn't see them. Fred and I went to bed (the best place). Many people walked into the country until it was light.
Certainly not Emily, the 2p for the vegetables was not wasted for Louie had the pleasure of the peas and beans and we've had most of the potatos here as it spares us buying. Fred and I put some money into a box and pay out of that (share alike).
Yes, I think Horrie will be having a great time at Sax for he love to get on the horse.
I heard of the raid on Walthamstowe and you don't get much news in papers as they are not allowed to print it. The report of our submarines sinking ten German warships in the Gulf of Riga is fortunately, quite true and good work.
Well it isn't so dull here as there are still plenty of people about.
Fancy 70 of the national reserve going away. You would naturallly feel very quiet. I'm not surprised to hear about Fred Denton. Fond love to dear Mother , Granny and yourself. From your ever loving brother, Cecil

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1906 Letter From Alice

Grove Farm
Saxmundham, Suffolk
August 8, 1906
My Dear Horrie
I was very pleased to receive your nice letter this morning. I ought to have received it yesterday but the postman made a mistake and took it to Rendham.
I often think about you and what you are doing. You have to go away to work a good bit don't you? I am glad you are living with Mary as I should think it is much nicer for you. I expect little Ernie is pleased to see you. He used to say, "there will be five of us in Canada". I don't suppose he has seen his Uncle Arthur yet.
You will have heard from Mary that your Mother and Cecil have been down with Louie. I think Cecil enjoyed his holiday very well. He kept himself busy most of the time clipping the hedges, chopping sticks, etc. He went back yesterday by the 9:23 train as he had to get to his office by 11 o'clock and your mother went by the five o'clock train. We had a post card from Cecil this morning telling us that they had all arrived home safely. I expect Emily was very pleased to see them home again.
We are rather quiet today but Annie is coming home tonight by the six train and then I reckon we shall be quiet no longer.
Father is gone to the sale at Saxmundham and Willie is just going to town also. I expect they are going to begin harvest tomorrow as the corn is quite fit to cut.
My Aunt and Uncle and cousins from Leiston came here on Monday. Maude and little Elsie came also. There were 14 of us. Elsie is such a good little girl and she was so pleased to go out and see the cats, chickens and so forth.
Nurse Winstanley came here to stay with Louie a fortnight ago. She stayed from the Tuesday til Thursday. She knows we write to each other because she asked Willie and Louie if I had got a young man and if it was anyone whom she knew. They said it was and then she guessed Cecil first and then you.. She quite surprised me because she said "you can give my love to Horrie when you write Alice" and I didn't know that she knew anything about it. I don't think I'll tell you what she said about you for fear that you might become conceited.
I should like to see some of the nice places where you go . I should think it is nice by the lake but I shouldn't care for the adventure which you had on coming back from your row on the lake. I should think you began to wonder where you would spend the night. It was very fortunate that you went to the right house.
It is very dull and turning to rain. Dick and Mother are just going to milk the cows and I mustn't stop to write very much more as I have got to get ready and go to town and then to the station.
Mother and I went to town with butter this morning and it was hot too. Father came and helped us part of the way. We don't get quite so much butter now but we shall have more next week as we had a calf go to the sale this week.
We don't get many eggs now. They are 14 for a shilling.
I haven't forgotten sitting in the armchair before you went away. I felt very much like crying then but I know it is best to be happy if we can and I hope to see you again some day so we will sing "we'll meet tomorrow as we did that night".
Now dear Horrie I must bring my letter to a close and please write soon. I know you don't have much time to write but I do so like getting letters, especially yours.
Hoping this will meet you quite well, with love to all and yourself I remain your ever-loving Alice.
Nurse Winstanley

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Hammer

Have you heard the joke, the guy that brags he still has grandfather's hammer even though he has replaced the head once and the handle twice? Its not quite that way with my great Uncle Ernest Nevard's masonry hammer that he used in his brick laying projects. I recently discovered I had it stored away in the shed.
The same hammer can be seen in this photo from 1954 laying on the cindercrete blocks at the right side of the photo.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Harvest 1947

As seen by Bill Nevard....
Sept. 30// We finished our barley this morning, about 370 bushels. Bud took the separator down to the 25 acres on 13 with his Ford.
After dinner Bud and Uncle Horrie went to haul my bin down to the setting with the big tractor while we loaded up wheat sheaves. They had trouble getting up from the valley along the headland of the 15 acres and the wheels of the tractor got dug down. Finally we had to take the line fence down and go through.
John Fleming came along and borrowed Bud's tractor leaving his own. We threshed some wheat. Roy's first load had 22 bushels. Bud left early to go to Lipton on his Ford and got his wagon back home ready for hauling flax.

October 6// This morning I took the team and rack up to Silver Birches with the intention of threshing but I found that Bud had taken the tractor to pieces to fix up a bearing. He went to our place on the Ford to get an old bearing to put in . Dad and Uncle Horrie came back with him. I stayed there to make a straw fire as it was cold. It took until dinner time to get it fixed and after dinner we threshed we threshed Uncle H's oats and moved down near the big slough to thresh Bud's wheat. He moved one of his new bins down in the pasture with his Ford and we threshed 6 loads of wheat sheaves. The sheaves are about the best we have handled so far.
Bud Nevard and the Ford tractor