A Return to Roots in Atherstone

Farmland in the shallow River Anker valley.
Photo © Mat Fascione (cc-by-sa/2.0). originally uploaded to geograph

As I grew up I still kept myself involved in the farm, but my dad was very insistent that my first proper job was not with him but someone else. He said I needed an employer who was just my employer. At eighteen I was a bit sceptical of what he meant but as an adult I can appreciate the space it allowed me to become a working person without having to sit within those childhood expectations. I worked in the office of Pressmark Pressings and then in the office of Vero, which made shoes.

I learnt more about the practicalities of running a business in these roles. At the farm I had always worked in very practical ways, but this gave me some insight into the behind the scenes of businesses. While doing these office jobs I still kept my farm roots by running the livery at my dads farm. I loved working with the horses and I still help my daughter with her horses today. We used to ride the horses on a pub crawl around the villages; they could be tethered outside the pub and they always get you home when you’d forgotten how to get home. You wouldn’t do that nowadays considering all the cars, and also most of the pubs have shut down, but it was such a great way to have fun with your friends.


After a couple of years at Vero I fell pregnant with my first child and decided to leave the company to be a mum. This didn’t last long as I have always been a productive person and I struggled with being cooped up all day, even though I loved my daughter. So I went back to working with dad on the farm. He had grown out his offer and now had a farm shop that needed running.  With my clerical work I knew I could take on the challenge, and the flexibility of working for family meant I could bring her along with me.

As I had more children their needs kind of took over mine, and my job now is a nice little earner without the physical demands of farm work. However, my son now works with his grandfather on the farm keeping the tradition going.

This article was published as part of the Warwickshire in 100 Objects project, part of Warwickshire Bytes.

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