Ask While You Can! A Reader's Memories of Their Family

Sheep in fold at Alscot Park, Preston on Stour. 1930s
IMAGE LOCATION: (Warwickshire Museums. Photographic Collections.)
Reference: C, 7299, img: 7899
This image is subject to copyright restrictions. Please see our copyright statement for further details.

My grandfather, Alfred Bishop, farmed at the Rough Farm, as a tenant of Alscot Park. He was there during the Second World War, and I’m told he supplied both the RAF base and the Canadian Air force base nearby. His eldest son, Andrew Bishop, farmed at Beecham Farm, probably a corruption of Beauchamp, a Norman name. I have often wondered why the Rough Farm was so called, perhaps some Anglo Saxon word, and never thought to ask, when he lived there.

Having to leave the farm during the war

We lived nearby, first at Ratley, Edge Hill, where I was born in 1941, and then at Church Close, Sutton under Brailes, now called the Close I believe, where my brother Simon was born. My father, Fred Kenyon, having had to leave his leased farm at Ratley, as the war effort required the excavation of the Ironstone Mines, was appointed to the WarAg for Warwickshire, with the task of increasing farm production. He once said he had been on most farms in Warwickshire. Brilliant farmer ! He’d farmed in Newbold on Stour in the 1930s, but was originally from Liverpool, and came to Newbold on Stour after a chance meeting with the farmer,who owned four farms in Newbold on Stour, and was buying cattle in Liverpool.

If only I’d asked!

I have lived in Mexico for over 40 years and wish I had spent more time asking questions about the Bishop family. I know Alf Bishop farmed before at Galley Hill, Tysoe. Another name probably with a history as it was probably originally called Gallows Hill, where criminals in the Middle Ages were hung.

Can I make a plea to all your readers to not forget where they came from and who were their ancestors. You only realize too late what you should have been asking.

More from Ratley