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Tony Richards

Tony Richards was born in 1940 at Yearnor, a 140 acre mixed sheep and cattle farm overlooking the Bristol channel. Originally mentioned in Doomsday, Yearner borders onto Ash farm and when Tony married in 1966, Ash’s 90 acres were taken on and farmed alongside Yearnor. Ash is equally old, and has a strong claim to be where Coleridge wrote the Kubla Khan as he journeyed to Lynmouth. Seventy acres of Pitt farm were added in 1979 and the whole farmed in partnership with brother Robert and son John. Tony has been President of the Exmoor Horn sheep Society, and at the age of 24 became Church Warden and Treasurer of Culbone church, posts he still holds.

Black and white photo circa late 1930s of a wedding car in front of Oare church with two butchers ‘gating the road’ - an old Exmoor custom where a piece of rope is held in front of the car and the newly wedded couple have to pay to pass through.  The payment is meant to bring them luck in their journey through life.

Tony Richards' chapter includes the following topics and many more:

  • Grandfather losing his hand in the Higher Cheriton threshing machine
  • keeping fleeces in a room in the house until the prices went up
  • branding sheep with tar
  • moving earth from the bottoms of fields back up to the tops
  • bracken, turf and rushes from the common
  • the long gun and mantrap at Yenworthy farm
  • Yearnor farm and the horse engine
  • gating the road at marriages
  • Nath Cook the road mender
  • men who couldn’t read, write or count
  • Parsonage farm, Jack Russell terriers and badger hams
  • Culbone church, Lizzy Cook’s teas
  • the ox that rang the Culbone church bells
  • Old Granny Cook who had powers
  • the fern gatherers and the London fishmongers
  • riding a tricycle through the legs of Lord Knebworth’s horse
  • moving into county gate cottage
  • Bert French and trapping
  • sheep on ‘half crease’ and plucking muscovy ducks
  • shelling the common and Farrier Atkins
  • Culbone stables as a country club
  • Sparkhayes and malting barley
  • old ways of weather forecasting

Page sample from Tony Richards' Chapter

Volume Four - Compare Prices or Buy

Photo samples from Tony Richards' Chapter

  • Black and white photo circa early 1920s of three Exmoor farmer’s children at Higher Cheriton, two boys in flat caps and a girl.  The boys are holding ferrets and the girl a kitten.
  • Black and white photo circa late 1920s of Exmoor farmer in his sheep shearing white suit holding a sheep branding iron.  A newly branded lamb and a pot of tar is at his feet and behind him is a large cart wheel.
  • Black and white photo circa late 1930s of a horse harnessed to a one wheeled horse-drawn reaper with a female holiday maker sitting holding the reins.
  • Black and white photo circa early 1930s of two Exmoor farmers out on the common with a turf (or peat) spade which was pushed along the surface horizontally to cut ‘skin’ turfs.
  • Black and white photo circa mid 1920s of Exmoor farmer standing in a doorway with a man-trap - a large gin trap which comes up to his shoulder as he holds it vertically next to him.
  • Black and white photo circa early 1900s of the Brendon blacksmith shoeing a horse in front of the arch of the smithy.  A farmer with leather leggings holds the horse.

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