Book Title: From Corncrake to Combine : Memoirs of a Cheshire Farmer
Author: Maya Angelou
Format: Paperback | 160 pages
Publication Date: 21 Jan 2008
This is an utterly charming history of life at Yew Tree Farm, North Cheshire, over the last eighty years. Beginning in the era when shire horses pulled the plough and country news passed from mouth to mouth at the blacksmith's forge, it explores a world and a way of life that has now vanished. Many readers will know Walter as a family man, farmer, councillor (and often counsellor), but this witty, shrewd and honest account shows a new side - a country writer in the same league as Cobbett, White and Herriot. These delightful tales travel through the war years, when prisoners of war from Dunham worked at the local farms and American trucks careered through Walter's fields, to the local 'hops' of the 1950s - you could always tell a farm girl by the mark her wellies made just below her knees - and through to the modern day, when the M6 and M56 motorways altered the shape and sound of the landscape forever.
Illustrated with more than seventy photographs, full of memorable characters, from tramps, land girls and country vicars to Mrs Jones and her infamous swear box, and with sections on local institutions such as Chelford Market and Knutsford Young Farmers' Club (of which Walter has been a member for nearly sixty years), this book will delight anyone with an interest in life in the country as it used to be - and as it is today.