DATA BASE REF: I A/F 1011
DARBY FARMING AT CASTOR – CHURCH VIEW
Monica Pollard nee Darby married to Jim Pollard now of Clay Lane Castor, was the daughter of Gerald Darby (a farmer at Paston, see below) whose father was John Thomas Darby who farmed at Castor “Church View” Farm. Monica is the cousin of Noel Darby of Manor Farm Marholm.
Monica’s grandfather, John Thomas Darby (died 1912) farmed at Castor, living in the farmhouse now known as Church View. He then went to Marholm Farm, leaving his eldest son Jack at Castor “Church View”. Many of the details cross-refer to the Darby family farming at Marholm
John Thomas Darby m Louisa Rowe of Guernsey
Farmer at Castor “Church View”
Elfreda Jack Cecil Thomas m Eleanor Laurie Cecil Gerald Leo Margery Olive
m. Darby Rowe Darby Wagstaff Darby Darby Darby Darby
Dalton of Castor 1874-1935 Farmed priest/ farmer
Marholm “Church View” Farmed at at Marholm teacher at Paston
Farm Elton then Farm
Marholm Farm 1912-1928
George m Roy Betty Noel Darby m Joan Thacker Kathleen Thomas Pamela Peggy Joseph Monica m James
Helen Wade Darby Darby Farms at Marholm Farm Darby Darby Pollard
And Manor Farm Marholm see below for further detail
Gerald Darby m Thirza Louise Quincey
Thomas Pamela Peggy Joseph Monica m James son of Phineas Pollard and Edith Smith
Darby (Cowley) (Hastings) twin to Monica Pollard
1.Tony 1.Carol 1.Jane David Louise
2.Chris 2.Kenneth 2.Patricia
3.Kate 3.Olga 3. Mark
Farms Associated with the Darbys:
John Thomas Darby, who died in 1912 farmed in Castor, the farmhouse there now known as Church View, as a tenant of the Church Commissioners. He handed over this farm to his eldest son Jack Darby, and took the tenancy of Marholm Farm, which belongs to Milton Estates. From 1912-1928 John Thomas Darby’s son Laurie Darby farmed Marholm Farm.
Meanwhile Thomas Rowe Darby, (1874-1935) father of Noel Darby, farmed Priory Farm at Elton, one of the Earl of Caryfoot’s farms. He took over this farm on 30th October 1908 for a rent of £1 per acre. All his children were born at Elton, and when Noel was 6 years old, the family moved to Marholm, to take over Marholm Farm on 19th April 1928, again for £1 per acre.
Gerald Darby was born at Castor “Church View” Farm on 28th January 1891 and lived there until he was 13 years old. He died age 52 in Dec 1943. By coincidence his daughter Monica and her husband Jim Pollard were to buy the old farmhouse now called “Church View” off Milton Estate years later, before they moved to their cottage in Church Hill and then to the house in Clay Lane. The land associated with this farm included the land round the Tree Nursery and where Pearl-Woodlands now is, as well as land to the North of Castor. Gerald went to Marholm Farm with his father, and Jack Darby his brother was left to farm at Castor. When Gerald was 20 he went off to fight in the First World War with the Yeomanry. When he came back from the war he was to farm with an uncle, but much of the money had gone so instead Gerald went to Manor Farm Paston Ridings where he was a tenant of the Church Commisioners. He never bought the farm, but bought land round about. He farmed at Paston until he died in 1943. Then his son Tom carried on with brother Joe, until Joe went to Australia. Tom eventually sold the land he had bought to the Development Corporation in 1970, and bought a farm at Sawtry ( a farm once owned by Jim Wood’s family now of the Hollies Farm Castor). Monica Pollard nee Darby was born at Manor Farm Paston Ridings and lived there until she married in 1956 when she and Jim went to a cottage in Ufford.
George Darby married firstly Winifred who died and then Helen Wade (of family at Village Farm Castor)
When Gerald Darby was a boy at Castor, he went to school in trap as far as Castor Station then by train to school in Oundle. When his father moved to Marholm Farm, he used to ride to the King's School in Peterborough every day. They had stables at the King’s School for the use of the farmers’ sons.
Manor Farm Paston Ridings was a mixed farm, arable, cattle, milking cows including a dairy and a bull (but no sheep) and meant work 365 days a year.
There were 16 working horses used for ploughing, pulling carts, the horseman was a Mr Cullup who worked the horses for 40 years. When Gerald died his son Tom was very modern in style. He was into tractors, combines etc, and kept the dairy going until about 1956. All the horses had gone before Monica married in 1956.
So far as “Church View” Farm Castor was concerned Jack Darby’s mother died in 1956. Jack’s was mother very strict. Jack died in 1963, by which time the farm was all arable. Keith Sharpe of Castor worked for Jack Darby. Jack was a great friend of Mr Berridge the schoolmaster and Lay-Reader.
Notes made by W Burke talking to Monica and Jim Pollard 13 May 2002