Fryth Farm, Noak Hill
In 1955, at the age of 16, my husband Chris worked as a stable boy for Mr Buckenham on Fryth Farm; he would cycle from Dickens Drive, Laindon, to the farm at the top of Noak Hill near Kennel Lane, then home again at the end of the day.
Chris describes Mr Buckenham as an old fashioned gentleman farmer, who wore a white hat and jacket, brown checked shirt, tie to match, brown jodhpurs and highly polished long riding boots. He says Mr Buckenham was a stern, disciplined, but very hard-working man who would do manual work like knocking in, mending fences etc, and though smartly dressed, would never get dirty!
Mr Buckenham knew horses inside out and amongst things, taught Chris to ride a horse, firstly without a saddle – there’s a scar to prove that! He had to ride the very big horses from Fryth Farm onto the main road and down to the blacksmiths at the Old Fortune for shoeing.
Chris also looked after polo ponies and went on hunts and polo matches attended by people like Jimmy Edwards (the comedian with handle-bar moustache) and the Duke of Edinburgh. These meets took place on Sundays in areas like Bishops Stortford, but was considered as unpaid work for Chris.
I would like to find out more about Mr Buckenham, his farm and what has happened to it all now.