Milking cows on Kisdon

We’ve just been sent this wonderful photo of Billy Hutchinson’s dad Bobby with one of his milk cows, a northern dairy shorthorn, near Kisdon Hill. They started off farming from the Cathole Inn, then moved to nearby Keld Green farm where they had quite a large dairying operation for the time.

Bobby Hutchinson with backcan and milk pails near Kisdon (courtesy of Billy Hutchinson)

Billy Hutchinson told us about the family farm’s cowhouses and described milking cows outdoors in the summer:

“[How many cow’usses came…] with Keld Green? One, two…we had five. Each one would have its own meadow and each one held about three or four [cows]. Wintered there, yes. Then of course, in summer time when the cows went out, the milk cows went out. They went right onto the top of Kisdon and me dad used to go on up there on a 1927 motorbike with backcan on and milk the cows b’hand and I was also, when I was about 14, 15 year old, I had to go on another motorbike up with another backcan, because we were milking about 8 or 9 cows then, and that was our sole income. Our milk really was the main income. [Could get all the milk into two backcans?] Yes, two back cans, then bring em back down to the farm, and then they were cooled, put in kits and out for the milk wagon for collection the next morning… no tanker, just cans.”

Billy Hutchinson (81), formerly of the Cathole Inn & Keld Green farm