James Baverstock

Author: Betty
Date published: 19/02/2013


James Baverstock was born in Newbury and listed as a “general dealer” in a census.  He owned three acres of land which was run as a smallholding.  It is not known if this was inherited from his father.  The land was used to produce a wide variety of food, milk, cream, butter, eggs, chicken, rabbits and pork.  There was also a large orchard.  All the extended family lived nearby and they shared the produce.  Granny made butter in a wooden barrel which she turned round and round for sometime.  We all drank milk straight from the cow.

Grampy bought and sold furniture all transported in his horse and cart.  He spent his time going round large old houses and often persuaded the housekeeper to sell him something.  When his home was sold up there were several pieces of valuable furniture including Sheraton chairs and Cromwellian tables.  None of it was sold properly.

Grampy was also known as the “rag and bone” man.  One shed contained barrels of maggots which he sold to local fishermen.  It was a strange way to earn a living.

Grampy always liked children and Betty has such happy memories of being entertained by him with his squeeze box and flute.  He also had a pet parrot which was never friendly.  He made a terrible noise when anyone came to the house.  Grampy was a very keen gardener and won many prizes for his roses and violets.

Sources:personal reminiscence from grand daughter

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