William J Green of Highfields Farm Caldecote

In 1887 William J Green came to south Cambridgeshire from Crofton, Yorkshire, where he had already been a successful farmer and dairyman.

Crofton Dairy in Yorkshire was owned by W J Green. This image dates from about 1875 © D Green

Crofton Dairy in Yorkshire was owned by W J Green. This image dates from about 1875 © D Green

On first arriving from Yorkshire, William and his family rented Manor Farm, Knapwell. William was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth, son James, and daughters Eleanor, Marion and Winifred. William and Elizabeth’s fourth daughter, Dorothy, was born at Knapwell. By 1901 William and his family were settled at Highfields Farm, Childerley Gate. The family kept a servant to help with work in the farmhouse, and William had trainee farm boys working with him and lodging in the household while they learned to be farmers themselves.

Manor Farm Knapwell in about 1890. © D Green

Manor Farm Knapwell in about 1890. © D Green

Highfields Farm Caldecote in about 1925 © J Day

Highfields Farm Caldecote in about 1925 © J Day

The family were expected to help on the farm too. On the 1911, the occupation of William’s daughter Winifred was described as ‘Farmer’s Daughter – Cooking’, while Dorothy, his youngest daughter’s occupation is listed as ‘Farmer’s Daughter – Dairy Work’. The girls were aged 24 and 20 respectively at the time of the census.

William’s youngest daughters, Winifred and Dorothy Green © D Green

William’s youngest daughters, Winifred and Dorothy Green © D Green

Winifred and Dorothy’s older sister, Eleanor, married in St Michael and All Angels Church, Caldecote, on 30th August 1906. Her bridegroom was Albert Armstrong, an architect from Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Earlier this year we enjoyed a visit from William’s great grandson, David Green and his wife Cari, and we have learned so much more about William Green and his family. William played a very active role in the local community. He was a JP (Justice of the Peace), a surveyor as well as a farmer. He also bred and judged sheep, and won a cup at the Grandsen Show in 1897 for the ‘Best Hackney Brood Mare’.

William J Green © D Green

William J Green © D Green

William Green was the proud possessor of a motor car, which must have been quite a rarity at the time. William’s brother, Henry, also came from Yorkshire, and farmed at Catley Park Farm, Linton, to the east of Cambridge, before the entire family moved out of the area in the mid-nineteen twenties.

William Green’s Motor Car © D Green

William Green’s Motor Car © D Green

During their stay, David and Cari, visited Manor Farm at Knapwell, Highfields Farm here in Caldecote, and Moat Farm (formerly called Library Farm) in Kingston where William’s son, James farmed, and where James’ son Granville, who was David’s father, was born.

Working the land at Library Farm, James Green’s farm at Kingston (later called Moat Farm) © D Green

Working the land at Library Farm, James Green’s farm at Kingston (later called Moat Farm) © D Green

David and Cari rounded off their visit by meeting with members of Caldecote Local History Group in the Sidewalk Café to share their thoughts and impressions of their visit to Cambridgeshire.

David Green holding his great grandfather’s inscribed trophy from the 1897 Gransden Show © A Day for CLHG

David Green holding his great grandfather’s inscribed trophy from the 1897 Gransden Show © A Day for CLHG

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