About Elizabeth

Elizabeth at the farm gate Elizabeth and Lynton at High Lickbarrow around 1950


Elizabeth was born 1929 in Muswell Hill, London.

In the attics at High Lickbarrow, two trunks containing her childhood toys remained. These included sets of little stuffed toy animals that she had made — rabbits, squirrels. dogs, all housed in wartime coffee substitute tins, Wrapped around one was her will, written age ll. with careful instructions for the disposal of her bike and belongings.

Her school, Moira House of Eastbourne, was evacuated to Ferry House, by Lake Windermere, during the war. Interestingly the school prospectus still emphasises the opportunities for riding, which would have been a high priority for Elizabeth. Her bookshelves were lull of horsey books — Pat Smyth et al. Elizabeth left school in 1946 with a respectable school certificate. She had no further formal education.

When the family bought High Lickbarrow in I947, farming was seen as her future career and she was provided with Young Farmer's Club pamphlets on how to do it. She continued to run the farm until the end of her life.

Elizabeth died at High Lickbarrow in August 2003.

Stuffed toys made by Elizabeth as a child

Elizabeth's bedroom

Janet Bell writes:

Elizabeth (we never called her Libby) was eccentric, kind, rigid in her opinions, did not like change.

She gave up a lot of time for my sister and me. She helped with the ponies even cleaning tack before we went to an event. She built jumps and cross country courses. She kept an eye on us; we had to tell her where we were going when out riding.

We helped with milking, feeding calves, feeding pigs, mucking out, moving stock, unloading hay, and any other job that needed doing (eg. Walling).

During weekends and holidays we would go to the farm at about 9.30. We helped feeding pigs and calves and had a biscuit whilst Elizabeth had her breakfast (fried egg, puffed wheat with cream, and a mug of black tea). After breakfast we might have helped mucking out before riding the ponies. We would go home for lunch at 1.30 (1 mile away either walking or by bike), then back up to the farm for 2.30 and either go to ‘The Lots’ to check stock or do other jobs. Elizabeth would tell and show us about the wildlife and plants around the farm.

Elizabeth had her tea about 4-ish when she had chocolate cake and a mug of tea, then it was milking. If there was a new calf a long time was spent choosing names. Each year the names had a different letter. We used a specially bought baby names book.

She listened to “Friday Night is Music Night" on the radio, but would not watch television. She would sit by the fire at night. From there she would write to us when we were at University.

Her animal husbandry led her into conflict with our Father (the local vet) at times. She gave the impression that money was tight. She only ever fed the minimum to stock during the winter and, if they were not well, was often tardy in calling in Father or another vet. She used her bull calves to serve the cows and had them castrated late.

Extract from High Lickbarrow Publication