Rob Foxton recalls

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Rob Foxton recalls: (1909-2008)


Kate Harding (nee Denney) lived in Veranda Cottage the second cottage from the North end of the row, a very smart lady when young.  Her father moved to Middlesbrough to work in the furnaces when mining in Rosedale was at its highest before the 1st Word War.  She married a John Harding he came from Swaffam in Norfolk, through an agency, which engaged young men to work on farms in Yorkshire, when there was a demand for labour.  I was Kate's blue-eyed boy, and a request when she died in 1951 aged 70 was for me to be a bearer at her funeral.  John her husband died in 1984 aged 92. (He watched the goings on at Pasture House and would offer carpentry advice for DIY projects).  A root of the dark red peony that grew in the Harding's front garden is still flowering in Bernard Frank's garden in Kent 2016).

Freddie Dixon on bike, Walter Denney on right

Kate's nephew Walter Denney was a mechanic for "Freddie Dixon" who rode Harley Davidson and Douglas motorcycles in the T. T. races on the Isle of Man.  I remember Wally coming to Normanby on a Douglas flat twin motorcycle equipped with a new idea for increasing speed in races.  The spark on the plugs was cut off by a switch when, going round corners.  I can remember when they went home at night hearing the engines cutting out, and then cracking up again.  It was not success they were always experimenting for more speed.


Charlie Deaks lived at the house up our lane and to the side of the Rectory (now demolished).  He was a nice smart young man about 8 years older that me.  I remember he used to help me with my college homework at night.  He was educated at Barnard Castle College, qualified as a teacher and taught at St Bedes School in Westmoreland.

Once when the river Seven was flooded a person named Gamble set off home to Barugh from the "Sun Inn" at night, he missed the bridge and fell into the river and drowned.  Afterwards the Council put up the white railings for protection.  John Wood told me that in the Churchyard there are two tombstones, one is for a person killed by a bull, the other is for someone who was drowned in the Atlantic.  Local people sailed to America to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway when it was being built.


Bernie Frank 29th August 2005, speaking to Rob Foxton on his 96th birthday, I mentioned that he had purchased from Liverpool this postcard and did he know who Vera was at Bridge Farm?  Rob replied that the Patmore's and Tanton's (Bailiff) managed Bridge Farm and kept race horses for Captain John Robert Renwick, who had Racing stables at Langton Wold.  He was well known for being a shrewd trainer and won many races.  Rob went to school with the daughter Vera. In Rob's words "he would sit next to her at school and they would hold hands under the desk".  Rob would have been aged 11 in 1920.


Phoebe Tanton also lived at Bridge farm.  In those days the farm house was two houses.  Phoebe walked with a stick and worked with animals.

Postcard of Pickering dated 24th August 1920 posted & franked at Normanby Post Office.



Rose cottage c.1950 was the Foxton's home for many years.  Behind Rose Cottage there used to be a number of poultry houses run by Rob.


Rob in Hereford 2000,

taken on a visit by Bernie


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Last updated : 14th May 2022.