Ref No





Alan Herbert took over Manor Farm, Upton from his father, and farmed it until 1978. Alan and Joyce now live at 17 Peterborough Road Castor

George Herbert – of Glebe Farm Godmanchester

farm manager of 3 different farms
manager of Merkits (Huntingdon)
Thomas William
Manor Farm Upton
from 1933
killed in war
John Wm Alan Herbert m Joyce Southgate 7 Apr 1942

Farms Associated with the Herbert Family:
George Herbert , Alan’s grandfather, farmed Glebe Farm Godmanchester, and was also at one time the Mayor of Godmanchester. He started work driving a coach and four horses, and eventually retired as a farmer.

Thomas William Herbert, Alan’s father, farmed at Rectory Farm Little Everston, where Alan was born. He then took over Rectory Farm Gravely near Huntingdon. He then took over the tenancy of Manor Farm Upton in 1933 when Alan was 15, as a family friend knew George Fitzwilliam of Milton, who asked him to take it on. It was considered a privilege to take on a Milton Fitzwilliam farm.

Farming at Manor Farm Upton:
When Thomas William Herbert, Alan’s father, took over the tenancy of Manor Farm Upton in 1933, it was a mixed farm. The tenancy agreement shows the following details:
Date of Agreement 27 April 1932; size 17 poles, 245 acres and three roods. The fee was £246 plus £12 acre for one year, as amended 11 Oct 1943. The previous tenant was JR Horrell. The terms of the agreement included the requirement to walk a foxhound puppy every year, and to deliver 1 ½ tons of wheat straw for thatching every year. The Herberts later took on a further 42 acres, and when Alan retired they had 300 acres.
Thomas William Herbert died 18 Oct 1959 age 68 years.

Alan, at first framed by himself separately from his father with 7 acres plus 60 odd acres by Top Lodge Farm. Alan took over the tenancy of manor Farm Upton and moved into Manor Farm House in 1959. At that stage it was a mixed farm with a dairy, sheep, and arable. They used to deliver one can churn of milk around the village of Upton, the rest as delivered down to the main road (Peterborough-Wansford) for collection.

They had six working horses before the war, French Percherons at the end and Suffolk Punches, and a couple of ponies. One horse, who came from Gravely, was Smiler, a cross-bred shire, almost a pet, but they bred from her. She was the mother of the horses they used to work, and then they turned her out to retirement. The last horses worked in 1946.

They also had an old Ford tractor, brought from a previous farm, then a grey Massey Ferguson, as well as a Crawler (Caterpillar).

Their land in hand was eight fields in Alan’s time; the same area is now only two fields. A man called John cooper used to do some hedging, but it was done by tractor by the end. Their busiest time was lambing time, looking after caid lambs. Alan and his father used to shoot on the Milton Tenant Shoots

At one stage the Ministry of Ag told you what to grow by the acreage, and they planted sugar beet, wheat, barley, oats and for the last two years only also rape. The dairy was kept until the early 60s, when they also had arable, beef cattle, single sucklers for beef, and sheep for wool and lamb.

Alan handed over the tenancy back to Milton in Oct 1978, as Milton wanted to farm land themselves, and wished to use Manor Farm as the base for their operation. At this stage they pulled down a lot of the old fam buildings and built modern barns etc.

During the war, Alan Herbert was in command of the Upton and Sutton Home Guard. Other members included Mr Gathercoal, George Ransome (Elsie Ransome’s husband of Sutton), Arthur Mason (now of Benam’s Close Castor), john Fox, Mr Ward, Charlie Favell (of Sutton Sheila Crane’s father – Sheila still lives in Sutton), Steve Britten (bro of Ernie Britten), Ernie Britten the platoon sergeant, Arthur Harris, father Fox, Charlie Harris, Arthur Fox, and John William Alan Herbert. Thomas William Herbert of manor Farm was the official Air Raid Warden. When ever there was an air-raid warning, he would run out of Manor farm inot the field to Church Walk Upton shouting “Air-raid”.

If Alan went to a ball, and arrived home after 4am in his dinner jacket, his father would meet him and say we’re milking, and follow him out to the dairy, wher he would milk in his dinner jacket and wellies. They wore wellies to balls and changed there.

So far as Manor Farm House was concerned a lot of the old buildings have gone. Where the garage was used to be the kitchen, now all gone. Alan thinks that the old Sundial in the paddock used to be a moondial also. Old Canon Mathers thought the sundial was used for rituals including baptisms. There was an old Mulberry Tree nearby. In the window above the front door there was an angel in the window leaded.

(Notes made by W Burke talking to Alan on 27 June 2002 at his home)