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The Village voice is the combined newsletter for the four parishes of Brinkley, Burrough Green, Carlton and Westley Waterless.

Here are some articles from the past that are relevant to Carlton (please send in more if you have them!):

September 1985

Welcome - Carlton has recently said goodbye to the Davidsons and their two little sons, and we now welcome Gill and John Welch and their children, Barbara (9) and Andrew (7) to Long House. We are also pleased to see Judy and Tony Holland at The Church Barn.

Carlton Harvest 1856-Style

I wonder what sort of summer it was in Carlton in 1856. After a hard toil of reaping the festivities on the 1,000 acres farmed by Mr H Long (Church Farm) were on a scale that makes present day celebrations of harvest-home look absolutely puny. There were obviously no niggardly reservations about the fare provided to the men and their families - "All the little girls of the village were treated to a plum pudding and then more than 80 labourers sat down to a massive meal for which two sheep were killed and almost 12 stone of prime beef was prepared."

The hospitality for the ladies and gentlemen gathered at the house went on with songs and toasts and "The whole of the men struck up a chorus to the mistress for good cheer she had provided; then to the master, who stood in the midst of this interesting scene and it was delightful to see the good will and happy union that exists between him and his servants.

After dancing till 2.00 and breakfast the following day one assumes that the village was rather quiet for a few days while everyone recovered.

Harvest at Carlton

Miss Palmer can remember horkeys in Carlton when she was little. There were big "dos" in the barn at the Long's with cold meat and pickle, beer by the barrel and tea. Everyone took part in a concert and dancing. The men were not paid a wage for harvesting. There was a set amount for the job and this was increased if the harvest was speedy but times were bad if the harvest was poor. At three in the morning the lanterns could be seen crossing the fields along the footpaths as the men went to get the horses ready. Their dinner was a "Thumb piece" a slice off the the large loaf. more than 1" thick, one corner to put their thumbs through. As a farmer finished his harvest a green branch was stuck up on top of the last laden cart so that every one knew who had their harvest in.

The beans for seed were flailed (2 pieces of wood with a leather "hinge") at one end of the big barn where the floor was bare earth. When the threshers moved in there were smuts everywhere from their tackle and at the end the women of the village brought their gleaned corn to be threshed for the price of a beer for the men. Each woman had to watch her own corn though so that there were no arguments. At that time Carlton Hall was the biggest in the village.

* R Tibbs, Cambridge Evening News.




November 1988
Carlton Horkey

The enthusiasm, hard work, kindness (and prayers!) of so many villagers paid off in the form of beautiful late summer weather for the the Carlton Horkey on September 10th. The Rectory Park kindly loaned by Mr Andrew Wylie for the occasion proved to be an ideal venue for this major community effort which raised 1400 of which 600 was donated to the Riding for the Disabled Association, 400 to St Peter's fund, with the remainder held as an ongoing "kitty" to finance future Horkeys.

It would be impossible in these pages to do full justice to the kindness and efforts of almost one hundred Carlton residents who were involved in both small and major ways in this enterprise. Donations large and small, hundreds of hours work in preparing for the Horkey and very big efforts on the day itself all helped to make the event highly successful. The community's heart-felt thanks go to all those who organised and ran the stalls, sporting events, novelties, demonstrations and refreshments during the day and the very enjoyable barbeque and barn dance in the evening. We must also remember the many businesses and individuals from outside the immediate community who donated various items as raffle prizes, clothing, etc. and the intrepid ladies who were so successful in obtaining them.

This resurrection of the traditional Carlton Horkey after so many dormant years says a lot for the spirit and determination of this small village. Long may it continue to thrive.


While on the subject of Horkeys and last month's article on 'How Harvest Festivals were resurrected' by Parson Hawker of Morwenstow in Cornwall, one parishioner from another of our four parishes suggested it might have been this gentleman who originally introduced the Hawkey afterwards - from my enquiries it is thought this is correct, sometime between 1843 and 1875.

Note from the Webmaster - The OED states that the word "Horkey" dates from the mid-sixteenth century.


March 1985

A man who cannot wait for spring to come so that he can get out on his garden is Mr Harry Taylor of Acre Road, Carlton. What is surprising is that Mr Taylor will be 90 years old this year and he recalls some of his memories over the years for this magazine.

Born into a large family on October 2nd 1894, his parents lived in the house which has only just been demolished in Brinkley. His father was foreman on Mr King's farm and his wife was parlour maid at the Cottage before her marriage. Today there can be seen a memorial tablet in Brinkley Church dedicated to them.

Harry went to Brinkley School when Mrs Warr was the teacher but at 13 went to work with his father on the farm. He remembers Tom Phillips who hanged himself in one of the farm barns at Hill Farm and Mr Cates now of Charity Farm, finding him.

After the First World War when he served in France, Belgium and Greece with the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment he went back to farming but in his own words "was a naughty boy" because he lost his temper and had a fight with the then foreman (not his father) and he was given the sack. That same day, Red. Waddington who was Rector told him of a job going as horsekeeper at his son's farm, now known as Glebe Farm.

Harry remembers the Memorial Hall being built in Brinkley. Mr R W King gave the ground and prominent villagers gave money for it to be built by Mr Stan Taylor's father and a Mr Palmer who was a Carpenter at Brinkley Hall. He himself loaned 20 as did Mr Grange, the local policemen and Mr Brown at the shop and Mr Donald King loaned 50 each, all large sums of money in those days.

The next venture was running a pub which he did immediately after his marriage to Miss Ethel Potter from Cowlinge. They took over the New Inn at Oakington. As previously mentioned Mrs Taylor was parlour maid at The Cottage and was amazed at seeing a whole array of wooden legs standing in the corner of one of the bedrooms. They belonged to Capt. Donald King who used to joke with his 'legs'.

1921 was a very dry season he remembered with no water supply in the village and a water cart had to go to Great Wilbraham. It stood outside The Cottage and everyone had to pay a 1d for a bucket except him because his wife ladled it out!

Harry and his wife will be remembered most for their years in the Post Office in Carlton in what is now Hill House. Mrs Taylor was in charge there for 30 years until she gave up the business in 1961 and they moved into Acre Road. During this tie, Harry was Special Constable for the village, and hanging in pride of place in his home is a certificate saying the same, along with anther in praise of his wife for her long connection with the Post Office.

He realises that the village of Carlton has changed a lot over the years and tell when there was a pub in the village called the Axe and Saw where Miss Palmer lives now. He laughs at the memory of a certain Tom Newman who had his dinner brought to him in the pub because his wife was so fed up with meals being kept waiting while he had his pint. When she appeared with the plate of food, Tom was known to have said "Wait a minute, dear and you can take the dish back!"

He was in the Drum and Pipe Band in which he played the drums and the Band used to go round the houses playing and singing carols near Christmas and used to get "a tidy bit"

"Used to have some lovely times at the Salvation Army too" Mr Cook had it built and on Sundays they used to walk from Carlton, up to Brinkley, across the footpath from the corner near Glebe Farm to Burrough Green where they would play on the Green before walking back.

Harry used to help several people with their gardens, one of which was Mr Carl Long at Rectory Farm, "Good sort of chap, I remember I caught five pheasants in his garden one day".

Spring won't be long now Harry.


Everyone in Carlton would like to thank all those responsible for keeping us "running" in this beautiful but dangerous and very tedious snowy weather. It is marvellous to have the roads kept open and we really do appreciate the continuing deliveries of milk, bread, post, papers, etc., when conditions are so difficult. Thank you to all concerned with these services. And, although they may not all agree, thank you for getting the children to school.



The month of February has been one filled with sadness for Brinkley Village, Kris Johansen of Horseshoe Cottage, Willingham Green died this month, and was cremated in February 26th. Our deepest sympathies to his family, and especially his wife, at this time.