100 years at the farm

This October we celebrated 100 years of the family being here at de Bathe Farm.

John’s great grandfather, Ernest bought the farm on the 30 October 1919 and he lived here with his wife Lil and their three daughters Enid, Daisy and Bertha.

His eldest daughter Enid was here until she married, but even then she didn’t move far: her father built a bungalow in the top field for her and her husband Colin. They had one child, Jean (John’s mother).

Jean told us some lovely stories of life on the farm when she was young, and one of my favourites is of her riding her Shetland pony, Robin, across the field to see her grandmother. Robin thought it unnecessary to stay outside and wait, so would stroll right into the kitchen to see what was going on. Woe betide them both if Jean’s grandmother ever caught him in the house!

When Jean and her husband David retired they moved into the bungalow, so completing a full circle for Jean.

John took over the farm in 1982 and nine years later, Shields Buildings began in earnest. Over the past 28 years we’ve gradually expanded our product range, going from making sheds, animal shelters and chicken coops to beautiful insulated garden rooms and impressive garages and carports.

(We were delighted to see one of the chicken coops still going strong when we visited Open Gardens in a local village this summer!)

It is lovely to know the farm is still in the same family 100 years later and here’s to the next 100 years! Do let me know if you have a similar family story, we’d love to hear it.

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