Holme to Muskham: The Last Mass Charge
Trick question: when was the last mass exodus from Holme to North Muskham?
Answer: September 1956.
Really! Long after the River Trent changed course, separating two villages that had been joined at the hip for centuries. A decade or two after the ferryboat ceased taking the younger children of Holme across the river to the school at the north end of North Muskham. Unless, of course, you know better.
The Newark Advertiser of September 12 1956 reported:
Cattle belonging to Mr J. Hallam of Holme became mixed up with the cattle of Mr G. Taylor when a fence was removed during road construction.
The cattle were being driven to Mr Hallam’s farm buildings for sorting and had to pass machinery being used to construct the road. One or two took fright and the fright was quickly translated into a herd panic.
The cattle made straight for the river and 50 were in and swimming before anyone could stop them. Although the river was in full spate the swimming 50 went well, and landed on the farm of Mr W. Bourne at North Muskham.
They were brought back by road in five lorry loads. Mr Hallam said: “We were lucky they found a low spot on the far bank to land on. Had they swum to an overhanging part of the bank we would have been in for trouble.”
Reproduced by kind permission of the Newark Advertiser.
Billy Bourne occupied Lodge Farm between the Great North Road and the Trent at the time. Joe Hallam’s twin sons, Pip and Joe Junior remain legends in Holme; and cattle continue to graze on the floodlands between Holme and the Trent – part of the rich heritage of the Muskham Vale!
What are your favourite memories/stories of living in the area – your own or passed down to to you? Care to share them with the rest of us?
Muskham Vale Heritage Group would love to hear from you, to help build a living history of Bathley, Cromwell, Holme, Little Carlton and the Muskhams.
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