Title:
Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
EPPING FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL
Level: Sub-Fonds
Epping Forest District Museum
Level: Series
Changing Perceptions oral history project
Scope and Content:
Interview with John Graham about his farming life.

Part 1
[00:00:] Information on his family background, including his grandfather's farming in Ayrshire [Scotland]; the family's move to Harold's Park [Nazeing] in 1887; memories of his grandfather; grandfather's purchase of Church Farm; his uncles and their farms.
[05:10:] His two brothers; father's purchase of Lodge Farm in 1924, part of Nazeing Estate; decline of other dairy farms in the area; the size of their dairy herd; herdsmen employed by his father.
[09:15:] Attending private school in Harlow from 1936; first years at council school at Bumble's Green; his mother's family including her father's farm at Belcher's, now Nazeing Golf Club; memories of his grandmother who lived with them; details about the milking process before the Second World War; changes in the process with refrigeration and impact on dairy farms.
[15:45:] Typical yields from father's herd; contract prices for milk from the Co-op; cowmen's wages; father's use of tractor early on.
[18:35:] Working on the farm in his youth; variety of stock and crops on the farm; changes during the Second World War; changing public attitudes towards chicken farming methods; increasing yields due to changing farming methods.
[24:55:] Higher yields due to improved breeding and chemical fertilisers; attending Writtle Institute to study farming; use of Nazeing Common as dummy aerodrome during Second World War; farming the Common since the Second World War; farming Harold's Park on contract.
[30:25:] Marriage in 1958; working on the farm full-time and running it from around 1960; father's gradual retirement from farmwork until his death in the 1970s; expansion of family's farming business; period of prosperity in the 1950s; Land Girls helping on the farm and the Common during the War.
[34:35:] Work on the farm using different levels of technology; working as thatcher's mate; contract with local butcher to take sheep; taking pigs and cattle to local markets; selling rabbits to butcher; Air Force servicemen visiting the farm while training on the Common.
[41:35:] The state of Lodge Farm when he took over in the 1960s; taking over remainder of Common and renting additional pieces of land; their workforce; end of dairy farming in the 1970s [interruption from someone entering the room].

Part Two
[00:00:] [Continuing interview from Part One] Gradual decline in workforce with mechanisation; beef cattle farming until BSE scare and collapse of beef farming and closure of cattle markets; providing tied cottages to labourers; sale of houses with reduction in workforce; employment of local men to help with harvest.
[06:20:] Stories about memorable labourers; working with labourers in the vegetable garden; change from dairy to beef cattle in 1972 because of government milk to beef subsidy.
[13:00:] Recent government encouragement to diversify and provide amenities for the public; maintaining footpaths; declining public awareness of farming methods with increasing urbanisation.
[16:05:] Taking horses to blacksmith to be shod; crops grown up to the end of the War; increasing specialisation after the War.
[20:10:] Modern arable farming methods; research into farming methods at Rothamsted Institute; care of the land; adapting farm to have beef cattle; system of rearing cattle.
[25:40:] Danger of diseases spreading with purchase of calves; gradual depletion of beef cattle stock with collapse in market.
[28:15:] Use of local vet company, Andrews and Chestnutt; his Scottish heritage and relatives.

Part Three
[00:00:] More details about specialisation of farm into arable-only farm; relative profits of different kinds of farming; declining profits of farms and fluctuations in the market; declining yields.
[04:30:] Contract work for local farms; use of farming syndicate in Cambridge to store and sell wheat; involvement with farmers' union; his children and their families; introduction of guaranteed price with Milk Marketing Board.
[09:50:] Uncertain future for farmers with declining profits; potential negative impact without farmers managing common land.
Dates of Creation:
20 January 2004
Extent:
89 minutes 40 seconds
Creator Name:
Carien Kremer
Admin History:
John Graham was born in 1929. His parents moved to Lodge Farm, Nazeing when they married in 1924. He had one older and one younger brother. Mr Graham continued to live and work on Lodge Farm throughout his life.

Mr Graham married in 1958, to a Scottish woman whose parents were also farmers. They had two daughters and one son, Robert, who took over the farm.
Archivist Note:
SJM 4 October 2017
Custodial History:
Original reference number CP/EFDM/2004/025. Originally deposited as two CDs. Part One was on one CD, Parts Two and Three were separate tracks on the second CD.
Acquisition Source:
Received from Epping Forest District Museum
Copyright:
Interviewees transferred their copyright to Epping Forest District Museum. Contact the Museum prior to use for public performance by the public, for non-Essex Record Office publications, for broadcasting on the radio or television, or for broadcasting on non-Essex Record Office website.
Physical Characteristics:
MP3 files created from two CDs
Originals Location:
Epping Forest District Museum
Not Available:
Essex Sound and Video Archive: use digital copy available on Soundcloud

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Farming Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004 Farmer at Lodge Farm, Nazeing
Subjects Farming Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004 Farmer at Lodge Farm, Nazeing
Subjects Milk Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004 Dairy farmer at Lodge Farm, Nazeing
Subjects Second World War Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004
Personal Names John
Graham
Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004 Farmer at Lodge Farm, Nazeing
Place Names Nazeing Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004 Farmer at Lodge Farm, Nazeing
Place Names Lodge Farm
Nazeing
Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004 Farmer at Lodge Farm, Nazeing
Document Types Sound recording Oral history interview with John Graham, 20 January 2004