Wednesday 27 April 1988

Smallbrook Farm, Warminster, 1905-1965 Review



An ex-pupil of Frome Grammar School, now Frome College, has just had his fifth book published. He is Danny Howell who lives these days at Warminster, but attended school in Frome between 1967 and 1972. Now aged 32 he is a leading light in Warminster History Society and a member of the Local History Forum.

The latest book, called Smallbrook Farm, Warminster, takes an in-depth look at one of the area’s dairy farms between 1905 and 1965. The text of the book is based upon interviews he made with Bert Dowding, the last man to farm at Smallbrook and his sister Mrs Beatrice Young.

Frome features several times in this paperback. For instance when the General Strike of May 1926 prevented dairy farmers from sending their milk by rail to London, Bert, who was then an 11 year old schoolboy, delivered the yield of his father’s 25 cows in churns on the back of a horse-drawn cart to the milk factory at Wallbridge. And it was after one of his daily trips home from Wallbridge that Bert followed a donkey cart manned by two old ladies under the railway bridge and up Rodden Hill. The donkey could hear his horse coming up behind and started to go faster and faster until the old ladies were tipped out into a ditch!

Smallbrook Farm, by Danny Howell, is published by Wylye Valley Publications, price £3.50.

The Frome Journal, Saturday 2 April 1988.