News

I have to inform you of the death of Peter Palmer (42) who died earlier this month. His funeral is on Wednesday 24th May at 10am at Syston Catholic Church of the Divine Infant of Prague.

The Presbytery
63 Broad Street
Syston
Leicestershire
LE7 1GH

If you would like an address to send letter of condolences, please email aslack@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

 

A little bit about Peter:

 

A Life On The Land

 

Peter Palmer was born in the little village of Horninghold which is situated on the Leicestershire / Rutland border next to Hallaton.  The family moved to 350 acre Manor Farm in Rearsby in 1934 / 35.  The milk cows were transported by lorry since they needed to be milked twice a day but Peter's father walked the store cattle and horses from Horninghold to Rearsby, staying the night with friends in Loddington.

 

Peter then attended Rearsby school, then Melton Grammar until he was 13.  He passed the Common Entrance exam for Ratcliffe College and stayed there until he was 15 when by then it was wartime, and he went to work on the farm.  It was durring this time that peter witnessed the crash of the Spitfire described in the articles in the Scene.

 

Peter met his wife, Jean, who also had the surname Palmer, at Young Farmers' Club in 1947.  They had 5 children, 2 boys and 3 girls.  Timothy now runs Manor Farm, Angela is a teacher, Elizabeth lives in Norfolk and is a physiotherapist, Margaret trained as a  teacher and now runs a  farm with her husband near Limoges in France and Richard is an accountant.  All 3 girls married farmers and Peter has 6 grandchildren.

 

Glebe Farm on Gaddesby Lane where Peter now lives, was purchased in 1960 and now both farms are run as one.  When the family first came to Manor prior to the war it was a mixed farm like many in Leicestershire. Cows were milked and calves fattened.  There were also sheep and arable land.  Before the war most of Leicestershire was grass, hedges and wire.  The Hunts used to pay for the wire to be taken down during the hunting season in winter.  When war came the governmentwanted the land to be ploughed to grow grain, potatoes and sugar beet.  This presaged the development of more mechanical farming.  A binder, pulled by 2 or 3 horses produced sheaves of corn.  The sheaves were then led, stacked and thatched down so they could be threshed in the winter.  The area where the school playground now is was full of stacks and the threshing machine was placed in turn between 2 stacks.  Itwas all very hard work.  The dust was terrific.  The Palmers bought tractors in 1939 which pulled the binders.  Then combined harvesters came in and the corn went into sacks on the combine.  Initially the cutters were 6 feet wide.  Now they are 30 feet. All grain is now hauled in bulk.  The combine tank holds 6 tons which is then decanted into trailors and taken into store.

 

Peter has also seen many changes in dairy farming.  Initially in Rearsby it was hand milking,  the milk being stored in churns.  Then along came milking machines and bulk refrigerated tanks on the farm.  This is picked up daily by road tankers.  Peter's father gave up milking in 1949 to focus on arable farming.

 

Peter loves farming.  It gave him enormous satisfaction.  He has live through the whole process from hand labour to complete mechanisation.

 

                                                             Maggi Litchfield

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