Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Farm Journal ~ from the 16 to the 31st May 1868

My great great great uncle John Bayliff Bowman lived at Summer Hill, near Monyash in the County of Derby.
The Bowman family, who were Quakers, had three farms, One Ash Grange [which John Bayliff Bowman often referred to as O.A.], Cales and Summer Hill [which he usually referred to as S.Hill or S.H.]
JBB's Farm Journal

A Farm Journal continues :~
7 - 16 Ditto sow[e]d some corn turnips S.H. Beautiful fine warm weather but want a little rain now
1 - 17 Fine
2 - 18 Fine & hot Seed[in]g Intake end
3 - 19 Ditto
4 - 20 Ditto sow[e]d Guano at Cales little rain in night
5 - 21 Ditto
6 - 22 showery even[in]g Bell[e]d [or Belt[e]d ?] ewes etc plenty of grass Very forward spring
7 - 23 Very wet morn[in]g showery aft[ernoo]n Thunder - sow[e]d Guano on Seed Piece S.H.
1 - 24 Very fine
2 - 25 Ditto bell[e]d sheep etc fallow[in]g
3 - 26 Ditto Ditto
4 - 27 fallow[in]g - fine & hot south wind
5 - 28 Very hot wind S.W. sow[e]d 2 ac[res] corn turnips Watricle Butells Manure Uncle & Aunt Wilson came Most beautiful hot weather a few showers would do good tho' the forward corn & grass having a good cover are doing well late & bare ground does not thrive much - cows milk well - 25 at Cales 2 good cheeses 23 at SH 2 cheeses swedes & corn turnips all nicely up in [word indecipherable] sow[e]d some more corn turnips in Watricle - 
to end fine & hot things doing well
5 mo[nth] 30 wash[e]d all the sheep at 3 lots 
John Bayliff Bowman's brother Ebenezer [my great grandfather] actually imported guano ~ I've seen his business card. How many other people can say their ancestor imported bat muck ... 


  1. Not many people is the answer Charlie.I wonder if it was delivered to Parsley Hay station. I wonder who worked out it was a good fertiliser.Ann

    1. I have a feeling that the guano came in to Rowsley Station ... I will have to find the card. It's like most things Ann ~ was it trial and error ?

  2. Guano importer? It's a crap job, but someone has to do it!! (sorry, just couldn't resist that!!)

    1. And just 150 years or so later Ebenezer's great great grandson opened a toilet just a mile or so from One Ash Grange ... what do they say, what goes around comes around ?

      I've just realised he was my great great grandfather !

  3. Was it always bat muck? I remember being fascinated in high school geography class that Chile's main product was bird guano. I have never wanted to go there since seeing those pictures. The business fell away with the big companies making chemical fertilizers. The real stuff is better.

    1. I always thought guano was just bat muck but you're right. According to Wikipedia it also includes seal and seabird dung ! The things we learn ...