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Fenland Farming Around Peterborough - a Memory of Peterborough.

On reading the book 'PETERBOROUGH A Miscellany' a couple of items are incorrect by my own knowledge and experience.
Page 4 : 'Dockey' was a word almost exclusive to fen farmworkers, it was the break taken at 1000 to 1030 hrs, it generally consisted of a 'thumb bit' this was a chunk of bread with a hole made in it to contain butter, meat or cheese which was eaten with a sharp knife (lambsfoot make preferred), the piece of bread taken out to make the hole was used as a thumb bit to keep the part to be eaten clean. There were no facilities for hand washing other than the dykes.
The work hours on fen farms in those days was 0700 start, 1000 to 1030 dockey, 1300 to 1310 'onesies', this was ten minutes to finish off your flask of tea, or more often the bottle of cold sweet tea that many preferred. Finish at 1615 Mon to Thur, and 1600 on a Friday, a 47 hour week, for which a lad (or old boy) got about 4 per week.

Page 4 : an 'old boy' usually referred to a lad between 9 and 15, and a 'little old boy' up to the age of 8 or thereabouts. An old man was just that or maybe a 'little old man'.


A memory shared by Colin Berrisford on Mar 16th, 2010.
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