My Christmas card for 1961 - Farmer Amos 83 years, Dick Turpin 15 Exmoor pony Smart Rabbitt do killed him Charlie Collie 8 years Bred him from my old Wally Work for his Master night & day.
Wolverton Express 4th September 1964
FARMER AMOS sees the last train out
HE WAS ON FIRST BACK IN 1882
THE only person living who travelled on the first passenger train to stop at Castlethorpe station on August 29 1882, Mr. Farmer Amos, of Dogs Mouth, Cosgrove, was among those who watched the last train to pull out of the station last Sunday evening.
Under the Beeching Plan, the station has been closed for passenger traffic despite objections by the residents. Mr. Amos, who was 90 last July, has thus completed a remarkable feat in being present at the introduction and the closing of a railway passenger service for the village.
Farmer Amos (he was named after an uncle and has been a farmer all his life) is not only a remarkable man, but also has a wonderful memory. Talking to the "Express" he did not hesitate for a moment in naming people who were present on that memorable day in 1882. This, then, is his story .
The Castlethorpe station was opened for goods in 1881 and my father bought the first truck of coal. He lifted me up to throw the first piece off the wagon.
Mr. Dunkley built the station, the first stationmaster was Mr. Telfor and the porter was Jimmy Last, who was later head stationmaster at Euston. The first passenger train came in about 8.30 a.m. on Monday, August 2nd, 1882, and John (Rocker) Rainbow told the men working on the station that they could go on the train. Dick Denny had been digging a well for the station-master and came out covered in mud. His mate Tom Panter came on the train as well.
When the booking office opened Mr. J. E. Whiting bought the second ticket (the railway kept the first) and my father the third. Little Farmer stepped up and had the first half ticket.
We all got off at Roade and went to the Swan which was kept by Jack Shipp. We had some beer. (I was only eight but I started drinking .beer at five) and caught the train back to Castlethorpe about 11 o'clock. : -- At Castlethorpe, the band was playing and there was a lot of people waiting to go to Wolverton. When they got there all the children were given buns by the porters. The celebrations at Castlethorpe went on for a week. On the big day there were sports in the field of the pub, kept at that time by Bob Varney, and a greasy pole. Mr. Amos recalls climbing the pole and getting his suit in a mess.
At his home the Maltings there was a dance in the barn every night for a week to the music of Sammy Compton’s fiddle. Farmer's father Thomas supplied all the dancers with free beer for the week.
Members of the Amos family lived at the Maltings from 1790 to 1926, when Farmer moved to the Dogs Mouth. He, his father and grandfather, all supplied the malt to local farmers who brewed their own beer. Those were the days when each farm worker received at least four free pints a day. The end of the maltings came when brewers managed to get the farmers to take beer from them. Mr. Amos remembers when the Cosgrove brewery was sold by Frank Bull to Teddy Phipps, the founder of the now famous brewery. Mr. Amos used to supply William Chaplin at the. King's Head in the Mayorhold the last Northampton publican to brew his own beer.
Talking to this remarkable man is like attempting to read a dozen books about local history at the same time. He rattled off that only once did he have a holiday, when he was about 16 and took a hunter to London and sold it for £100. He has a photographtaken in a paddock and with St Paul's in the background!
He attended the Hanslope Park steeple-chases during the two years (1885-6) that they were held and still possesses a race card. His own mare Fairlee, ridden by Mr. Gerrard Pratt, won the Priory Steeplechase in 1886 and won him a silver cup which he still has.On Sunday evening Mr. Amos shook hands with the guard of the last train, Mr. John Cady of Rugby. Then he went slowly home, having seen not only the last train from Castlethorpe but the end of an era.
The Wolverton Express 16 October 1964
Diamond wedding of veteran farmer
Last Monday Mr. and Mrs. Farmer Amos of Cosgrove celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. Like all couples who reach the 60 year mark they have a host of memories, but few can express them so vividly and with such a wealth of detail.
Mr. Amos now 90, can reel off names, places, times and dates without hesitation. A thrashing for smoking at nine at a private school at Old Stratford; leading a prize heifer to the first Stony Stratford Fat Stock Show; drinking beer in Castlethorpe Maltings at Queen Victoria’s Jubilee; the deeds of village characters long since dead. All these recollections roll of his tongue as if happened yesterday.
And if he does get stuck for a name there is always the great family Bible, begun in 1821, or the photograph album with faded prints of relatives, favourite horses and pets.
How about the wedding day? “Well.” Says Mr. Amos, “I wanted a quiet affair so we had it in London. St. Pancras’s Church. I met my girl and her father at Euston Station and took them in a cab drawn by a chestnut horse to Holborn restaurant where we had a wedding breakfast.
“Afterwards we went over to Victoria, caught a train to Brighton where we had our honeymoon. But I was back in time for Northampton Market on the Saturday.”
Born at Castlethorpe Maltings “on July 20, 1874 at two o’clock in the morning being Monday” according to the family bible. Mr. Amos went to schools at Old Stratford, Courteenhall, Buckingham and Brighton. He was in an auctioneer’s office at Buckingham, worked for wine and spirits merchants at Aldgate, and went butchering with Farmer’s Supplies at Northampton before returning to take over the family farm.
His father and grandfather before him and farmed the Maltings and at one time they also had Cosgrove Mill and Maltings and Hanslope Maltings, a set of plough engines and two sets of threshing tackle.
Mr. and Mrs. Amos stayed at Castlethorpe until 1926 when they moved to Draycott where they apprenticed their five sons to the building trade. They returned to the district to their present home at Cosgrove in 1934.
Farmer, Tom and Joe, three sons, still live with their parents. Other sons Stan and Charlie are in New Zealand. There is one grandson.
Mrs. Amos was a grocer’s daughter, formerly Miss Ethel Kingham, of Tring, who on reaching Castlethorpe turned out to be a model farmer’s wife. She could make butter, bake bread and provide callers with traditional farmhouse fare bread, butter, cheese, celery, ham and beer, all grown, made or brewed on the farm.
“But” she confided to our reporter, “I’ve never liked horses”. And she sat back with a twinkle in her eye as her husband expounded at length on this phenomena.
This was something he could not understand. He had been brought up with horses, ridden them almost as soon as he could walk, and ridden to hounds with the Grafton, Whaddon and Oakley Hunts by the time he was nine.
Mrs. Amos (88) does not enjoy the best of health. Though rather bowed these days Mr. Amos still likes nothing better than “a night out”. And when these roll round he will wear the hard hat, stand-up collar, bob tie and fox’s head pin for which he has been so well known in the locality for so long.
Farmer, butcher, horseman, Special Constable and a man of many interests with a perceptive eye and fabulous memory Mr. Amos gave us the recipe for his long life plenty of farmhouse beer, fat bacon and home-made bread.
Wolverton Express 6th March 1970
MR. FARMER AMOS, of the Dogsmouth, Cosgrove, was reminded of his schooldays when he read an article about the Trinity School at Old Stratford - in the Express recently. Mr. Amos was a weekly boarder at the school in 1883 and thinks he is the only living ex-pupil.
Farmer that's his first - name is 95, an ex-farmer and son of a farmer. He remembers that the school had five masters, plus a French master. Two boys used to share a bed but he remembers having to sleep underneath the bed at one time because he had ring-worm! He was taken to a chemist's in Stony Stratford to have it dressed.
Crowning the newcomers
When the Rev. James Thomas, who was the headmaster, died he was buried at Passenham. Mr. Thomas had four sons and two daughters, and the sons later took over the school. But shortly after this the school "went down" and was closed and turned into a private house. During the two years Mr. - Amos was at the school he said it was extremely good and the discipline was quite strict. Mr. Amos recalls how the - older boys used to "crown" newcomers with a chamber pot. The new boy then had to walk round and all the other boys tapped him on the head. But one boy got the pot stuck-on his head and it had to be broken off. All the other boys had to pay 2d each to recover the cost!
Wolverton Express 21st December 1970
Death of `Farmer' Amos
THE DEATH has occurred at the age of 96 of "Farmer" Amos at his home The Bungalow, The Dog's Mouth, Cosgrove. A well-known figure at Northampton market, Mr. Amos came from a long-established farming family and most of his working life was spent at Malting Farm, Castlethorpe, where he was born and where his ancestors had farmed since 1790. At one time his father owned a set of steam ploughing engines and two sets of threshing tackle. Mr. Amos was educated at Trinity School, Old Stratford, and at Courteenhall, Bucking-ham and Brighton. He was employed in a wine and spirits merchants at Aldgate, spent some time in an auctioneer's office in Buckingham and was apprenticed to a Northampton butcher before returning to take over the family farm. He rode with the Grafton, Oakley and Whaddon hunts. Mr. Amos also bought the first ticket to Roade when Castlethorpe station was opened and saw the last train leave when it closed. His wife died five years ago at the age of 90. Mr. Amos leaves five sons.
Wolverton Express 1st January 1971
Mr. Farmer Amos dies at 96
A well-known character with a host of memories of events in the district over the past 90 years, Mr. Farmer Amos died on December 21, aged 96. Farmer Amos, who was named after an uncle, lived at the Dog's Mouth, Cosgrove, and was renowned for his remarkable memory. He was born at the Castlethorpe Maltings in 1874, and attended the private Trinity School at Old Stratford and schools at Courteenhall, Buckingham and Brighton. He was in an auctioneer's office at Buckingham, worked for wine and spirits merchants at Aldgate and went butchering with Farmers' Supplies at Northampton, before returning to Castlethorpe to take over the family farm.
His father and grandfather before him had farmed the Maltings and at one time they also had Cosgrove Mill and Maltings and Hanslope Maltings. Mr. Amos and his wife, formerly Miss Ethel Kingham of Tring„ stayed at Castlethorpe until 1926 when they moved to Draycott, where their five sons were apprenticed to the building trade. Three of the sons, Farmer, Tom and Joe are still living at the Dog's Mouth. Another son is in New Zealand. Mr. Amos travelled on the first passenger train to stop at Castlethorpe in 1882 and he was among those who watched the last train pull out of the station in September 1964. He could recall when Castlethorpe Station was opened for goods in 1881, although he was only seven at the time, and his father driving the first truck of coal. In 1964 Mr. and Mrs. Amos celebrated their diamond wedding. His wife died five years ago. The funeral service at Castlethorpe Church on December 23 was conducted by the Rev. A. Otter. Mr. Amos's four sons, Farmer, Thomas, Stanley and Joseph were bearers.
Wolverton Express 24th September 1976
By Direction of Messrs. Amos
"Quarry Hill Farm"
1 mile North Stony Stratford
12 miles South of Northampton
For Sale with Vacant Possession
by Public Auction
DOUBLE FRONTED BUNGALOW
with Mature Gardens of 0.60 Acres and Useful Outbuildings together with
PADDOCK of 1.50 ACRES
8.30 ACRES ROUGH GRAZING
A total area of 10.40 ACRES
in all or thereabouts
(Subject to Conditions of Sale to be then and there produced and unless previously sold by Private Treaty?)
THE COCK HOTEL, STONY STRATFORD
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1976 at 6.00 p.m.
To view and for all further particulars apply to the Auctioneers
By kind permission of Betty Belton
As written by Farmer Amos
Dr Miss Manning
I’m sending you my card. Then you will think our old Friendship to you & all the Family The time you & your sister come out help the Haymaking Nellie use rake rows in you was my Hole G[e]e Boy. Farmer loading the wagon I was with pitch Fork 8 feet long Iron tines 18 inch. Today I be pick baler. In 1881 good yard open The men lift me up to throw The first pice of coal in the cart then they extra beer. Monday Aug 2 1882 open station, Mr Dunkley Builder Willisdon Built Station. Had Mr Canon House John Rooker Rainbow Foreman. He got Mr Sellfore Station Master to stop 8/30 drown train on nonember 1 Platfore. Then he took all his men for ride to Road G. Cowley & I little Boys Tom Panter pulled Dick Denny up from the well He was Diggin all mud. So Jack Ship Pub & got them Merry Returned by the First train to stop opening Day When train pulled up number 4 platform full of people to Have first ride. To there surprise all the workmen turn out Merry. I only little Boy. I got my penny seriff on as I new Mother would not Tan me that day I never forget that Day Lovely. Mother old Alban I sent you my first Photo. Joe Cowley & Bro Tom on little Pony & Mother I on her Lay. With wooden horse. I fancy it would interest Harry Gray & Family. When I call to see you I would like it back to put in Mother old Album. Joe work for my Father 46 years a real good servant night & day. Look after is Master in every. Clever Malster in the season from Oct to March Bos of 2 Malting Castlethorpe & Hanslope & Joe Dawkes work Cosgrove. Bull Brewary Dad supply them with all is Malt. Aslo East at Milton Ham
Make me laugh Joe Hair Black big eyes look as wild as hawk. He love that. But the nice happy man in Thrupp always Happy & up to all sorts of Tricks. Ann Worker been Washing in Back Kitchen she was loose Fancy thing in doorway. Joe said Farmer her stone pop it in Ann Bucket. So I pop it in the Bucket. Water went all over her Face & down her neck. Ann pop put carried me in the Kitchen & Duk me in Big Tub of Water quick Hard work that time sacks Barley weigh 16 stones all carryd up in the Loaft to be shoot for going into C[e]ston these sack up carted into the Barn to be crush Then we use to Brew for week in Oct & march. We Brewed 3 sorts men Beer 4 Bushell malt to Hoghead 1lb Hops Caller Beer 6 buchell Malt & Fos Hunter 8 Bushells & always 2 year old. Laugh to see Joe poping about Yoak & Bucketts Buckett hols 8 gallon. Big Barrell 6 Hoghead. 14 of them 7 in the Cellar 7 in the stable Near Home ground gate so we were never short Steve Brown Brew barrel strong 12 Bushell Malt to Hoghead when Tom was born it was tap when He had his 21 Birth party in the Barn. It just was nice Brewed of Malt & Hops only 1891 Poor old Joe had the Flue in spring come out for a walk to Hitch Style I had word with him & the next he die father was in Bed he said you boys go & follow Joe & me next. Dad Favriot Cousin Miss Hawkes of Shenford & Kitty our Pony all die in 3 months, I always can see Sid Gray, like old Joe sing the Yellow Gal. You would laugh until the Tears drop down your Face. He had stick & perform Shot the Bear. Cole Box Somebody in House with Dinia Somebody, I know Setting in House with Dinia Playing on her old Banjo. This make Hagg & Sid smill. I loved the old Days more Frenally. Sorry to say Wife & I in poor way. This had Chur me up. Please excuse all mistake At the second operation at General it took use out my right side for 3 weeks. Had Pully over my head to move. I had 3 operation 1 St. Matthew 2 at the General & I’m in my 88 year. Mother 85 got to be Thankfull. Sorry I cannot go to Church cannot sit. With you a & all very Happy Xmas & good health for years to come. Yours sincerely
Looking forward to 10 minute Chat Farmer Amos
With you once again. Flue age me
NRO ZA9022 as written
Old Memories of Castlethorpe 1881
Farmer Amos late Malting Farm
Pretty little village with chestnut tree and Dogester Hill near the station. When the Grafton Hounds meet at Dogester Hill very pretty sight. The old Castle Stables side of the trees, and all turned out.
The good yard was open. The first truck of coal consign to Thomas Amos. I was put up on the truck to put the first piece of coal in the cart. Then the beer bottle. All had drink to wet it. Little boy I had first drink. Wooden bottles made by Cooper Branson Cosgrove.
Mr. G. E. Whiting big Farmer He had Ploughing Engine and everything. When Engine broke down men work all night so they was at work next day.
William Pike and Thomas Amos Farmer happy side by side. Lower Lodge Mr. Grimes farmed Chappell Parson and real gentleman. Like all his stock to live as he did Prepared to die at any time. His Farm was like a Show Yard He had 20 men and boys from the Village at Work.
Joe Compton butcher
Charlie Jones butcher
William Denny grocer and shoemaker
William Gregory Stores sold anything
Old Richard Nichols Wheelbarrow Grocer pus[h] his Barrow round the village 5 days week. Sold the housewife one penny of everything. So she could make a Pudding for her husband dinner.
Post office Mrs Rainbow only letter and parcel Saving Bank and where you had to go to Hanslope George Cox postmaster.
Blacksmith John Harris
Florist Harry Harris and his Mother Ann Harris die in her 107 year. Killed herself helping her Daughter Ann ring pair of Trousers out of her son John Black Smith which she wash that morning She made Buckinghamshire Lace Lovely and when 70 years old her and Nanny Nichols walk to Northampton and back 12 miles each way in Patterns. Her love a glass of Beerand Tom Amos see she never went short of jug of Beer The strongest, out of Fox Hunter Barrell Her Son Henry Put up big green house 1 acre every went to see that. He had lean to with Hot Air for his Fowls House as to keep small fowls. Brown Leghorn and Silver Pencell and all way had eggs in Cold Weathur. Everybody pop see old Harry for egg.
That was before this deep Litter Poultry Farm thought of. Harry said little Fowls penny pop in Big Fowls eat to much to expenceve
Village Carrier with is Horse and Cart with top on it. William Panter and then his nephew Ted Eakins took it on.
Tom Amos Farmer Malster Cosgrove Water Mill Pair of Averline and Porter Ploughing Engines 16 horse Let Thrashine Engine work round Maidsmorton This and nother round home. He pride himself of supping the best drop of beer in local. His Brewing copper was 200 gallons. He brewed for a week Oct and March and give it all away I[n] the house 2 cellars and 7 Barrells in each 3 [P]ig Barrells 6 Hoghead Back sellor 2 Hoghead full of Beer Brew when his Son Born and sup when he was 21. Brew of Malt and Hops only strengh 12 Bushell of Malt to the Hoghead. Then he Brewed 3 strengths 2 Hoghead Barrell Fox Hunter and 8 Bushell and Caller Beer 6 Bushell the men Beer 4 Bushell. Then he had Loose Box stable full of Beer. Fox Hunter and Caller Beer had Tap in the Middle of the Barrell with Lock and key. Those 2 Barrell was always filled up From Stable Beer Brewed in Oct with first wirt only. In there 6 month before it got into the Fox Hunter and Caller. So it was realy good Good nice beer very clear drank nice and soft and My Father told you if you have 3 glasses it will make a fool of you. (That night)
Tom Amos would sup the feast, Nov 5 always come in feast week. Wolverton was our Station 3 miles. Feast Sunday morning Joe Cowley his Malster and groom order to take Malt Cart to Wolverton Station meet Dad Oldest Bro. Bill. Uncle Bill London Butcher and Carvan Big man 22 stone love Beer. Dad Old Strong could not get him down and his Son Tom and Jimy and T. A. Davis Cousin Wine Shop 47 Aldgate High Street go in the name today G Hill. I went with Joe flood out water up to Horse bellie Then come Uncle Farmer from Thapstone and his son Bert. All Beer drinkers and never make no differance only Happy. Then come his Sisster Sarh and Mary From Ravinstone and Uncle Bob Dawkes. Dinner at 1 oclock 4 Ribs of Beef Roasted infont wood fire in Rasted Jack wond up like clock. Poultry and Plum Puddin at 3 Disert Mum Homemade Wine Apples Pears nuts and co 4 oclock Tea Mother Homemade Bread and Butter then For a walk round Farm. At 7 oclock Supper. In come the Flat Ham off 30 score Sow been keep 2 years, 2 ox Tongue plent of Poulty cheese and scalery out garden. 9 oclock all sang the Amos old Hymn Plough the Fields and Scrater good seed on the Land. Then thank God for all his kind mercy to us all For Good Health The off to roost
Joe Feasey keeper Bob Fountaine with Black Kite his Bro Jim and Tom Pike on horse back 3 London Cousins in the middle and they had a nice day sport. Now for the party. 4 Fountaine Bros Abram John Jim and Bob Mother Cousin. Dad Uncle James Amos 84 Haynes Silverton is son William at Chocklock Abthorpe He was bigger that Uncle Bill and fetched up 22 stone. Uncle Farmer his son Bert Mr Coleman Tailor Silverton Mr Smith 82 Weston Underwood and Tom Dent Uncle Bob Dawkes 2 Aunts Sarah and Mary Tom Pike and his Bro William Brewer Play Cards Sang Songs smoke long Church Warden Pipes With Uncle Bills Nut Brown Shad BAC.O. until 13/30 Off they Rode or Drove no lights. The only Light Horn Lanton round pop Candle in it. Mr Smith 82 up Stoke Hill His Pony run up bank and tip them out.
Aug 2. Monday opening of Castlethorpe Station 1882
Mr Dunkley built the Station and his Foreman was John Rooker Rainbow Castlethorpe boy and Mr Jim Glass Station Master and Mr Rainbow got the Station Master to stop the 8/30 am No 1 Platform down fast line. I had first ½ Ticket Mr Rainbow took all his men and I for a ride to Road Station. Treated them all the Pub I as well and then returned back. All Thrupp and Village round come have first ride. They was surprised to see John Rainbow party get out of the Train. All Merry. That was No 4 Platform up Slow. All jump in off Wolverton then the Porters had Baskets of Cake and Buns to give to the children before they return back to Castlethorpe. Sports in Bob Varney Field and Tea Tent. Farmers all round send waggon load of Women and Family that was there transport. Lovely Waggon Painted up Harness Smart and Horses Look as They lived one of the Family. Band Played and All Waggon put up in Tom Amos Yard and Horses in the Stable. They all tried a drop of Amos Beer and Popp off home Happy ready for work the next day.
Queen Victoria Jubble at Castlethorpe 1887
Mr G.E. Whiting give his men a do.
William Pike give his men a do.
Tom Amos went out with the village. John and George Tom Rainbow Bros Tom Osborne Joe Compton. They form a committee Had good spread in the Malting Sport in the little Field also Tea in the Field Malting cleared for Dancing at night. With Sam Compton Band. Consist Sam on a Contigue Fred Clarke Tin Whistle and it was Lovely Tom Amos supply the Beer for all Free. At 11 oclock Tom Amos Went in the Malting and said one more dance and then Finish for to night.
We keep up for the week you come and dance every night untill 11 oclock. Tom Amos will give as much Beer to drink for the Week. We all happy and look after the old anybody in need all help.
Sunday Dinner Father Carved up come the Hotwater plate for the needed. When illness ½ Bottle Brandy and Sherry Jelleys. Pony and Trap for the doctor night or day. John Robinson Butcher had morning out at Hanslope When he got to Mr Whiting fell out of Cart and Broke his Leg out come Mrs C. Whiting John said I want you set my Leg. So I will John. When got Home Doc there waiting. John said it allright a Lady set it for me Don't touch it. He got on well.
In 1883 Railway Navy had words with his Wife as nother man wants her. He said we soon settle this job. I sell her. So he put a Horses Alter around her neck Run her up the Street and sold her for £5.0.0
In 1883 Mr. Grimes sale at Lower Lodge There was railway Crossing the Line and single box that day at 12.
Railway done away with it all Mr Whiting had the Farm for year Mr Whiting come to live From Pindon End Hanslope
In 1890 Tom Amos at the first Christmas Show at Stony Stratford Show Shorthorn Heifer Bred and Fed by owner. She took First Prize. Her went to Newport Pagnell and took First prize for Maiden Heifer and First Best Beast in the Show. Then she was traips off to Fenny Stratford won the Cup for the Best Beast in the Show 1891.
Then come the trouble, Joe Cowley Malster die. Dad old pony die and his favourite Cousin Miss Hawks Shenford die and father attend Stony Stratford Market on Friday morning He drop dead on the mat at Bull Hotel.
All in 3 months. Such trouble my Bro Had Fits Mother and I nurse him 6 years he die. Mother had a growth on the Thurday she made her Butter on Friday morning at 3am she die and left me and my Wife with 3 small little Boys and that the end of the Amos Family at Castlethorpe
Joe Cowley work for Tom Amos 45 years He was Head Malster Had Hanslope and Castlethorpe Malting in charge