Gloria Lane's (née Phillips) Memories of Parham and Home Farm
Gloria visited Home Farm on
30 & 31-Aug-2012, with her two younger sons, Dennis
from her first marriage to Joe Nester. She had travelled from her
home in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, US, to visit her family and roots in
England. Her two older sons are
Barry and Michael. Barry, the oldest, was born in Home Farm. This
is a record of the memories she imparted of the farm and the people in
Gloria Phyllis Jean Lane née Phillips was born in 1927 at Dorley's Corner, Kelsale, Suffolk.
Father, Jim Phillips, was Isaac Larter's stockman.
Mother, Lilly, worked inside. d. age 91
Sister: Jill has already contacted us by phone; lives near
Adopted brother: Ken was adopted by Lilly. His real mother lived
in Parham, but she was only 14 when she had him, her mother having
died when she was 16.
Maid, Annie Squirrel, came in Mondays (washing day), Wednesdays
(cleaning day) and Fridays (baking day).
The Phillips family lived in Home Farm 1936-1943, until Jack
Larter moved in with his children (Monica & Jane).
Gloria left home at age 16 (1943) having met and married Corporal Joseph
Nester of the USAAF, who was stationed at Parham aerodrome.
After Joseph was transferred back to the US in 1945 she followed him in 1946 with their two children.
Many years after, having raised four sons, she divorced Joseph, when she
discovered that they had the right to annual free travel back to
England, but he had withheld this knowledge from her in case she
wouldn't return to the US. She remarried and is now Gloria Lane.
[Note added in 2024:
Gloria passed away on 11 June 2019. Her obituary is here
. I still keep in touch with her sons, including meeting them during a recent business trip to Philadelphia.]
Home Farm House
- The Phillips family lived mainly in the far (northernmost) room,
where there was a large fireplace (not as large as the inglenook
today), with tiles with pink flowers & green leaves on them
surrounding the fireplace.
- They had their kitchen in the next room along, in the room we
call the inglenook today. The range was in the fireplace.
- The end (northern) bedroom was her mother's, but Gloria used to
sit in the window with the curtains drawn when the sun warmed it.
Gloria's bedroom was at the back of the house, somewhere above
their kitchen - she remembered the spiral stairs very well.
- Isaac's mother, Sarah Larter (née Clayton), had the room above and
to the left of the central front door. She lived away as a housekeeper,
but kept her things in the room, since her husband Arthur's death [he
The present-day kitchen was the scullery. Gloria used to sit in
the copper at the SE corner after the washing had been done and
read a book. She remembers well the oven in the NE corner where
they baked. She can't remember whether there was a lean-to against
the scullery side of the house.
The dairy was the SW corner of the house, where the present-day
Above was the cheese room as today. There was not a ladder or
stair from the dairy to the cheese room - you had to go round to
get to the stairs from the back hall.
Between the back-hall stairs and the cheese room there were 2 or
3 small rooms in which meats hung on large hooks from the ceiling
She remembers the attic stairs but didn't go up there much.
Home Farm Garden
- The front garden was laid out similar to today, except the wide
sweeping drive was only a person's width. The front wall ended
somewhere in the middle, so there was no wall where the modern
end-piece of wall is now - leaving a partly open, partly
There were 3 Prince William pear trees where the one pear tree
is now in view from the side kitchen window.
There was a moat in the back garden, and it seems likely the
front pond would have been part of the protection of the house in
medieval times. Beyond the moat was the orchard.
Home Farm Buildings
There were two drives from the road as there are today.
There was no large chicken house on the stack-yard as there used
to be in the 1960s (on the right of the drive as you enter the
stackyard from the road).
There was a dutch barn where the largest grain store is today
(the one that was burned down in the 1970s). There was a fire in
Gloria's time in there, but the fire engine and their efforts with
buckets put it out.
The flint stable held the horses - they had several Suffolk
Punches - and there was a building alongside it on the island with
horses in stalls and an area in front for them to come out into,
with a gate across the entrance to the island.
Gloria doesn't think there was a building where the present-day
loose-box is opposite the flint stable.
They used to get water in buckets on yokes from the pump house,
where there was a donkey pump.
In a leanto to the pump house there were stock (where the
spray-shed is today).
Gloria spent a lot of her time with her father in the great
Tudor barn, mixing the animal feed and she used to turn the
mangelworzel cutter, having to run round to the other side and
hang on the handle to complete each turn given she was so small.
Next to the barn was a pig-sty.
The chicken-house was a pig-sty.
Gloria says the large covered area behind the present-day
chicken-house was called the Net'us = Neat House, where Neat = Ox
(whereas we call the flint building the Net'us and Monica had her
house-cow in there). It was full of cattle. There were chest-height internal walls and they all ate along the far wall
against the meadow. They would be led out across the bridleway
into the meadow, where there was a shed further down the field.
There were pigs in the flint building we call the Net'us,
and pigs in what we still call the pig-sty - she remembers
filling the trough which is still there, as I do.
Gloria doesn't recall any building where the present day double
garage is, nor where the present-day single garage houses the
bale-burner (which is where the pear trees were).
Home Farm Fields
Gloria remembers the strong trace horse that was used to pull
carts up the bridleway hill, and she remembers the sandpit (in
Sandpit Field) and the rabbit warrens in it; she used to release
them from their traps.
Gloria believes Elm Farm house was used by the military for
offices during the War.
Memories of People
Gloria knew Monica Larter well - Gloria went to Mills Grammar 2
yrs above Monica.
Her family were tenants of Isaac Larter who lived on the
Framlingham Rd (prob Hatherleigh) and also owned Moat Farm.
Before the Phillips moved in, the farm was called Cooper's Farm,
because Alec Cooper lived there.
The Nunns lived at Oak Farm.
Gloria knew Kenny Whiting (he was the main worker left on the
farm in Bob's memory - he drove the combine), and his brothers
Sydney (oldest), who was the horseman, and Ernie who was shot
escaping capture as a PoW in WWII. They lived in what could be N
Green Farm, or possibly Sunset Cottage.
She remembers the Hostlers in N Green Cottages, who were there
until the late 1980s in Bob & Lyn's memory. Irene Hostler was
Gloria's best friend, and she keeps in touch. Irene's father's
first wife died when he was 60 with no children. Then he had 9
children by his second wife.
She remembers the name of the Friends, but doesn't remember
The Meadows lived in the house at the far end of the middle of
Arthur Leggat, the builder, was renowned for having to take down
and rebuild a house he had built on the Framlingham Road because
he didn't leave room for the chimney.
She also remembers the Frosts.
Mr Thatcher had a truck in which he hauled the stock to market.
Recorded by Bob Briscoe,
30-31 August 2012
With minor additions 14 Jan 2024