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A farmer and his dairy cows

Monday 23 July, 2018, by Karen Griffiths

The northern dairy shorthorn was the premier cow for milking in Wensleydale up until the 1960s when the black and white Friesian began to take its place with its superior milk-producing capabilities.
We’ve seen this changeover illustrated in the following series of photographs sent to us by Janina Holubecki. It shows her great grandfather Joseph Hopper (1859-1949) and grandfather Redvers Hopper (1900-1970) both of whom farmed at Yorescott near Bainbridge. We’ve blogged about Redver’s wife Margaret in an earlier post ‘Margaret Hopper nee Moncrieff.’

The earliest three photographs date to the 1920s she believes.

An old black and white image of Joseph Hopper

Joseph Hopper. Courtesy of Janina Holubecki

An old black and white image of the Northern Dairy Shorthorn bull

Northern Dairy Shorthorn bull at Yorescott. Courtesy of Janina Holubecki

An old black and white image of Joseph Hopper stood next to a dairy shorthorn cow

Joseph Hopper and dairy shorthorn cow. Courtesy of Janina Holubecki

This next photo is later and of Joseph’s son Redvers Hopper with his cows – it’s a credit to the docile nature of the dairy shorthorn that he could safely approach a young calf with the mother standing by.

An old black and white image of Redvers Hopper seeing to his dairy shorthorn cows in a field

Redvers Hopper with his dairy shorthorn cows. Courtesy of Janina Holubecki

The last photograph dates sometime towards the end of Redvers Hopper’s farming career in the 1960s by which time the dairy shorthorns his father was so proud of have gone and the calf he is showing off is a Friesian.

An old image of Redvers Hopper stood in a field next to a black and white Friesian calf

Redvers Hopper and Friesian calf. Courtesy of Janina Holubecki

Janina has now sent along a copy of the sale notice for her grandfather’s farm when he retired in 1965 and it shows that even then he still had dairy shorthorns alongside the Friesians.

An image of an old Hawes farmers auction mart advertisement describing the animals on sale

Courtesy of Janina Holubecki

Picture of Karen Griffiths

Karen Griffiths

Interpretation Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority


2 Replies to “A farmer and his dairy cows”

  1. Kaye Kent says:

    Hi, I’m doing some research for a project I am working on about farming in the Dales in the 1930’s. I am looking for reference images like this fro that time which show any aspects of Dales farming – particularly any photographs which might show what fencing was used at the time (ie. wire?) and also hay bales – how they were tied and stacked. Please can you help with any information about this?

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