The Cross Farm
–Cross Farm

A couple of days ago, I spent an evening in my parents’ village of Crich, in Derbyshire, England, talking with a man who knew my great-grandfather.

Joseph Roe SmithI asked him when my great-grandfather first started farming at Cross Farm, one of the major farms in the village.

When my great-grandfather was a young man, he told me, Cross Farm had been owned by the Butterley Company and was rented to a tenant farmer.  This tenant farmer was very unhappy, and was always complaining to my great-grandfather.

My great-grandfather said to the man, “Ah know wot Ah’d do if Ah were thee.  Ah’d pack it up, Ah wouldna purrup wi’ it.”*

The next day, the tenant farmer said to my great-grandfather,  “Ah’ve dun wot tha said, Ah’ve packed it up.”

And my great-grandfather told him, “Ah know, Ah’ve gorrit nah!”

And that’s how Cross Farm came into my family.

My great-grandfather and great-grandmother had twelve children, ten of whom survived to adulthood. Their great-granddaughter now runs Cross Farm with her husband and son.


* In very broad Derbyshire dialect, this translates to,

My great-grandfather:  “I know what I’d do if I were you.  I’d quit, I wouldn’t put up with it.”

The tenant farmer:  “I’ve done what you said, I’ve quit.”

My great-grandfather:  “I know, I’ve got it [the farm] now!”