Geoff & Judy Goodman

Goodman_Geoff&Judy_2010Geoff & Judy Goodman are two local farming stalwarts of the community, and have farmed at Walsgrove Farm in Great Witley since the late 1950s.

The family have implemented many changes at Walsgrove Farm including reclaiming some difficult land on Walsgrove Hill, whilst Judy has built up the nationally known Goodmans Geese business. Geoff has also served on the Parish Council for many years, and since 2001 the family have hosted the Easter Monday Redmarley Hillclimb on land at Walsgrove Hill.

Goodman_Geoff_2015Goodman_JudyGeoff & Judy have a wealth of memories and have made eight recordings covering a wide range of topics as described below, along with links to each of their recordings. The first two cover general lifetime memories, the following four are focussed on farming, and the final two tell how the Quartergreen & Bowens Field came about – both open recreational areas that Geoff & Judy were instrumental in helping to put into place for the benefit of local people.

General Lifetime Memories

Filename: Goodman_ Judy_20141127_1_3  (37 mins 26 secs)

In this first recording Judy talks generally about her life and times.

Start Topic Period
0:00 Introduction
0:05 Early days before marriage 1940’s to 1964
3:00 Marriage 1964 and early children From 1964
5:00 Move to Walsgrove Farm, young children
6:00 Promotional work, cheese, John Barnish/ flower festival 250 years anniversary of Witley Church Around 1985
8:00 Strawberries 1966/67 – 2000+
11:00 Geese, turkeys and all publicity 1982 onwards
28:00 Asparagus and various 1983
33:00 Packhouse and various 2000’s

Filename: Goodman_ Geoff_20141027_1_2  (38 mins 50 secs)

In this second recording Geoff talks generally about his life and times.

Start Topic Period
0:00 Introduction and early days – moving from Bewdley From 1940
7:00 Geoffs early farming at Walsgrove, reclaiming land behind Walsgrove,, dairy farming, milk marketing board, fire 1963-1965
14.30 Farm expansion to 450 acres
16:00 Reminiscences of Young Farmers
17:30 Great Witley Church Restoration Committee
18:00 First car from Moores Garage, Witley School
21:00 Farming, employees.
23:00 Corndryer 1963
25:00 Hill Climb 2001
26:00 Barn conversions 2005
28:00 Reminiscences of dairy days, positions held with Milk Marketing and NFU
33:30 Afforestation of Woodbury Hill
35:00 Chairmanship of Parish Council

Farming Topics

In the following four recordings Geoff talks more specifically about his farming memories. Syndicate working and a number of new farming enterprises are described and give the listener a fascinating insight into the ever changing world of farming.

Filename: Goodman_ Geoff_20150512_1_2  (40 mins 42 secs)      

Start Topic Period
00.16 Sixty Years of Farming in Great Witley 1950s to 2015
00.26 Haye Farm Bewdley
00.35 Rare reeds of poultry
02.18 Moving to Walsgrove Farm, Great Witley 1950s
02.27 Norman Lees and the Walsgrove Farm Sale including a war time Bren Gun Carrier 1950s
03.47 Poultry at Walsgrove Farm 1950/60s
03.57 Starting the Walsgrove Dairy Herd 1960
04.00 New Farm buildings at Walsgrove. Atcost concrete buildings 1960s
04.41 Cattle, sheep and pigs at Walsgrove. Cherry trees and cherry harvest. 1961
06.30 Buying dairy cattle at Crewe market. 1965 or 66
07.10 Fire at Walsgrove Farm 1960s
08.10 Milk churns and milking parlours 1960s
09.37 Reclaiming some of the steep land on Walsgrove Hill 1960s
11.50 Worcestershire No 19 Syndicate –grain drier and combines 1963
15.30 Pick your own strawberry venture 1965
17.25 Period of expansion in agriculture 1970s
17.50 Visits to Walsgrove by children from Dudley schools 1970s
1835 Expanding the dairy herd 1960s
18.50 New Alfa Laval rotary milking parlour 1978
20.15 Purchase of Old Yates Farm Abberley. 1980s
21.00 Working with the Milk Marketing Board and the introduction of EU Milk Quotas 1970s
22.50 Asparagus growing 1978
23.15 Geese enterprise 1986
24.44 How to pluck a goose
26.30 Role of wife Judy in marketing the goose enterprise – Celebrity chef Delia Smith
28.00 The end of the dairy herd
30.20 Longhorn cattle and tuberculosis in cattle
31.25 Silage making syndicate
32.50 Tractors and farm machinery
37.50 Ceylonese herdsman ‘Tilly’
40.40 End

Filename: Goodman_ Geoff_20150512_2_2 (2 mins 46 secs)

Start Topic Period
00.14 Woodbury Hill 00.14
01.00 Planting the trees on Woodbury Hill 01.00
01.50 Harry Randle farming neighbour from Easthope Farm. 01.50
02.45 End 02.45

Filename: Goodman_ Geoff_20150512_3_2   (6 mins 50 secs)     

Start Topic Period
00.02 Geoffs Early farming memories 1950s
01.40 Cletrac crawler tractor
03.00 Harvesting – binding, stooking, rick making and thrashing
05.25 Field Marshall tractor and threshing equipment
06.28 Rickstones

Filename: Goodman_ Geoff_20150512_4_2    (9 mins 37 secs)

Miscellaneous farming memories:


The Quartergreen & Bowens Field

In the following two recordings, Geoff & Judy talk about the origins of the Quartergreen & Bowens Field which are both recreation areas developed in Great Witley for local residents.

Filename: Goodman_ Judy_20160111_1_2 (5 mins 7 secs)

Judy remembers the Quartergreens beginnings:

Start Topic Period
00.17 Judy as Chair of the newly opened Village Hall in the early 1990s Early 1990s
00.45 June Pain and Jayne Sowden approach the VH Committee with the idea
01.20 A well attended open meeting at the VH to discuss the idea
01.40 Inspection of the plot by the meeting attendees
01.50 Offer by Mr Tom and Mrs Molly Quarterman of additional land to allow the project to proceed.
02.50 Judy reads her original speech she prepared for the opening ceremony

Filename: Goodman_ Geoff_20160111_1_2 (9 mins 21 secs)

Geoff recalls how Bowens Field came into being around 2008:

Start Topic Period
00.15 Following the residential development at Fountain Court funding for open space development became available 2008
00.45 Land adjacent to the Woodpeckers was identified as a possible suitable site
01.50 Difficulties in establishing who owned the land.
02.20 Eventually confirmed the land owned by the Church of England
03.20 Acknowledges the help given by the then Vicar Reverend Alan Walcott and the Clerk to the Parish Council
04.06 Planning what to do with the newly purchased land.
04.50 Making a path from the field to Worcester Road with the help of the Quarterman family
05.30 The role of Ken Pollock in obtaining funding to tarmac the path
05.45 Naming the field in memory of Mr Doug Bowen
06.11 Tree and hedge planting. Landscaping the games/football area
06.53 The wildflower plot
07.40 Bulb planting and purchase of picnic tables and mower
08.45 The purchase of the land by the Parish Council has safeguarded it from any future developments.

Witley Court Timber Sale 1938

In the following recording, Judy talks about the sale of standing timber in the 1938 sale at Witley Court. Some of the timber was used to build British minesweepers used in Second World War. See also our page on the Witley Court Timber Sale 1938.

Filename: Goodman_ Judy_20160111_2_2 (2 mins 12 secs)

Start Topic Period
00.15 Chance meeting with an old friend from Leicestershire
00.30 Discovers Coltman Brothers Timber Merchants from Claybrooke Leicestershire purchased timber at 1938 Witley Court Sale
01.10 Timber transported to Claybrooke for processing and then to Grimsby for use in construction of Royal Navy Minesweepers