Willow FarmBuilding Status: Listed Building
Alfred and Edith Dyball took over Willow Farm in October 1930, about 75 acres mostly dairy cattle, with three men, one being the cowman. Their son, Dennis, recalls starting on the milk round in 1948. He had to get up at 4am and, with all the additional farm jobs, would work 12-16 hours a day, well into the evening. [Nowadays young people would look aghast at such prolonged daily working hours.] At first, the milk went by churn in the train to the Co-op (then C.W.S.)’s dairy and creamery at Stowmarket, but later on a C.W.S. lorry would arrive to collect the milk each morning. Consequently, there was no need for a specialist dairy or pasteurising plant on the farm.
Dennis Dyball took over the farm in the late 1940s (?), and gradually expanded it, getting out of dairy farming in the mid 1950s and concentrating on arable farming. He acquired the small farms to the north, namely Green Farm (now called Mulberry Farm), Bennett’s Farm (now called Dagworth Farm), Oak Farm, some of Hills Farm, Botany Bay Farm, Grove Farm and a fair number of the fields of the former White House Farm. The total is now some 450 acres across much of the northern part of Elmswell itself, and they have a good amount of additional land in other areas, such as East Harling in Norfolk. These he farmed in partnership with his son, Robert Dyball.
However, in his ‘retirement years’ he [seems to have?] taken an interest in horse breeding, whilst his son, Robert Dybal,l carries on the arable farm work.