1965 - Aerial view of Spratton. Note the absence of the Gorse Road development, and also the new houses at the Brixworth Road end of High Street.
In the foreground is Gilby's Farm in Yew Tree Lane ('Bottom' farm), run by Charlie after his father, Arthur Charles Gilby, died in 1932. 'Top' farm and dairy, run by Arthur's brother, Alfred George Gilby from 13 Yew Tree Lane was a much smaller undertaking. According to Kelly's Directory, Alfred had been farming at Grange Farm from 1906 with his father Richard H Gilby (chairman of the Parish Council 1904 - 1905) and brother Arthur. Alfred died in 1931 (obituary is held at image 1592), and we know that it was then farmed by his widow Frances until at least 1944. The date stone has been remade and bears the 1691 date and the initials P (surname), T (husband's name) and M (wife's name). It is believed to have been built for Thomas and Mary Pearson.. Thomas lived from 1660-1733 and in his Will left his farmhouse and land in Spratton to his son, John. It came into the ownership of the Richard (Arthur's father) Gilby by 1871. Arthur farmed here until his death in 1932 (obituary 1593), when son Charlie took it over, selling it in 1942, retaining the lease, to the Earl of Sefton. It was the largest and most up to date farm in Spratton, covering some 351 acres eastwards to the Parish boundary. There were usually six farm hands, including living-in land girls. In the War, Italian & German POW's were used at harvest time. Whilst in the mid 1930s it was mainly pasture, by the 1950s, it was a mixed farm with cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs, wheat, barley and oats. In the yard adjacent to the house were the old granary, the new granary built over the stables, a big loose-box for calves, and a barn. Further east was another yard, with two pig sties, and a Rick yard with a four-bay Dutch barn. Charles Gilby farmed it until about 1963, when Hawtin took it over