Our history ... straight from the Horseman's mouth

Our oral historian, Nicola Power, conducted in-depth interviews with horsemen and women over period of many months.


This page contains edited recordings of those interviews and biographies of those who took part.


Our oral historian, Nicola Power, conducted in-depth interviews with horsemen and women over period of many months.


This page contains edited recordings of those interviews, and biographies of those who took part.


Herbert Bradshaw Second horseman at Beezlings Farm in Doddington (owned by Fred Rickwood, head  horsekeeper George Wadlow). 

Aged 85 (in 2014) Herbert  has worked with horses since he was fourteen.

My first day at Rickwoods Farm
Bradshaw 1 First day at Rickwoods farm i[...]
MP3 audio file [1.5 MB]

Alan Rickwood. Aged 73 (in 2014) Alan is the son of Fred Rickwood who owned Beezlings Farm in Doddington &Blakes Yard Farm in Chatteris. 

Fred Rickwood was the son of Charles Rickwood who owned Tithebarn Farm and Wood Farm in Chatteris. 

Charles had a brother Arthur Samuel Rickwood known as 'the Carrot King’ who owned farms in Somerham and Chatteris. In later life he owned a small riding centre in Chatteris.

My earliest memories of working with horses
Rickwood 4 Earliest memory of working h[...]
MP3 audio file [1.1 MB]
When fisrt handling a horse
Rickwood 6 First handling a horse.mp3
MP3 audio file [835.1 KB]
Whipline ploughing
Rickwood 8 Fenland Whipline and farming [...]
MP3 audio file [6.2 MB]
Ragwort: The horse keepers' oldest enemy
Rickwood 1 Horsekeepers and Ragwort.mp3
MP3 audio file [3.6 MB]
The Horseman's Word
Rickwood The Horseman's Word.mp3
MP3 audio file [1.4 MB]
Horse work through the seasons
Rickwood 5 Horsework through the seasons[...]
MP3 audio file [3.1 MB]
Show no fear
RIckwood - 3 Lack of fear of horses as a[...]
MP3 audio file [1.6 MB]
Breaking in
Rickwood 7 Breaking a horse in.mp3
MP3 audio file [2.4 MB]

John Maycock  Aged 81 (in 2014) A horseman and son of a well-known horseman, Bill Maycock, from Chatteris and March.  John worked from the age of fourteen  at Curf Farm in Chatteris (owned by Leonard Childs). 

John  won the Chatteris Ploughing Matches several years running.

He  won his first team cup when he was just seventeen.

Stallions & Mares
New file download
My father
Maycock 1 - intro about father as horsek[...]
MP3 audio file [1.3 MB]
The Ploughing Championship Matches at Chatteris
Maycock 3 Ploughing championship at Chat[...]
MP3 audio file [6.6 MB]

Alan Burbridge Aged 75 (in 2014)  Mr Burbridge worked  on farms in Warboys and Manea . Although he wasn’t a trained horseman  Alan undertook such tasks as ploughing, drilling, harvesting and carting . 

His father (Reginald Burbridge )was a horsekeeper who won several Chatteris Ploughing Matches.  His grandfather (John Burbridge) was also a horsekeeper in in the Warboys area. John owned a small printed book called Rarey’s Treatment and Horse Management Book,  dating from around 1890. 

(See our page, The Origins of Horse Whispering, for more information about the famous John Rarey, and other nineteenth-century travelling showman horse-tamers.)

The last use of horses on our farm
Burbridge 1 Last use of horses on farms [...]
MP3 audio file [2.6 MB]

Ray Scott  Vice Chair of Wisbech Shire Horse Society. Graham has showed horses for thirty years.  Ray has a collection of rare  'stallion cards' (See our page The Entire Men for more information on these). Ray has also recorded the memories of older horsekeepers from the Wisbech/ Fenland area.

Cole Ambridge's farm: My first job
Scott 1- Cole Ambrose and first job.mp3
MP3 audio file [1.2 MB]
Recipes and receipts
Scott4- recipes and receipts.mp3
MP3 audio file [837.6 KB]
The smell of a horseman!
Scott 3- horsemen smells!.mp3
MP3 audio file [1.3 MB]
The temperament of horses
Scott 7 -Temperament of horses.mp3
MP3 audio file [3.6 MB]
The Hiring Fair at Ely
Scott 2 - ely hiring fair.mp3
MP3 audio file [1.5 MB]
Poetry in Motion
Scott 6- Poetry in Motion.mp3
MP3 audio file [816.9 KB]
Showing and competing: The Shire Horse Society
Scott 8 - competing, shire society, shir[...]
MP3 audio file [6.5 MB]
Scott5 - why use remedies.mp3
MP3 audio file [763.4 KB]

Graham Ward Horsebreeder, horseman and farmer’s son from Gorefield. 

His grandfather (Stanley Ward) owned the Decoy Farm in Gorefield.  His father (Tom Ward) was one of the founding members of Wisbech Shire Horse Society.  Graham also owned and worked on the farm. He remembers the horsemen on the farm over the years,  and the effect of mechanisation  He is now Chair of Wisbech Shire Horse Society.

Graham has won national and international awards for showing, and was winner of  International Horse Show of the Year Award (Shires) in 1976. 

Ward 1.mp3
MP3 audio file [16.4 MB]
Ward 3.wav
Wave audio file [15.4 MB]

Roger Macey  Roger and his wife Denise have given invaluable help to our project. They both took part in our school 'living history plough day' and Roger was filmed at Prickwillow for our DVD The Horseman's Word. He and his wife compete all over the country with their magnificent Shires, Beau & Zebedee.

An old man choosing his horses
Masey3 Old Horseman choosing horses.mp3
MP3 audio file [2.2 MB]
A Stallion Man
Masey 2 Story of the Stallion man and hi[...]
MP3 audio file [2.0 MB]
Starting with heavy horses
Masey 1 - starting with Heavy horses in [...]
MP3 audio file [3.2 MB]
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