Tuesday, 21 May 2024

What it’s like to live in an the only house that’s sandwiched between M62 lanes

There are many myths surrounding the strange farm in the middle of the Yorkshire stretch of the M62, with many believing that a stubborn farmer refused to relocate when the road was constructed. However, Stott Hall Farm’s residents have debunked this myth and even revealed how the farm remains quiet and cozy, despite being surrounded by noisy lorries around the clock.

Recently, Channel4’s documentary series “The Pennies: Backbone of Britain”, which aired earlier this year and is now available on More4, revealed some secrets about Stott Hall Farm.

The truth is that there was not a stubborn farmer, but instead the geological fault beneath the farm made it impossible to construct the motorway without building around it.

Ken Wild, the original farmer who owned and worked the land, resided at the farm during the construction of the M62.

Nowadays, Paul Thorp occupies the farm, and he even appeared on the show “The Yorkshire Vet.”

Mr Thorp who has worked at Stott Hall since 1992 but lived there with his wife, Jill Falkingham-Thorp, since 2008, said: “Whenever you go anywhere and say where you live, everyone’s curious and wants to know all about it.”

Kimberley Pollard, Ken Wild’s granddaughter, reflected on her childhood memories and mentioned being soothed to sleep by the constant sound of traffic.

She told YorkshireLive back in 2016: “I used to stay in a big bedroom on the westbound carriageway side. It had a four-poster bed – you could get lost in it. There was triple glazing which kept out lots of noise. You’d sometimes wake up if someone beeped their car horn in the middle of the night, but the sound of the motorway used to send me to sleep.

“I used to help him feed the lambs who had lost their mothers and watch the shearing. I used to have pet guinea pigs at my home in Rishworth and we ran out of hay. My granddad took me up to Top Moss – the little barn-type place on the left of the eastbound carriageway opposite the farm, where he kept hay and various farm essentials.

“He took me up on the back of his quad and I was terrified! I was determined to walk back down so he followed very slowly and carefully on the bike with a huge bail of hay! I’d love to be able to go on the quad bikes with my granddad now.

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“My granddad’s second wife, Beth, was always cooking and baking. She used to let me play in the fields around the house and watch the traffic go past, and see people’s confused faces!”

Despite being sandwiched between the roaring traffic on the M62, the 280-year-old Stott Hall Farm remains peaceful behind its triple-glazed windows.

The farmers have strategically planted trees outside the kitchen window to block the view of passing lorries, and they no longer receive late-night requests from drivers looking to use their landline, due to mobile phones.

The farm’s remote location means that the nearest convenience store is approximately ten miles away, resulting in limited access to supplies.

However, the family is diversifying their work to include educating youngsters about environmental conservation, recognising its importance in the current times.

Jill said: “If you don’t pass all your knowledge on to the future generation, what’s the point? We’re not here forever. We should try do our absolute best while we’re here. You ask any kid in school where their beef is from and they will say Tesco or Morrisons. Nobody seems to know about their food.”

On their 348 hectares of moorland located on the highest and often most anxiety-inducing section of the motorway, the family tends to 900 breeding ewes and 20 suckler cows.

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