Scope and Content

Contains: General business correspondence 1911-1956; correspondence on rent and repairs 1922-1936; correspondence on income tax 1926-1927; farm account books of Bridge End Farm 1920-1937; farm account book of Bridge End Farm and North End Farm 1937-1940; farm account books of North End Farm, Swaton 1940-1956; financial statements and reports on North End Farm, 1943-1956; summary accounts of Bridge End Farm, 1930-1935; account of the sale of the live and dead farming stock of North End Farm 1956; sale catalogue of live and dead farming stock on a farm occupied by J E Owen at Threekingham, Lincs 1930-1935; account of the sale of the live and dead farming stock of North End Farm, Swaton, Lincs 1956; farm diaries of Bridge End Farm,1922-1936; farm diary of Bridge End Farm and North End Farm 1937; farm diaries of North End Farm 1938-1953; leases for Bridge End Farm 1920 and North End Farm, 1937; valuation of Bridge End Farm 1920; valuation by arbitration of compensation, allowances and dilapidations payable on Bridge End Farm 1920; tenant valuation of tenant right, live and dead farming stock on Bridge End Farm 1927-1937 and North End Farm 1938-1944; sundry papers 1920-1956

Administrative / Biographical History

The donor's grandfather, W.D.C. Owen, entered the drapery and grocery trade in Sleaford in 1844. He died in 1879, leaving the sum of 12,000 to be divided between his sons. Two of the sons emigrated. The eldest son (the donor's father) took over the drapery business. The donor (himself an eldest son) became first an engineer and subsequently a trade journalist at Nottingham. On giving up this occupation, he became a farm pupil to T. Roberts of Frithville, near Boston. In 1912 he emigrated to Western Australia, where cheap land was available. On the outbreak of the first world war he had cleared 200 acres of a 1000-acre farm. During his military service he gained book-keeping experience as an orderly room staff sergeant at Cairo. After the armistice he decided to return to England and took Bridge End Farm in 1919 with saved capital of 600 and an overdraft of 300 guaranteed by his father. He survived the depression although most other farmers in the area gave up farming. In 1937 he left Bridge End Farm and took possession of North End Farm. He attributes his success partly to hard work, partly to his accounting system which gave early warning of future financial difficulties and partly to several legacies which gave welcome assistance in times of great difficulty

Farm size: Bridge End Farm: 120 acres of which 95 were arable; 'skirt' soils; tenant to the Commissioners of Crown hands; North End Farm: 292 acres; tenant to the Commissioners of Crown Lands



Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

Presented 5 May 1967 on permanent loan by W.H. Owen, (Farm Records Accession Number 399)


Compiled by Caroline Gould, 27 February 2003

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available at the Museum of English Rural Life

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Archivist