My first memories of Fernilee as a toddler aged 4 years old staying with Grandad at his cottage.
Outside in the garden by the front door.
He had a large paraffin camping stove boiling a kettle of water.
There was no electricity in the cottages in those days.
Water used to be collected from a spring in front of the cottage but we were fortunate a brass cold water tap had been in installed over a stone sink in the scullery.
I can still remember the smell of the paraffin. The kettle started whistling Grandma came out with a tea pot.
In the main living room there was a cast iron range with a coal fire with a big black kettle on the hearth. On one side a huge heavy iron door opened to an oven. The floor was made up stone slabs and wear could be seen near the doorway.
Grandad and Grandma Horsfield used the end cottage as a holiday cottage. This cottage can still be seen today although extended and modernised and a new name Shaw Stile.
There was no proper toilets a privy outside a frightening place for me and being only 4 years old I was spared the ordeal sitting on a wooden plank with an enormous hole and a four foot drop to the slurry below. A cart used to come and every few weeks they shovelled all the muck up.
The walls of the cottage were massive the stairs up to the bedrooms were very narrow and twists and turns like a castle. A magical place a real treat. Bedtime darkness fell the warm glow of an oil lamp on the table. I was given a saucer of water with a small candle a night light and told to take very great care going upstairs to bed.
The flicker from the candle felt like Christmas. Lots of strange noises outside owls and wild animals.
Morning broke early with sunshine shining through the window. The view was breathtaking the mist and dew over the meadows and could see the farms and trees right over the other side of the Goyt Valley.
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