Visits to see Granny Farby at Cambridge Market

Maude recalls her travels with her sister Jessie to see ‘Granny Farby’, who sells butter on Cambridge Market in pre-War England.

cambridge marketplace rooftops 1913

My grandmother died when my mother was twelve, and the family was looked after by my mother’s aunt, Sarah Farby, who was known as ‘Granny Farby’.

She had a stall on Cambridge market, and my sister Jessie and I used to go there on the train. She used to make butter, and she would roll it into lengths of a yard [0.9144 metres]. She would then put it into white cloths and baskets.

Cambridge market place, including Hobson's Conduit in it's original position, 1913
Cambridge market place, including Hobson’s Conduit in it’s original position, 1913. Photo: Valentine’s Postcard Series.

The cloths were always washed first and were snow-white. She would then sell the butter for 1d (1 penny) per inch to the students.

Our lunch on these visits was usually a meat pie, and it was ordered from The Temperance Hotel and delivered to us at the market stall. Granny Farby would up-turn one of the baskets and put a cloth over it so that me and Jessie could sit and have our dinner.

We used to go to Cambridge by train, and would sometimes have lunch at the Dorothy Café on Sidney Street, which would consist of a pork pie, chips, and a cup of tea for 1 shilling [5 pence]. We would also often go to the sales in London by train.

Author: Maude Barber

Maude Barber (née Yarrow), the great grandmother of Andrew Martin. My blog posts are lifted from interviews and letters sent to him, and my granddaughter, during my 104 year life.

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