Stewart Bye — Farming & Allotments
May 23 2018
Now retired, Stewart Bye began working on his family farm when he was just 15 years old. Stewart paints a portrait of his life on Foxy Farm in Ely Cambridgeshire, growing and harvesting everything from chicory, beets, wheat, barley and onions. Stewart recounts his memories of the tractors and combines used on the farm and how they differ to what’s available today. Stewart developed a love of being outdoors from growing up and working on the farm but which came to an end when the farm had to be sold. Stewart then spent nearly 30 years working in a cardboard box making factory, a world away from being outdoors and farming life. To counteract the indoor stuffiness of the factory, Stewart eventually took on his own allotment. He and his wife, Teresa, have spent years using the skills learned from their earlier lives to grow award winning vegetables and helping others to grow their own. Stewart illustrates the joys of allotmenteering and how he and Teresa have evolved their knowledge and skills over the years. Stewart Bye was interviewed by Ruby Wallace, Jack Sugg and Grace Wordsworth-Clarke at Swaffham Primary School. This oral history was recorded as part of the Crafty Sew and Sows Project in Cambridgeshire. Led by the charity Red2Green, funded by the HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND and delivered in partnership with Swaffham Primary School and Bottisham Village College. Michael Snodgrass from Red2Green managed the Crafty Sew & Sows project. Kulwant Dhaliwal of Hi8us Midlands collaborated with project participants to produce this oral history with support from Michael Snodgrass and staff at Swaffham Primary School, Swaffham Bulbeck.