Island Life Magazine Ltd October/November 2011 - Page 68

COUNTRY LIFE Fred Colson's shorthorn cattle £2.50 a week he was receiving from his father. “I saved up £1,900 and successfully applied for a council farm – Sheep Lane Farm - at Blackgang in 1971, which was a good move for me. It wasn’t the farm I originally wanted, which incidentally was sold last year for £850,000. I told my father it would be a good investment. “I then acquired a piece of land down at Godshill and borrowed the money to build a house there, which is Milk Pan Farm, and had 78 acres. I tried 68 www.visitislandlife.com to buy another farm but couldn’t so eventually in 1989 I managed to get 200 acres of land where I now live,” said Fred. But buying it wasn’t that easy because his bank manager refused to lend him the £300,000 he needed, claiming Fred was ‘still living in the 1940s’, and needed to get an office and a computer to get up to date. He was more successful with another borrower, but to this day refuses to carry a credit card or have any modern day technology in his house, claiming the TV in the corner is only for long-suffering Lesley to watch. He prefers doing a bit of light work on the farm, as well as gardening, and keeping a few turkeys, ducks, chickens and guinea fowl on a piece of land at home – but he’s not sure how many. He built the farm house where he lives in 1994, added to his land, and bought Sheep Lane Farm off the council. So now he is up to personally owning 500 acres, and rents a further 500, comprising mainly cattle, but also corn, pigs and sheep.