Albertina Keevil, a Dorset woman then aged 40 or
so had started married life in Wimborne. She had come to Farley
from Whitchurch in Hampshire with her husband George to
take the Steward's dairy herd in 1883.
Described as 'Dairywoman' notable, hard-working
and a skilled and accomplished cheese and butter
maker, she did not at the time milk all the cows herself
although her husband was not at all fit. When he died her eldest
son Henry George was only 14, and with him, her
eldest daughter Kate, and three more sons and daughters
she lived in the old dairy cottage.
A very progressive lady she would later move to Parsonage
Farm where in 1891 her son Henry took over, and his mother
was described as 'living on her means' (Census again) and Henry
as the farmer.
Of the the family the Vicar's daughter, Miss Henderson wrote. 'She
was a dear and we were very fond of her but oh so genteel and doing
her best to bring her family up to her standards. She had a slight
trim figure with well-fitting gowns, not a hair out of place, her
head crowned with the dainty lace cap that all ladies, nearly, wore
in those days when they were nearing or had reached the forties!
I remember one day when she was coming to tea that her foot slipped
on the polished step that led down into our dining hall and she
arrived sitting down with her cap preceding her. Of course we were
dreadfully sorry and helped her up and put her cap to rights.
But the next time we saw her she said 'Oh dear, Mrs. Henderson,
I don't know how to apologise enough for entering your room in such
an exceedingly rude and abrupt manner.'
One of our big treats was to take any visitors to have tea with
Mrs. Keevil for she made the most dainty birds' nests in butter
complete with eggs and her tea parties were still spoken of with
joy as late as the Forties.
In later years Henry had to undergo an operation at Guys
Hospital for trouble with his leg, but Albertina thought
it hardly polite to speak of that place without a prefix and the
family always spoke of it as St. Guys.
Her friend Miss Henderson, was the vicar's daughter and godmother