Joyce Lowis was born in 1930 in Tebay village at her grandmother’s home. Her father came from a hill farming background and her parents took on the family farm at Borrowdale, where they lived and worked till Joyce was 14.
Joyce describes the farmhouse which was known as the ‘bottom’ farm, of the two in the valley. Life revolved around the demands of the land and she remembers haymaking in particular as a time of collective effort. Lack of electricity and modern conveniences made life hard for her mother and father alike.
She recalls the local fox hunts conducted on foot, and the bracken cutting. While Joyce appreciated the aesthetic of her home environment she preferred the life offered in nearby Tebay, where she particularly enjoyed attending the dances there.
The family left farming when Joyce was 14 and moved into the village of Borrow Bridge, where her father ran the local garage.
“they used to go on the fells for bracken, that was cut every year for the cows to lay on, for bedding for the winter, it was all to do and to bring down with sledges again. I didn’t drive them sledges, but it was all to do and now the bracken’s left I think isnt’ it?”