Farm

Born on 24th May 1934 on a small farm which occupied 24 ha of the sandy soil of West Jutland, in the village of Fjelstervang I was the third of what was to be twelve children and the first boy. The total was to be seven girls and five boys.

Both my parents came from large families, my father being one of eleven and my mother one of nine children. My parents met while my father was employed on my mother’s brother’s farm in a village called Timring.*

Our farm was 2 km away from the village which comprised about twenty families.

Although small it had three grocery shops, one haberdasher, a feed mill, one blacksmith, one butcher, a builder, a joiner, a bicycle shop and a telephone exchange. There was a small church, a community centre for village gatherings, a mission house for the inner mission (strict Lutherans) and most importantly there was the creamery.

Needless to say, for most  transport was on foot, bicycle or by horse and cart. The three people in the community who had the privilege of owning cars were  the priest who lived in Vorgod 7 km away, and the doctor and the vet, who both lived in Kibæk, 6 km from Fjelstervang. From Kibæk one could travel by train to Herning and other parts and from Fjelstervang there was a regular bus to Herning, a distance of about 15 km..

My parents were very busy people and deeply religious. Every meal was preceded by prayers and at breakfast there were readings from a special book (andagts book).

Alcoholic drinks were strictly forbidden as was dancing and playing cards. Even dance music on the radio was considered evil. Though the farm was small we always

had a hired boy between 16-20 years of age and a maid of a similar age. These workers were hired for one year at a time, generally from 1st November to 31st October and usually lived as part of the family. We had two working horses, sometimes foals, six milking cows (Danish red) with six followers and bull calves ; we had two or three sows and generally fattened their piglets. The milk was collected in the morning by horse and cart by the man who had taken on a milk route which was auctioned yearly at the creamery. He brought back skimmed milk and whey which was used to feed the pigs and the calves. He would also take orders for shopping, leaving the orders with the shopkeeper en route for the creamery  and collecting them on the return journey This was of course a voluntary service. He also brought us village gossip and news, a function he shared with the postman who came once a day by bicycle to collect and distribute post. If he came at mealtimes he was always invited to join the family. All the roads were gravel, the nearest tarmac and cobbled road was the main road from Ringkøbing cross country to Aarhus, and 6 km from Fjelstervang. The nearest telephone to the farm was about 1km.