40 Years of Kentish Town City Farm


M McInerney’s reminiscence

I recall working during the summer hols every day from 9am to 6pm mucking out stables cleaning tack and leading horses in the school with disabled riders on them. Loved that time, loved the horses even ‘Tanner’ when he tried to bite me and ‘Billy’ when he succeeded! Post tetanus back to work immediately. Loved listening to the older guys singing Bowie’s major Tom in the tack room! ❤❤❤❤❤❤ 1975 ❤❤❤❤

(M. McInerney didn’t include a photo but the one attached is from the period of his reminiscence.)

1970s riding group

Tracy Fairweather’s reminiscence

this is me with Whisper my forever friend xx

My memories are many !!
Growing and mucking out from 6 years old in 1976 until 1987 ! Earning my right to ride at the weekend. We would hack out to the sand track going through Whitestone pond on route ! We had many a mad ride jumping logs and ditches coming back to the yard to share our adventures with farmer John. We had sleep overs with the ponies and trips to Badminton horse trials in the mini bus! We took the farm animals to schools for filming sessions BBC I think it was. Basically I had the time of my life at KTCF and it helped shape me into the confident caring person I am today ! Xx


Jean MacRae’s school pony ride memory

Jean riding Fury, Hawley Infants School

When I was working at Hawley Infants School in the early 1980s, we used to get the Farm to bring a pony down and do pony rides for the children at our Summer Fair. One year when I rang John to arrange this, he said he was very sorry but he didn’t have anyone free to do it this year. I must have sounded very disappointed because he then asked me if I had any experience of horses. When I said I had ridden a lot though not very recently, he said that if I would come in at the weekend and help with leading the horses for the pony rides at the Farm so he could see if I knew what I was doing, he would then lend me Fury to take down to the school and do the rides myself! This seemed a very good offer to me, so I duly turned up to help – and I must have been OK because John said, yes that would be fine! On the Sunday of the fair, off I went to collect Fury with my younger daughter, who was about 10 and having riding lessons. “Fury” may have lived up to his name in his youth, but was by this time a very calm stout little black Shetland; he was saddled and bridled and waiting for us and with my daughter riding and me leading, off we went through the streets of Kentish Town down to Hawley in Camden Town! The pony rides were as always hugely popular; my daughter managed the queue and I led Fury around and around amongst the crowd with one child after another on his back. When the Fair was over, my daughter mounted up again and I led Fury off back up the road. All the way home we pretended that Fury was our pony and agreed that both of us had had a wonderful time.


Gary Layton’s early farm days memory

Gary Layton (left) and a friend clearing land by railway

Gary Layton (left) and a friend clearing land by railway

I must have spent maybe around 5 years or so as a regular there. I was part of the close knit group of around 15 or so regulars that went there. When I say regular it would have been several evenings a week there and often a whole day at the weekend. It was like a youth club for our group!

We often would just sit around for hours as a group in the hay shed that was one of the first sheds on the left alongside the stables. We would spend part of the evenings mucking out the stables and just generally helping out. It didn’t really feel like work.

The reward would be the extra horse riding that we had within the indoor arena. The horse riding didn’t stay within the grounds though. I went several times via the roads on horseback on a Sunday where we rode on Hampstead heath on the area behind the Spaniards inn. There doesn’t seem to be any record of when we set off real early on a Sunday morning once via road all the way to Hyde park and rode around the sand track at Rotten row and then back to the farm. That was a real long day. On each occasion we would take maybe 8 or 9 ponies.

Don’t remember most of the ponies names. One was named Tio Pepe. one the largest there. chestnut in colour and around 14 hands high. funny some of the things you remember. Another was a small grey pony called Whiskey. Got a good kick off him once!

There’s no mention on the site of us being on the biggest kids TV show of the time “Magpie”. A bunch of us got permission for a day out of school for filming along with Mick Robertson who was the main presenter of the show. I was in several parts of the show when it aired on TV as I got to carry the battery pack and mike and so had to be in a lot of the filming. We felt like big TV stars that day!!! I think it was around 1974?

Some of the names I remember from back then was Angie Emerson(there’s a pic of her on the site): she was part of our group. Sisters Julie & Michaela though I forget their surname. Others are Mark Hearn. brothers Martin & Michael Coleman.

Obviously Eileen who ran the stables along with her husband Alan. I did a small amount of building work with Alan a few years later. They lived in Prince of Wales Rd. One of the other women that worked there was Ellie. Another was John Caulfield. He worked for Inter-action. Talacre youth club was part of the same group(a lot of time spent there also).

I know a lot these things are viewed through rose tinted specs later in life but this really was a great time for me for several years and I thank you.