The Family of Sidney Cutter (1892 Ė 1972) of Little Abington, Cambs. and Cutthorpe, Derbys.

22 Sid and Flo wedding with George and Dorrie.jpg 20 Sidney and Florence 26 Aug 1944.jpg

These two pictures of Sidney Cutter and Florence Kate were taken 23 years apart.The first is 1921 and the second is 1944.

Sidney was born 24 April 1892, and baptised 29 May 1892 at Little Abington, Cambs. His parents were William Cutter and Caroline (formerly Flack) who were married at St Mary's Church, Little Abington, 21 February 1874.

In the 1901 census he was living at home aged 8, a scholar.


In 1911 Sidney was living with his mother aged 18 and a milkman born at Little Abington.

He served in the army (4/5th Suffolk Regiment, 1914-1920, regimental numbers 5126 rank: private and 201938 rank: private) in the First World War, joining up in 1915, embarking from Folkestone for France and was taken prisoner in 1917.He was a prisoner of war, for 20 months in Germany and worked in a munitions factory.

He married Florence Kate Pettitt at All Saints Church, Newmarket, on 7th July 1921.Florence and Sidney met at Newmarket station.She had gone there to see her brother, John, return to France, after being in England on leave.At the station she met Johnís friend Sidney Cutter.Sidney and John were in the same regiment.She wrote to Sidney all through the war when he was taken prisoner and did not see him again until after the war had ended.The marriage certificate records that he was aged 29 and a bachelor and labourer living at Little Abington.His father was given as William Cutter, a shepherd.Florence Kate was aged 22, a spinster of 5, Ditton Lodge, Newmarket.Her father was Ernest Albert Pettit, a stockman.The witnesses were George Pettit (brother), Ernest Albert Pettit (father) and Dorothy May Pettit (sister).All signed their names.

After marriage Sidney and Florence lived at Little Abington, in the middle house of a terrace of three one-up, one-down cottages, opposite a junction with what was Jeremiahís Tea Rooms on the left-hand corner as viewed from the cottage.A daughter was born in 1922.

Sidney Cutter and Florence Kate then moved to Chesterfield, Derbys, as Sidney was to be the gardener to his sister, Ethel May. In 1918 she had married Joseph Hicks Langford Trevorrow who became managing director of Chesterfield Tube Company.Joseph and Ethel May lived at Newbold House (now demolished) where Sidney and Florence lived in the servantsí quarters.Soon afterwards, Sidney and Florence moved to 16, Littlemoor to the house on the corner of Dunston Lane and St Johnís Road.

Sidney then became a tenant farmer at Ingmanthorpe Farm, Cutthorpe around 1928. It is possible that Joseph Trevorrow helped Sidney to become established at the farm. The farm (then owned by Mr William Holmes of Barlow) was about 42 acres in extent, including some rented land. It was operated as a mixed farm, with some cereals, potatoes, turnips, sprouts etc and about ten cows (there were eight stalls in the main milking shed). There were hens (and other poultry from time to time e.g. guinea fowl) and a few pigs but no sheep. The farmhouse was the eastern end of a building that also served as the cowshed. There was a farm yard enclosed by the kitchen of the farmhouse, the cowshed and another stone building, opposite the kitchen that had a granary on the first floor, reached by an external stone staircase and had a dairy on the ground floor. Opposite the cowshed there was a series of corrugated iron sheds, which housed some of the farm vehicles. At the end of the kitchen there was a gate into the front garden and a stone wall that ran down to the main road. This divided the garden from the ground behind the corrugated iron sheds, which was used to grow vegetables for the house. The flower garden had a terraced path down the middle, with lawns and flower borders on both sides. There were four or five apple trees. Close to the house and by the kitchen window, there were hydrangeas.

The main house consisted of two ground floor rooms and two first floor rooms. It was stone built and was roofed with stone slabs and had two brick chimneys. As an extension at the front, there was a kitchen/scullery, with a fireplace (it was never used) and its own brick chimney. It had a shallow stone sink in the corner by the window and there was a cold water tap. A copper, for washing clothes, stood in another corner. The back door opened onto the farmyard and there was one window and a door (and step down) into the main living room. The kitchen may have been built of brick and was rendered.

The living room was dominated by a large table, where there was a high-backed chair where Sidney always sat (after he became blind) opposite the single sash window. This window came down almost to the level of the floor and the deep sill made a fine place to sit. There was a large fireplace within side walls, with a cast iron kitchen range - a water boiler on the left side, an oven on the right and a rack for drying clothes across the top, with a high mantelpiece over the whole. A dresser, painted black, ran the length of the room opposite the fireplace and there was always a smell of nutmeg or cinnamon in it, as it was a food cupboard. From the living room, there was a door (and step down) into the sitting room. Behind where Sidney sat, there was a door out to a small corridor with a cellar door to the right and a door to the bathroom to the left. The door out of the main room always had to be closed so that the bathroom door could be opened. There was also a small set of wooden stairs to a raised wooden floor, perhaps four feet above ground level, which formed the top of the cellar and which was used as a bedroom. There was a flight of stone steps down into the cellar. The cellar had a little natural light from a small high window and a stone slab as a table, where food was kept cold. The bathroom was built about 1929 by the Trevorrows who stayed at the farm whilst their bungalow opposite ("Dunroamin") was being built.

The sitting room also had a fireplace with a small wooden fire surround and mantelpiece and a sash window almost to the floor. To the left of the fireplace there was a small window set high in the wall, which provided a little extra light. The front door opened straight into this room and was very rarely used. The enclosed stairs up to the first floor were accessed through a door set into a wooden partition 'wall', made of diagonal slats, against which stood an upright piano. At the top of the stairs, at the left, there was the first bedroom without a door used by Sidney and Florence. A low wooden wardrobe, with curtains across the front divided the stairs from the room. At the top of the stairs and to the right (through a door and up a step), was the second bedroom. The rooms, being partly in the roof space, had sloping ceilings to the sides. The chimney stacks from the fireplaces in the rooms below, intruded into the bedrooms. Each room had one sash window that came down almost to the floor.

A son, Peter, was born in 1931 (he died in 1986) and a second daughter in 1933.

In the 1939 register, at Ingmanthorpe, Sidney Cutter was a dairy farmer with a date of birth of 24 April 1892.Florence K. Had a birth date of 15 April 1898 and her work was unpaid domestic duties.There was also Peter Cutter, at school and with a birth date of 10 July 1931.There were three others whose records are closed.


In February 1944 S. Cutter, Ingmanthorpe Farm, was advertising for a lad 14 to 15 for farm work, to live in or out and the farmhouse was described as comfortable.(Derbyshire Times and Sheffield Herald 28 January 1944)

Sidney suffered from glaucoma and became blind around 1952 when he was about 60 years old.He could tell the difference between night and day but could not distinguish anything else. From this time, his son ran the farm, helped by Florence who looked after the hens. Sidney smoked a pipe, enjoyed a game of dominoes and was able to walk along the road towards Cutthorpe unaccompanied. He was a keen follower of 'The Archers' on the radio. In about the first half of 1971, he and Florence were moved to 1 Rosene Cottages Main Road, Cutthorpe. The farmhouse had become very damp and the landlord decided that they could no longer live there. The stock and equipment were auctioned and the farm ceased to operate (the buildings and land were auctioned 11 April 1973). They were living at 1 Rosene Cottages when they celebrated their Golden Wedding. After the move, the farmhouse was gutted and became part of the outbuildings and a new house was built close by.

Sidney died 24 June 1972 at home, where he had been living for about 18 months, and is buried at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Old Brampton, Derbyshire. He was aged 80 years. Florence continued to live at 1, Rosene Cottages until she was unable to look after herself. She then lived with her daughter in Newbold, Chesterfield. Florence died on Ascension Day, 25th May 1995. She is buried with her husband. She was aged 97 years.

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Posted November 2016