Researched and written by Richard Curtis Selley and adapted by Christopher John Hogger.

This article has two parts, both written originally by Richard Curtis Selley and somewhat adapted later by Chris Hogger. The first part is concerned essentially with the descendants of John Curtis (1799-1871). Having married in 1834, he worked in Streatham as a gardener, florist and dairyman. After his death his dairying business was taken over by his son Charles and by the 1880s was located in Ewell. Charles died in 1896 and the firm was then managed by his widow Clara Isabella. It subsequently combined with Dumbrill Ltd. but in the 1920s was taken over by United Dairies, for whom Clara’s son Charles John worked for nearly a decade. In 1935 the family moved to Effingham and purchased Home Farm where they operated as C. I. Curtis Dairy Farmers Ltd. for twenty years, until selling both the business and the Home Farm property in 1955 to Cow & Gate. The family continued to maintain a presence in Effingham until 1999. The second part presents Richard’s memories of his younger years at Home Farm, where he was born.

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Recorded Interview in 1953

The recording below was made on August 25th 1953 and kindly provided to ELHG by Richard Curtis Selley together with a shorter edited version containing just the highlights. In accompanying notes he wrote the following:

The recordings were made on 25 August 1953, two years before the Curtis’s sold the farm to Cow & Gate Dairies. They were made on a tape recorder transported around the farm on a wheelbarrow. The recordings were made, and put originally onto 78rpm lacquer discs by Dick Keele, a professional sound engineer, whose voice you hear introducing and closing the edit interview. The interviewer was John Selley [Richard’s younger brother], then a 17-year old school boy at Cranleigh.

You can listen to the recording here.