Willow Farm, Button End
Summarised by Hilary Roadley with information from Nigel Schoepp
Willow Farm in Harston and a small area of land with it was bought by the Segrave family so they could change their base from Charity Farm which was just over the boundary into Haslingfield. The first building went up in the 1950s but it didn’t really take off until the 1970s, with more buildings being added as they gradually transferred everything- pigs, cattle, machinery- from Charity farm. Willow farm land had originally belonged to the Wisbeys who sold it after they stopped digging at the adjoining gravel pits. The Segraves had one field there and one crop a year- wheat, barley, sugar beet, the latter going to Harston Station then by train to Ely to the factory there.
In the past Stuart Segrave used to have about 60 breeding sows with the piglets fattened all the way through. They would be taken to Garhans in Coldhams lane to be slaughtered or Playalls at Bassingbourn, who had their own shop in Royston. Stuart’s brother John had about 40 cattle which he fattened then sold at the Cambridge Cattle Market in Cherry Hinton Rd (where cinema now is).
During the 1960s-80s Jill Thorne was allowed by the Segrave family to site her old double-decker bus there, that she lived in, as she had been moved off another site. She rescued lots of cats who also lived there with her.