Wlanut Tree Farm

tm 263, on the corner of Gipping Road and Rendall Lane. An earlier name was Poplar Farm – not to be confused with the Poplar Farm along Saxham Street.

In 1904 and 1916 George Brame is at the farm. Following the death of H.F. Harward he moved to Poole’s farm (near the Green, not to be confused with Pool or Pooley’s farm which was an earlier name for Gipping Farm.

 Herbert Simper worked there for a time.

William King (from Bramford) bought the farm and in the 1920’s and in 1927 Robert  Allard and Doris King moved in.

It was the childhood home of Mary Bloom, whose parents were Robert Allard and Doris King . Pre 1947 the farm was mainly arable with cows kept for their milk.The  family delivered milk around the village and Stonham  using a hand cart that was donated to the Museum of East Anglian Life (now The Food Museum, Stowmarket) . Villagers would leave their back door open and Mary or her sister would ladle the expected amount of milk into a waiting bowl.

In 1947 the milk round was sold off and the cows as well.

A press cutting from 2/11/1973 told how local people had dragged this motor section of a WW2 V2 rocket from the ditch where it had been left for 29 years to the entrance gate of Walnut Tree Farm.

The cutting explained that it was believed to gave been the first ever V2 rocket to crash in this country. In September  1944 it had exploded  in mid-air strewing wreckage over several miles. Although no one was injured the sound ot the explosion gave everyone a scare. This section landed in a field on the farm. At the time it was dumped into a nearby ditch.

Recently Mary and Cyril Bloom (daughter and son-in-law of the farmer Mr Robert Allard) had used a tractor to move it as Mary planned to plant it up with flowers.

The article concluded with a comment from Cpl Alan Hunter who although based at RAF Wattisham* lived in Stowupland. He explained that the rocket would have been 46ft tall, five and a half feet across and weighed 5 and 1/2 ton.

*Wattisham is no longer a RAF base.

The farm subsequently specialised in duck farming and then pigs. During the 2010’s as well as being a working farm it had a farmshop and cafe. The farm shop sold craft goods, housed the post office and an ATM.

The PO and ATM facilities ceased at the end of  2018, with the closure of the farm shop and cafe.

By 2020 just prior to the Covid-19 lockdown a new cafe and gift shop had started trading..