Alan Neaves was born in Orwell, Cambridgeshire, in May 1943. His Mother Eva’s family farmed at Chatteris and it was here that Alan spent all the time he could out in the fields with men and horses. Back home in Orwell, from the age of ten he worked as ‘Saturday boy’ for Arnold Brothers, the only local farmers that still farmed with horses at West Farm, Orwell, and it was here that he continued working full time with Shires when he left school at fifteen.
Bruce Miller worked on the farm and also ran a part time coal round. When Bruce retired through ill health in 1967, although only twenty four Alan took over and then acquired another coal round to go with it.
It was now that horses came to the fore again as Alan decided to deliver all the local coal by horse power. This he did until his last horse, Captain, retired in 1993. Captain died of old age six years later aged twenty eight.
This is the story of Alan’s life firstly of working the Cambridgeshire land with horses and with anecdotes and wisdoms from those that he worked with, then culminating in his affection and mutual respect for Captain and others, his trusty partners in the coal delivery business.
Alan’s stories carry with them the wisdom of generations passed down through experienced horsemen from the age when the horse was a vital part of life. This is the sharing of that experience.
Time: 58 minutes Produced: May 2005
Product Code: NLDV17