Former puppy farm that was often in the local news regarding poor living quarters,alleged mistreatment of dogs and the selling of dogs that often died after new owners took delivery of the young animals..the RSPCA were always closing down the business,but the owner John Lowe simply ignored them and carried on.
On February 23rd 2014,Mr Lowe,who purchased Keepers Cottage in 1966,shot and killed his partner and then her daughter,who tried to flee and get help,but died just outside the cottage.Police arrived and arrested Mr Lowe who was found guilty of double murder later that year and jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 25 years so it is likely he will die in prison.From information on several estate agents websites,it seems the 6 acre estate has been sold but last year planning permission was refused for one plan to demolish the cottage and build 3 dwellings so as of January 2018,I have no idea what will happen.We arrived at dawn and immediately noticed red flashing cameras mounted firstly at the gated entrance then further down the track mounted on a telegraph pole and one fixed on the cottage all flashing busily.We were considering retreating however we decided to skirt round the outbuildings to escape the cameras if indeed that is what they are and not dummy alarms which I suspect they are...I have to say I found this explore both intriguing but disturbing at the same time and was glad to leave..I have not felt this way since exploring Cane Hill Asylum in 2008.
My pics are only phone shots so please excuse..
Found this on Google Earth to show how haphazard this place is/was
We arrive as the sun is filtering through the trees..this cottage sits within a six acre plot nicely hidden by the woods.
The farm is surrounded by shanty type buildings largely held together with telegraph poles.
Truly awful animal pens..I cannot imagine this was any better before the old man`s conviction.
We skirt round the rear of the house avoiding the cameras
Amphitheatre style seating/steps.
Living room..very surprised to see that this fire place didnt seem to have been used for open fires.
View from the master bedroom.
And the enormous conservatory built round two elevations.
I am glad I saw all this but upon exiting the house,some strange bleeping noise started so it was our excuse to leave!
By Ninja Kitten
ive been rather intrigued by this littleone for a long time..ide wander past several times last summer and have a little peek but could never really figure the place out...was some one living in it or not?? A closer peep a few weeks ago had me spinning on my head ( well you know what i mean ) Time to grab my besty PS and pay her a little more closer attention...we decided on the time and the was no stopping us...snow up to the top of my wellies my road blocked and it was truley perishing out... but the was no keepin PS in... i heard the familiar PEEP PEEP " get up T**T its splore time.. grin from ear to ear " and a barage of bashes on my door..it was four am and im pearing out the door at knee high snow hmmmm:) "Lets go!"!! Whoop! so here she is.....
The seamstress's Cottage....
Over to PS now.....
Well here is my first report on the site so please be gentle !!
Wasn't sure what to expect with this it was either going to be a fail or a quick mooch round a yard but how wrong I was !
Was there for several hours and the place is a lot bigger than it looks and relatively untouched, it made for an enjoyable morning and a lot of pictures to go through. Below is a History of the place and then the pics. There were also some resedential properties here but were all much of the same and not of any real interest....
The British pig industry owes a huge debt of gratitude to its centre of research and development done here.
The UK pig industries Development Unit, in Bedfordshire was opened by Lord Belstead, Minister of State (Lords), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods in November 1984.
Over the years it has undergone many changes but has always been at the forefront of research firmly aimed at delivery of practical opportunities, work which could be quickly disseminated and implemented on working pig farms.
At its peak the unit employed 10 staff and had 300 sows farrow to finish. However major changes in the industry and a fundamental shift in the strategy of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) meant it was no longer needed and over the last six months has been gradually wound down.
The final piece of research work was completed in May 2007, part of the Defra LINK ï¿½3.5m weaner research programme. The centre's part was to look at weaner diets that maximised the use of home-grown cereals and oilseeds. To the end, the stock performed excellently with weaning to slaughter growth rates of 740g/day and grower to slaughter in excess of 1050g/day.
A BPEX Director of Pig Industry Development said: "It has been a huge asset to the industry over the years and we are sad to see it go. "BPEX carried out a major review of its research and development and unfortunately itdidn't fit into the new perspective."
Research over the years
Over the years, the work has included:
- Introduction of soya bean meal to pig diets
- Copper sulphate as a growth promoter
- Evaluation of commercial genotypes for sow productivity, growth
- Performance and carcase and meat quality (Stotfold First Trial)
- Development of ultrasound technology for carcase composition
- Blueprint for pig meat eating quality
- Stotfold sow lactation feeding strategy
- Phase-feeding - protein requirements of commercial genotypes
- Established speed of growth and pork tenderness were positively
- Liquid feeding offers savings of 14p/kg dead weight
- Liquid feeding halves the percentage of pigs testing positive for Salmonella at slaughter
BPEX has been exploring the redevelopment of the site and planning permission is being applied for.
Visited with one non member
Hidden away in a country lane is this little gem full to the brim with personal treasures and memories.
I spent hours looking through stuff and reading old letters from the 1920's onwards
Some of the letters were so sad i shed a tear