Godmanchester Cambridgeshire Community Association Online

Wilfrid Goulty (Bill)

Bill, as he was affectionately known, was born in December 1932 and arrived in Godmanchester when he was very young.  He lived in Cambridge Villas with his father, who had eight cows and a milk round.

According to Bill, there were 13 people that milked cows and sold their milk in Godmanchester at that time.  The milk round became bigger, and when his father had a herd of 28 cows they then started sending the milk to Keith Wright Dairies in Fenstanton, which later became Dairy Crest and is now being developed for housing.

The family moved from Cambridge Villas when his father bought a prefab house at the top of Berry Lane.  Bill lived there with his two sisters, Pat Magee (deceased) and May Cade, who has outlived them both.  Times were hard, and his father used to keep Bill away from school to help him on the Farm.

Bill moved out of dairy products about 25 years ago, when milk started to become a commodity, and then started to rear beef.

He never married, but apparently had a few near misses. His true love though was his farm, and he loved his cats and chickens; even six weeks before he passed away he was still feeding them.

Bill was a hard worker, but enjoyed a very modest style of living.  His dwelling still had earth floors and very few modern facilities, but he did enjoy life.  His one luxury was his radio, but no TV.

Although he left no direct descendants, Bill’s two sisters had nine children between them, some of whom still live in Godmanchester.

Bill was a man of Godmanchester and when he heard that the Godmanchester Rovers Senior Football Club were in need of better facilities and a bigger ground, he decided to sell some of his land for development.  A small field in London Road, now known as Martin’s Field, was developed for housing and he then gave a nine-acre site, known as Bearscroft Lane Football Ground, but since renamed the David Wilson Homes Stadium. This was a very contentious development at the time, but by comparison with today’s large development at Roman’s Edge, was small scale.  The Football Club have a plaque in their club room commemorating Bill’s memory and generosity.

His funeral was befitting of a man that had never adjusted to modern life; he was carried through the Town by 2 black horses pulling a glass hearse.

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