The Background & history of Our Farm Shop
1919 – Great Grandad, Fred Bradford arrives at Heath Farm following the First World War.
1944 – Grandparents, Charlie and Grace Bradford gave birth to Colin Bradford (‘Dad’), in the farmhouse!
1966 – Colin and his mother, Grace, take over the running of the farm, following the passing of Charlie.
1967 - Colin becomes the Chairman of the Sawston Young Farmers.
1968 – Lesley (‘Mum’) wins the local ‘Dairy Maid of the Year’ competition and starts dating Colin, despite being 3 months older than him (VERY scandalous).
1969 – Colin and Lesley marry. Immediately upon returning from honeymoon, Lesley’s first job is to drive the tractor & plant potatoes in the back field.
1970 – Potato field gives way to many thousand mushrooms. After friends accept no more, the Bradford’s sell the mushrooms from a farm gate honesty box. The resulting funds are used to buy hens for laying eggs.
1971 – Lesley loses her wedding ring in the field whilst harvesting potatoes.
1972 – Charles Bradford is born.
1975 – Sales from potatoes and eggs grow enough for very small shop to open in the old calving room.
1977 – On farm butchery opens.
1981 – Marcus Bradford is born.
1982 – 2004 Bradford’s Farm Shop ticks over in the care of Colin and his wonderful sister, Jean.
2004 – Charles returns from the Big Smoke with the thoughts of spending 4 years developing the shop to help his parents to retire. He is soon joined by Marcus, fresh out of University. The family is united once again.
2005 – ‘Bradford’s Farm Shop’ is renamed as ‘Gog Magog Hills’. Colin and Lesley’s early retirement sees them working harder than ever before.
2007 – Charles starts work repairing the Cart Shed to create additional space.
2008 – The Cart Shed opens as a cheese shop and cafe. Miles Nicholas joins as head butcher.
2009 – Clare Rosier joins to help manage the ‘Beast’.
2010 – Lesley produces her 100,000th sausage roll (well it certainly felt that way!).
2011 – Gog Magog Hills grows to 37 staff; that’s 35 more in a very short 7 years. Eeeek!!
What is Gog Magog?
The name of our farm shop comes from the name of the two hills upon which our farm sits. But what is Gog Magog and what gave the hills their name you ask? This is something we get asked a lot and if we’re honest we don’t have an exact answer. Some say the name comes from a legendary giant whose lair was in Wandlebury Ring. Others believe it was two giants and we do know that the giants Gog and Magog are mentioned in many scriptures and appear in various folklore tales. Bones of “giants” were indeed found here (6ft giants but that was tall back then!) and so the local folk may well have named the hills after the ancient legends. Or it could simply have been the size of the two slumbering hills that prompted the name. If anyone has any other theories then we would love to hear them.