The Reuben Stone Farm Day Book was deposited at Herefordshire Archives Service by Fownhope Local History Group and Community Archive (FLHG&CA). Now online here
It is an object of humble origins, and therein lies its importance, for Herefordshire is noted nationally for its long-lasting tradition of yeomanry farms but there is a scarcity of evidence for the activities that took place. This account book and diary of a smallholding covers the years 1906 to 1928, a period that features rapid changes in the rural economy and includes WW1. Reuben Stone was combining farming with a milk round, cider production, and building work, all recorded here. The book was used regularly; the economy of the entries suggests a busy man who yet made sure he captured the essentials of every day’s key events and transactions.
The crumbling pages have barely survived the multiple perils of poor quality materials, frequent use, mould, insects and a spillage of undetermined origin but definite destructiveness:
After washing and re-sizing, the pages were supported with moistenable tissue on a vacuum suction table. Holes were infilled with Japanese paper adhered with wheat starch paste .Following digitization the manuscript was rebound in a functional and sympathetic style and is now available for consultation.
The Archive Service invited FLHG&AC visitors during the conservation treatment, who included direct descendants of Reuben Stone. Volunteers from FLHG&CA were trained to digitize and index the manuscript, which is available at Herefordshire History