The phrase “They don’t make ‘em like that anymore” applies not only to this farmstead but the people who lived there.The three houses, two barns and eight-and-a-half acres of land that make up Cliff Hill Farm in Shelley, near Holmfirth, were home to the Griffiths family who lived there from 1927. The last surviving member, Darryl Griffiths, passed away earlier this year just 12 months after the death of his father, Desmond. The property is now up for auction with Simon Blyth with a guide price of £500,000.Desmond and Darryl were well known characters in the Holmfirth area and specialised in agricultural engineering and contracting. They were also big-hearted. With no direct relatives to pass their home and livelihood onto, they agreed their estate should be split between the RSPCA and Kirkwood Hospice.
The site has a staggering amount of potential says Simon Blyth
Simon Blyth, who has known the family since childhood, is handling the sale and says: “Desmond and Darryl were lovely people and they loved the farm. At one time there were various aunts and uncles who lived there too.“It was on my way home from school and I used to call in and chat to Desmond in his workshop. He was a very clever man and the bit of German I know I picked up there because he’s always had German opera playing full blast.”Simon also had the job of clearing out the properties and says: “Along with 250 items we were able to auction for the charities, we filled 49 skips. They were like Hannah Hauxwell, they never threw anything away in case it might come in.”Some of the belongings told stories. “There was a briefcase with letters and tickets detailing how one of Desmond’s sisters went to Canada to rescue her brother who was there and had run out of money.“It was the 1940s and she left that little farm on the hill to go to Canada and sort her brother out.”A practical “mend and make do” approach was always applied at Cliff Hill Farm, as noted in one of the houses where the bottom six steps of the staircase are missing. It was a practical solution to stop elderly and frail Auntie Mary risking a fall while attempting to get upstairs.Cliff Farm, which has spectacular views, is between the villages of Shelley and Lower Cumberworth, near Holmfirth.The houses are in need of renovation and the two barns have potential for conversion.The property is for sale by auction at the Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield on August 1 at 7pm and is open to view every Tuesday and Friday between 4pm-5.30pm. For details visit www.simonblyth.co.uk