have been a family of Aylesbury Duck Breeders and Poultry farmers since
circa 1775, Emily-Jane Fairey brought 6 ducks and 2 drakes to Chesham
from her home in Askett (Bucks) in 1893, when she married George Henry
Waller of Botley, a village just on the outskirts Chesham. This was her
“dowry” as her parents could ill afford to help her financially.
Her parents had been breeding and rearing Aylesbury Ducklings all their
lives, as had her grandparents and great grandparents going back into
the late 1700’s. The ducks given to her were to help with the
family income, as it was for the vast majority of duck breeders in the
villages around Aylesbury. Duck breeding was very much a cottage
industry, large numbers of farm labourers etc used the money gained to
supplement their meagre wages, each kept small numbers of ducks, very
few reared ducks as a full time job or in large numbers.
George Henry and Emily-Jane started their small business on rented ground on the “baulks” (the old Saxon terraced fields on the slopes above Chesham) keeping ducks and chickens all year round, geese and turkeys for the Christmas trade, as well as a few pigs and goats.
As things progressed they moved to a piece of ground in Chartridge Lane and built a bungalow in 1921 this was when my father Lawrence (Loll) became a full time duck and poultry breeder. In 1947 he brought fields and woodland further up the lane overlooking the Pednor Valley, the property on which we still carry on the very same business. So without a break the family, I am proud to say, have been Aylesbury duck breeders and poultry keepers for well over 200 years.