Herds of cattle were a common sight in the
past. Before refrigerated lorries, herds of cattle had to be walked to the
market, fed on the way on the commons and heaths. Some were brought down from
Wales, Scotland and Northern England to be sold at the larger towns. Large
droves of cattle often came through Everton on their way to the markets at St
Neots and St Ives. There were usually
three men with them: one went in front to close any gates left open and to
stand at road junctions to guide the cattle on their way, while the other two
men walked behind and waved people to keep out of the way.
One such drover who lived in Everton was
"Tacky" Gilbert. He had been
a cattle drover all his life and when he grew old he could not stay indoors but
was always roaming around the fields.
He always wore a straw hat summer and winter, but one night he did not
come home, so the men of the village went in search of him. They found him dead under a hedge, dying in
the open fields he had loved all his life. (Hilda Brooker’s notes)