The Drover or 'Cow Walloper' based on Percy Andrews
Before the cattle market moved out of town, livestock was sold in the market square which involved the movement of all sorts of animals around town. At the end of market day, cattle travelling off to their new ‘homes’ by train would leave from the Milford Goods Yard on what was then the Southampton Road (now
Tollgate Road). This necessitated them being driven up Milford Street and along Rampart Road by the drovers, who worked for the auctioneers.
One of the drovers was Percy (‘Porky’) Andrews, remembered by nearly all of our interviewees with great affection. A very large man, Percy was incredibly strong – he could pull market stalls on his own to set them up on market day. He also had a large appetite for beer, and many a pub story abounds about Percy’s drinking prowess!
Percy’s second cousin Juliet Brain says: “...according to family lore, he was ….well known in all the market square hostelries as the farmers and traders would leave a pint behind the bar for him by
way of thanks and one young boy would be posted at the entrance to the cut through… (from the Market Square to Brown Street)… to pass him his final pint which he would down and return to the boy
without breaking stride in his cattle droving!”
Margery Bodger (born on Culver Street in 1921) remembers Percy at The Crystal Fountain pub, formerly on Milford Street: “…Our Mum used to send me down on Tuesday nights around 8 o’clock… to see (if) Percy Andrews was there. And, of course, you know Percy was a cow walloper….and if there was any cattle left over that never went by transport he had to wait for the next day… he used to milk them and he used to come back to the Crystal with the bucket of milk…Our Mum used to send me down there… to take the jug down and I’d have a jug of milk”.
Percy was still “swinging his cane and hollering” (Rita Jacob) well into the 1950s, but ill health and the rise of road transport put paid to his cow walloping days.