The Batley family probably came to Corsham in the early 1880’s.
They were farmers, and John Batley, who originally came from Suffolk, had farmed at Sheldon Manor, Chippenham for many years, before coming to Corsham to take on a farm at Pockeridge.
The 1881 census shows the family temporarily in residence at The Duke of Cumberland Public House in Priory Street. At this time John’s family numbered ten: the parents and eight children.
Two more children were to follow, James in 1885 and Edith the following year.
It was James who, having married in 1909 opened a dairy shop at the corner of High St & Priory St in about 1910. It had previously been ‘Mrs Flint’s Bakery’, but in 1928 James changed course, to run the dairy at Priory Farm.
After his death in 1948 his daughter Joan (by then Mrs Webb, pictured at the dairy in the 1930s) carried on the dairy business, followed in turn by her daughter Sonia and son Paul.
The Corsham Dairies finally ceased trading, but Sonia continued to run a B&B at the Old Parsonage – the family home in Pickwick village at the junction with Priory Street.
By the mid 1990’s this was relinquished to a Melksham businessman, and another 100 years of Corsham family life came to an end.