Video thumbnail, Owner of Stott Hall Farm talks about living in the middle of the M62
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Video:Mark Waugh

It splits a motorway in half and is arguably the best-known farm in Britain.

When the M62 was built on the moors above Huddersfield in the late 1960s the engineers constructed it around Stott Hall Farm close to Scammonden and between Outlane and Rishworth Moor.

The man who owned it at the time was Ken Wild, who lived there with wife Joyce and dozens of sheep.

The myth is that he refused to budge and so forced the motorway contractors to build around him.

But a 1983 documentary now released online shows it’s just that ... a myth.

The ITV film – which was under the banner of Clegg’s People – is just one of hundreds of nostalgic films now on the web – and many have been unseen since they were first shown.

They have been released by the British Film Institute (BFI) and form part of its Britain On Film collection.

Watch the film below - it's brilliant!

The 26-minute documentary is fascinating – perhaps simply for the fact that the amount of vehicles using the motorway at that time was clearly far fewer than today.

And farmer Wild – far from being the wild rebel you may think he was – comes across as a smiley, relaxed chap who speaks with a Lancashire accent.

And he reveals the motorway had to be built around the farmhouse because a geological fault beneath it would have been a massive task to overcome.

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As journalist Michael Clegg states: “A geological fault beneath the farmhouse meant it was more practical for engineers to leave it rather than blast through and destroy it.”

And he added: “Outside the noise is relentless but inside it’s as peaceful and cosy as any farmhouse.”

Ken’s father John William took the lease on the farmhouse in 1934 and Ken and Joyce were glad they were able to remain, be it with thousands of vehicles passing by every day.

Not that it really bothered them.

How the house and M62 looked in 1983

Ken remarried to Beth who came to live with him at the farm.

Quietly-spoken Beth said living next to the motorway didn’t help with the cleaning.

“If it’s dry it’s always dusty,” she said. “If it’s wet spray goes on the windows.”

And they stocked up for the harsh winters.

Ken revealed this typically meant a side of beef, half a dozen lambs and a pig.

A traditional sheep farmer, he had four working border collie sheepdogs, wore a tweed jacket and trousers while working on the moor and carried a large crook to catch the sheep.

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The couple had seen a few accidents in their time, including fatals involving vehicles crashing in the 15 acres plot in the middle of the motorway.

But the nearest they came to disaster was 4.20am one morning when a 32ft lorry ended up overturned in their yard.

“The driver climbed out through the windscreen,” said Beth.

“He wasn’t hurt at all.”

And the benefits of living where they did?

“It’s having no neighbours,” said Beth.