About where I live

To Decorate an Old House.

Painting and decorating, done plenty in my time,
Strip it down to bare wood; get it ready to prime,
Very old doors with ten coats, deeply engrained,
Old hinges and catches, the old look retained.

Walls with horse hair plaster, some that bulge and flex,
Lath and plaster ceilings, no light fitting ‘ll fix,
Floor boards warped and creek, gap between for dust,
No tongue and grooved in them days, just sound and robust.

Exposed beams in kitchen, white paint between if ya can,
Worse than painting window frames, wish I never began,
Beams of oak are fluted, when linseed oiled they glow,
Run down ya brush and arm, so easy does it flow.

Wall paper crooked walls; butt it up if ya able,
Lime wash on the bricks, use lot more paste than on label,
Dries so tight it leave some hollows, only half the paper stuck,
But that’s the way its got to be, else it drops off in a ruck.

Ceilings they are worse, ventually lime wash flakes,
When the paper is glued to it, extra doosh of paste,
Boarders try to get them level, dormer windows don’t help,
Keep it straight or follow the ceiling, nuff to make ya yelp.

This is why a colour wash, or lime wash for pure white,
Then bring a pattern with wallpaper, transform over night,
Get it to stick’s another job, to modernise old house,
Block up all holes in sight, deny the poor old mouse.


There's a mouse in the house (or more)

Can hear them chewing under the floor, middle of the night,
The very board bed stands on, a hole right through not quite,

There cannot be many houses these days that have mice in the house, but in the old houses where the floor boards are creaky with the odd gap or knot hole dropped out and gaps under the doors. This is just the sort of invitation mice need especially when the weather turns cold.

There's a mouse in the house (or more)

We often get winter visitors; they come in from the cold,
They find a little hole or two, and squeeze through being bold,
Then look for food and hide away, they come into our house,
Who can blame them I'd do the same, that crafty little mouse.

Can hear them chewing under the floor, middle of the night,
The very board bed stands on, a hole right through not quite,
And running along the water pipes, so warm to their little feet,
Nesting in the airing cupboard, in kitchen find crumbs to eat.

You're lucky if you see one, ya can see where they have been,
Chewing at the cornflake box, for food they're real keen,
Whole family of them hiding, wait for us to go to bed,
Then rummage round, find some food, attack the loaf of bread.

The cat he knows where they are, but he's old and doesn't care,
Our dog she sniffs and finds them, hiding under the stairs,
Barks and make a real loud noise, but come out they will not,
So all the livestock live together, I think we've lost the plot.

Countryman (Owd Fred)

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' men, Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain. for promis'd joy!

( The best laid plans for mice and men, oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!)
                               Robert Burns (1759-1796), To a mouse (Poem,    November,1785)


The Village of Seighford  in years gone by

This is our village just over a hundred years ago (1900) on the left is Village Farm

The old picture above has changed over the years, the overhanging oak tree on the right is just a stump where it was cut down to build new houses , the old black and white houses on the right were demolished fifty years ago and new bungalows stand there, it the same further up the village with old thatched houses replaced by new ones on the same sites

Coblers Cottage sixty years ago now long gone

Time and Tide not Changed

Looking back how it’s changed, stood the wind and weather,
See the houses planted their, old and new together,
Thatch houses gone and new ones to replace,
New generation of village people, life goes on apace.

New trees have grown, old ones felled and gone,
Account for most of them, remember almost every one,
Public foot paths are still walked, through far fields range.
Fields and hedges are the same, time and tide not changed.



All the village tradesmen

A hundred years ago each small community or village was all but self sufficient, all the tradesmen played their part, along with all the farms. In our village the wheelwright was also the undertaker and coffin maker

In Years Gone by the Villages

In years gone by the villages, were all so self sufficient,
Everyone lived and worked there, from the squire to the peasant,
Relied upon the land in some way, a living there to make,
The village Church and School,  n’ the pub for thirst to slake.

A blacksmiths shop at centre, of every village in the land,
A wheelwright and carpenter, a craftsman close at hand,
The cobbler in his cottage, and the mason worked with stone,
All the craftsmen in the village, they all worked from home.

The Wagoner with the shires, in shafts they worked the land,
Cowman fed the cattle, and milked the cows by hand,
Sheppherd tends his flock, to market lambs were bound,
Shear the fleece for spinning, in the cottages around.

Many men about the village, to any job can turn,
At harvest time they band together, from experience they learn,
Followed their fathers to the land, leaned from early age,
As kids they went to school, to learn to read and write a page.

In town was where produce was sold, to pay the village men,
First machines were being invented, factories to build them,
Men were drawn from the land, need more coal and steel,
Terraced houses rows and rows, streets for families not ideal.

War time took the working horses, from the farms and land,
Tractors started to appear, to do the heavy work at hand,
Improvements to these old machines, got the jobs done quicker,
Less men needed now to work, no horses to talk to and bicker.


We never needed a clock when we farmed at Church Farm

For all the years that I farmed at Church Farm, the one thing we relied on was the Church Clock, we could see  it from around the yard and see it through the front windows of the house.
We did not need clocks in the house, and after dark we could still hear it chiming the hour and quarters. There's two large weights that hang down the corner of the tower that need winding up every week, the clock workings are in a glass fronted case and is just below the bell tower.

The Old Church Clock  (ST. Chads)

The church clock chimes relentlessly, each hour that passes by,
Over look the village green, for time of day we can rely,
Wound up once a week it takes, some time to lift the weights,
Keep the pendulum a swinging, and strike the hour relates.

Two clock’s face West and South, to the village look,
Tell you the time it takes, or how long it took,
It sets the pace of village life, over all the years,
Built to last for years to come, to pace of time adheres.

This is the village Ford along the back lane in the village, that is the bridge where 60 cows nearly all filed single file over the foot bridge, the few that went through the water we through even when it was in flood, it would be to the top of the arches a good three foot deep. No udder washing when they were ready for milking.
St Chads church on the bank and Church Farm  (see below) is just round the bend on the right

Beeches Farm

(A picture of the village on the previous page will locate where each farm is)
So called after the dozen or so large Beech trees that were all by the roadside, but in more recent years had to be taken down after a high wind blew several of the across main electric wires
It was where I was brought up with three brothers, this picture taken in the 1950's, notice the old brick farm building to the right with its loft where grain was stored and poured down into a grist mill for feeding to the horses and cattle

Yews Farm house  where I live now, similar pattern of house, Beeches built 1860 and Yews built some fifty years before that, the newer one has a slightly higher roof and did not need the dormer windows in the roof, the houses are one at each end of the village half a mile apart.

This is Church Farm , where I started farming, farmed there from 1960 to 1985. It is situated a hundred yards down the road from The Yews.

I've included some picture of the land and farms round here, in particular to show all the hedge rows that divide every field

This is taken from the back of our farm, its the hedge rows your supposed to be looking at, they are ancient hedges containing as many as thirty different species of hedge plants, they are now trimmed every years with a tractor mounted hedge cutter,

 This is a Google satellite picture, shows up the hedge row trees dotted about all over the farms, every field is divided by well trimmed hedges, usually about five or six foot high and four or five foot wide. The narrow strip of woodland trees in the middle of the picture is the same trees as in the picture bellow, (top left)

This picture taken from the air is of a field I wrote an advert all across for our local village fete, it was done with the tractor and grass topper in sixty foot letters. Again its the hedges and the hedgerow trees that typify the land scape in the midlands of the UK. Further north into the Pennines, that's the spine of northern England fields are divided with dry stone walls, and the same in many parts of Wales

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