How lovely it is to work in the old Victorian forge especially with people who are willing students. For my part, in between helping, I forged a small peening hammer. It’s a joy to make your own tools and one can say only a blacksmith truly is the master as he will make the tools for all and sundry.
So it was the ramshead hook again but such a lovely project as it involves many blacksmithing techniques. Much to learn especially how to use a hammer effectively. “A hammer?” I hear you say, “what could be easier to use?”!!!!!! Well, if you use it all day you won’t, not if you don’t know how to make it easy to use, plus you’ll leave big dent marks in your project. And then, at the end of the day, there’s nothing better than a bitter to wet your throat.
On to May’s work… fencing was the main work of the month. Buttercups Field near The Woodyard was in need of some grazing animals so, after much ado splitting oak for fence and gate posts, we hammered them in with the trusty old Bryce Sumo post thumper – a work horse in the spring months. We even added in our dragon teeth gates in the ditches to stop livestock from escaping.
Other fences that needed urgent repair (well in fact complete renewal) were the ones surrounding the garden. The old posts were stripped of wire and skipped while the defunct stock wire was recycled. Spring is always set aside for the estate fencing.
Below is a gallery of the spring vegetation and other wildlife seen on the estate.
The end of May is sheep shearing time and just before I departed for Romania my nine Norfolk Horn ewes had a crew cut and I honed my skills in readiness for the sheep shearing course when I returned. The course was full with most wishing to learn because they had a small flock of sheep but some just wanted an experience day to find out how hard the work actually was.
Some architectural photographs on the estate, can you guess where they are? Some are much more difficult to place than others…
One small job we had to do was for the village community of Orwell. Andy Klose Engineering had been asked to fabricate a steel support for the old mulberry tree and we (Wimpole Estate) had been asked if it was possible to install the said item. No problem, always pleased to oblige and help the local community.
Darn! The Ford needed a full restoration of the engine, meanwhile John the engineer brought his trailer along to pick up some wood. What I wouldn’t give for a decent trailer for the countryside team.
One new piece of equipment I bought myself was the Sportdog tracker trainer system. A lot of money but, having used it, I would thoroughly recommend it as my stress levels have somewhat disappeared.
Meanwhile the farm crops looked ok, the rye exceptionally so. However the spring wheat looks like it will suffer from dry weather, we shall see at harvest time…