Friday, 29 April 2011

Back Home

It's been a whirlwind week. No sooner had we had the Easter weekend, then Henry and I were off on our "holiday". When I retired in December the Directors at Lakeland gave me a two night break anywhere I wanted (for me and guest, so I took Henry!). I knew we wouldn't be able to get away until most of the stock was out so April was about as soon as we could hope for. The date was sealed when I saw that Bellowhead were at York Opera House on 27th April. Everything slotted into place - last year when it was our Ruby Wedding, my friends in the IT Department gave us Ticketmaster vouchers, which we could now use.

So, two days of not having to think about meals, and especially welcome, being able to sleep in.

Wednesday night we went to see Bellowhead. A band to be experienced live. If you've never heard them - or better seen them (look them up on YouTube, or on their website) - don't be misled by the words "folk music". The subjects may sometimes be grim (e.g. Cholera), or bawdy or even sentimental, but the treatment is their own. Traditionally they're a band to watch at a standing venue as it's very hard to keep still. Fortunately for those of us not as fit as we should be, this was a seated concert. We were right at the front and felt very much part of the action.

Compared to the Saw Doctors last week? No contest. Sorry Saw Doctors.

We were back home by yesterday afternoon and Henry was soon out picking stones off the ploughing. All good things etc.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Nature Walk

It's been a wonderful Easter weekend - full of sunshine and children. Yesterday our four older grandsons went on what used to be called (when I was at school) a Nature Walk. The bluebells are not quite at their best yet, but there was still plenty to see.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Nest Day Two

Not sure where the mud's come from - it's very dry everywhere at the moment

Spot The Ball


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Porch Watch 2011

. . . and this time we have the technology!

Our favourite blackbird family is back. Last year they raised three broods in their nest in the porch - each one built on top of the other. Early this year we removed the old nests and hoped the empty building plot would be tempting. And since yesterday they've been busy and a fresh new nest is ready. This is a quick photo, but in the next few days we'll bring the camera back from Kingfisher Watch and set it up on Blackbird Watch.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

It's not all work and no play

Last night Henry came in from work early and we headed off down that long cul-de-sac to Ulverston. We had tickets for a Saw Doctors concert at Ulverston and we wanted to get there in good time, as though we had tickets, they were for "unreserved (balcony) seating" and we wanted to get the best possible seats. In the end we were there far too early as the doors didn't open till seven o'clock, but by then we were in a queue waiting behind the closed door so we got to sit in the middle of the front row of the balcony. Downstairs was standing only, and when we (or rather I) were younger and fitter is where we would have been. There's definitely more atmosphere in with an interactive crowd.  Maybe it's another sign of getting old, but the seats were not the comfiest in the world and the legroom severely restricted (even for those of us with shorter legs). But the most telling sign of incipient old age was that  - it was very loud! Maybe it was the acoustics, or maybe the sound equipment was not set up just right (there was quite a bit of fiddling about during the set), or maybe it was just us. We've seen the Saw Doctors many times since the 90's in venues as different as Leicester De Monfort Hall, Buxton Opera House (very grand), The Dome at Morecambe (not so grand), Preston Guild Hall (dodgy car park - our car was broken into and the stereo stolen)  and many more in between.  Being very nit-picker this was not the best we've been to. To me there were too many newer songs and the atmosphere certainly changed during them, and came alive again when the old favourites were played. Would we go to see them again? Yes definitely (but I would play the newest album more before hand to become more familiar with the songs.)

The Saw Doctors used to have a good website; but while looking the same, the speed is now appallingly slow, and I suspect it is being ignore in favour of the Facebook page. I'm not subscribed to Facebook, but anyone can look (but not comment). And you can catch them on their YouTube channel.

And next week, we're off to something completely different - a Bellowhead concert - more to follow, but for a taster look at their website or YouTube Channel.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lambing Live

Did you watch the recent Lambing Live?

Only when it was all over did we realise that Henry's paternal grandmother (Frances) was born at Easgill Head (the farm featured). The census of 1901 shows the Robinson family there - about half way down the page. The family tree is a bit confusing as Frances Robinson married Arthur Robinson - no relation.

Frances was not actually at home at the time of the census, but at a private school in Penrith (about 10 lines down the page)

Out into the fresh air

This is it - summer really is on the way. We've just taken 27 in-calf heifers up onto The Lots. Less to feed and muck out, but a bit farther to go to check them. So it now takes less time to do up, and there's more time for other work.

Update - the time has come; the milk cows are going back out tonight. It really is summer.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Digging and Draining

On Tuesday James, Michelle and the boys went to Diggerland near Durham  - a theme park with a definite theme - diggers! Young and old get to operate a multitude of machines and it was voted a great success. Yesterday James was back on our own mini digger, digging a ditch for a new drain (at the bottom of Strickley Hill, which is persistently wet) before we reseed. I'm not sure why he didn't ask for help from Robert and Chris. Today Henry wheeled out our home made gizmo for unwrapping a coil of pipe and laying it in the ditch.

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I posted an advert for 2 bulls and today one of them has gone off to Carlisle - Strickley Bruce (guess where his father came from!). It was a case of buy one get one - not free but for almost the sames price, as the buyer also bought Goldie 162 (a 5th calver and veteran of several shows). I'm sure they'll do well in their new home.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sunny Afternoon

What do you do on a sunny Sunday (and Saturday)?

Roll the fields?
Paint your windows?
Sit and read outside?

Guess who did what (of Henry, James and Kathleen)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Not heard for 5 months

"I'll have to go and get the cows in"

Out to grass

This morning I missed one of my favourite events. The milk cows went out for the first time after being inside all winter. I believe there was the usual giddiness and kicking of heels but none was captured on film. We've been planning turnout all week, just waiting for the ground to dry up a bit. It's not that we're running short of silage, but we want to graze three fields that we're going to reseed. We are going to sow Triticale, undersown with grass and the current pasture needs to be eaten off before ploughing. In case you wondering about Triticale, click this link to watch a video all about it. (Sorry - not the most exciting film in the world!).

I was on Red Alert to film turnout, but in the end I was tied up turning 5 loaves and 2 fishes into dinner for five. As I had no loaves and no fish it was a casserole and crumble from the freezer. Two visitors from Australia (New South Wales) called in to see our herd. They were "just passing" and detoured off the M6 on the way to Scotland.

It is a lovely warm sunny day; but unfortunately I can't tell how warm, as we haven't fixed our thermometer issue.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Here it is . .

. . .summer.

First swallow seen at Strickley (a week later than last year).

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Strickley before the Robinsons

A word of warning - this is quite a long post!

For the past few years I have been expanding the family tree (started by Henry's dad in 1975) and can trace Henry's family back to 17th Century with a fair degree of accuracy (and help from other researchers), but the family never settled at Strickley until 1875. The farm history is a big project waiting for me to get stuck into. We know who was living here in 1841 (the first complete census year).
William Edmonson took over the tenancy in 1822, from William Speight.
We can see who was here in 1851, 1861 and 1871 from the censuses (is that the right spelling?).



And by the 1881 census, the Robinsons had arrived.

But we now know a bit more. A fortnight ago a keen (very keen) genealogist from America called at Strickley . Bridget Machell from Georgia, USA, is researching her family history (in a much, much more professional and in depth way than I have ever done) and knew that her ancestor Leonard Maychell was living at Strickley in 1718. He was mentioned in the administration of his brother-in-law's(William Denison) will in March 1718. Bridget has scanned the will and painstakingly transcribed most of it. Some is in Latin (not quite the classical Latin I did at KHS in the sixties). I have added  the scans and copied the transcriptions

Latin (partially translated)
…………………………………….……………Margrettam Denison of
Whinfell parish of Kirkby Kendal in County of Westmorland widow relict
& Leonardam Maychell of Strickley in New Hutton in County aforesaid
7 day March Anno Domini 1718

The Condition of this obligation is such That if the above bounden Margaret Dennison shall do well & truly Execute & perform the Last Will & Testament of William Dennison late of Harad in the parish of Kirkby Kendal deceased & do pay all his Debts & Legacies so far as his Goods will Extend & the Law shall bind her if also she do Exhibit into Court a true & perfect Inventory of the Deceased[’]s Goods & personal Estate & Give the Court a true & just Accompt thereof when she shall be thereunto Lawfully called That then this obligation to be void or also in force.

Margretta Dennison
Leonard Maitshall

Sealed & Delivered
in the presence of Us

Marma: _ambert
James Holmes

In the name of God Amen February 24 1718 I William Denison of Harad in Whinfell and in the County of Westmorland being in good and perfect Remembrance praise be God for the same do make and ordain this my Last will and testament as follows Imprimis I commit my soul into the hand of Almighty God hoping to have full pardon for all my sins through Jesus Christ my Redeemer and my body to be buried at the discretion of my wife and Relations and as such worldly goods as God has been pleased to endow me with all I give and bequeath as follows First I give to my daughter Mary twenty pounds if she Attains the age of twenty one years of age but if she die before then I give and bequeath that twenty pounds as follows Item I give to Leonard Metchal[’s] Children twenty shillings a piece and to Robert Denison five pounds and to Robert[’s] daughter three pounds and to George Ayrey[’s] son three pounds and to George[’s] daughter two pounds and all these Legacies if not to be paid till after the decease of my wife and the Rest of my goods and chattels I give to my wife Margaret whom I make Executrix paying all my Debts and Legacies and funeral Expenses Supervisors of this my Last will and testament I appoint Henry Denison and Robert Denison and Anthony Denison and Leonard Metchal [&] give to them twelve pence a piece to see this my Last will performed

William Denison

Thomas Jackson jurat

The Inventory of all the Goods and chattels belonging to William Denison of Harrad in Whinfell and in the County of Westmorland prized the Twenty Seventh day of February one Thousand Seven hundred and Eighteen prized by Anthony Denison and Leonard Meachall and George Ayrey and John Lowes

Imprimis purse & apparel 10 00 00
Item cloth 00 10 00
Item Bedstocks and Bedding 4 0 0
Item Chests and Tables 1 5 0
Item Chairs and Cushions Stools 0 6 0
Item wood vessel and other things 1 16 0
Item brass pewter & other things 5 2 0
Item Sacks and pokes 0 10 00
Item Saddles and Bridles 0 10 0
Item meal beef & cheese 4 0 0
Item girdle brandreth 0 7 0
Item a Cupboard 0 10 0
Item plows & plow gear 1 4 0
Item husbandry gear 1 0 0
Item Carts wheels and wheel wood 1 6 0
Item hay & corn 7 10 0
Item Beasts 42 0 0
Item Horses ? 0 0
Item Sheep in all 26 10 0
Item manure and peat 1 0 0
Item Bigg (barley) ? 6 ?
117 12 8

Debts owing by the deceased 56 0 5
Then _____ _____ 61 12 3

7 Martii 1718 ………………
…………………Margrettam Dennison
Marma: _ambert

Summer edges closer

Today the first stock has gone outside after being inside for winter. Six dry cows have headed off down the paddock and he rest to follow over the next few weeks.

Six less to feed and muck out, but still to check daily.