Monday, 31 December 2012

Confusing weather reports

While trying to correct an anomaly in the weather report I managed to completely screw up something else - so if you see an odd graph, or funny figures, please ignore them.

I'm hoping it will all correct itself overnight!

Sunday, 30 December 2012


As ever there is a lot of water about. All day yesterday it fell from the skies, and the fields are so sodden they can't take any more, and it lies in small ponds and large puddles.

But yesterday there was one place with no water - Strickley taps. At dinnertime we turned on the cold tap and nothing came out. Quick investigation showed there was none going to James' house, and more importantly the cattle troughs throughout the buildings. We rang the help line at United Utilities and explained our problem. The magic words were "dairy farm" and 200+ animals with no water. While the call was passed to the engineers Henry and James drove up and down the road to try and spot a burst (the mains runs under the road). There was a lot of water on the road, but nothing gushing. United Utilities arrived and also tried to find the burst.

Meanwhile we began to put contingency plans in place. A few years ago we dug a borehole and eventually connected the water to the main cattle housing (if you search "borehole" you'll see all the details - including the "magic" involved). While there is always plenty of water, the pump does have a tendency to trip, so we have to watch carefully when we use it. So we switched to borehole water and setup a brighter warning light to show if/when it had tripped. We also have a rain harvesting system than gathers water from various roofs and stores in a tall tower, which supplies the heifers. So we gathered as many barrels and buckets etc as possible to fill from that for the calves. It's not safe for us to drink so we nipped to Asda for some large bottles of water. There was still enough water in the hot washing system in the dairy to wash out, so milking was not a problem. And the welly washing trough was full of rainwater, so we had something to flush the toilets!

By now United Utilities had a arrived in force and worked out a plan that involved installing a valve in the mains that meant we would get water from the part of the mains the other side of the burst (I think!). They set up with flashing lights etc and waited for the digger and some special part (from Salford).

** having thought about it, I may have completly misunderstood this - but it does involve a valve of some sort, and feeding from a different "zone".

Having no fresh water in the house we were forced to have a takeaway and wine for supper. We left UU to it and went to bed (having been promised a phone call when they were finished). About 11:30 the pipes in the house started gurgling so Henry got up to check what was happening. Water on tap!

The fix with a valve is just a temporary measure I think as UU still have to find the burst, but we're very grateful for all their efforts in working out a way to get the water flowing to us. We do know that the main impetus was to get water to the stock and parlour, and that if were just a domestic house it may not have been as quick. It puts us in our place!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Guess what we're having for dinner!

We've even got the sneezing courtesy of grandsons

Monday, 24 December 2012

A day off tomorrow?

No, of course not. But we do want to have more time indoors enjoying Christmas. So the alarm is set for 5 o'clock.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Busy day today

Christmas is fast approaching - much faster than usual (or so it seems) - and I've not yet got near the bottom of my "to do " list. All the trees are up, and the kitchen decorated. We're creatures of habit when it comes to Christmas, and tend to use the same decorations in the same way each year. But the results look good. I still have to ice the cake and make more mince pies. Rob, Claire, Izzy and Quinn are coming up tomorrow, so we have to child proof the house - at least make it safe for an inquisitive two year old.

Today I could put a link to an age related song by a popular beat combo (you may have to be as old as me to understand that) - but I used that last February - so click on this instead.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Here today, gone tomorrow

or, here yesterday, gone today.

We have the phone line back, but the fast broadband has vanished. We're back on the old slow version.
(The DSLAM is knocking out the dial tone apparantly)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

One step forward. . .

. . . really a giant leap forward (Infinity)
then one step back (no phone)
and now, another step forward -

The Smart TV we bought a year ago, really is smart! With the wonders of a long trailing cable and a press of a few buttons, I can access the wonders of I-player and Youtube from a decent sized HD screen.

Technology sometimes works!


But now the landline isn't working!

Quantum Leap

or paradigm shift?

or just catching up with the rest of the world!

We have been upgraded and now have a broadband speed of about 23 mb/s

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it - but the opportunities are there

Sunday, 16 December 2012

It's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas

We've bought a tree, brought it inside and removed the net wrapping and left it to spread it's wings a bit. We've found the decorations and lights (in the farthest bedroom), but not done the crucial lights test yet. So one day this week it will turn into a thing of beauty. In the meantime, here's the "before" shot.


Saturday, 15 December 2012

The winning streak continues

Class 1
Large Herds
1st   M/s G.A & D.W Dent
2nd  W.H & K.M Robinson
3rd  C.A & J.M. Hall
4th   A.H Ritson
Winbrook Herd
Strickley Herd
Whitchester Herd
Ireby Herd
Class 2
Small Herds
1st    J.R.Handley
2nd   S Armstrong & Sons
3rd   Mrs M.I Coulthard
4th   M.J &J.A Dobson
Beaconview Herd
Moorriggs Herd
Briscol Herd
Oakthwaite Herd
Class 3
Young Stock
Large Herds
1st    W.H & K.M Robinson
2nd   C.A & J.M. Hall
3rd   J Teasdale
4th    M/s G.A & D.W Dent
Strickley Herd
Whitchester Herd
Brafell Herd
Winbrook Herd
Class 4
Young Stock
Small Herds
1st    J.R.Handley
2nd    D. H. Craig
3rd    S Armstrong & Sons
4th    S Wilson
Beaconview Herd
New Park Herd
Moorriggs Herd
Screel Herd
Class 5
Heifer in Calf
1st    C.A & J.M. Hall
2nd   J.R.Handley
3rd   N Barker
4th    W.H & K.M Robinson
Whitchester Lucky Melody
Beaconview Starlet 23
Middlebankend Digitalis
Strickley Annabella 149
Class 6
Heifer in Milk
1st    W.H & K.M Robinson
2nd   M/s G.A & D.W Dent
3rd    C.A & J.M. Hall
4th     J.R.Handley
Strickley Dairymaid 5
Winbrook Cactus 12
Whitchester Lucky Goodie
Beaconview Fillpail
Class 7
Cow, calved twice
1st   A.H Ritson
2nd  S Armstrong & Sons
3rd   W.H & K.M Robinson
4th   A.H Ritson
Ireby Pansy 7
Waters Peerless Rose 2  Strickley Lily 13
Ireby Maude 14
Class 8
Progeny of one bull
1st    C.A & J.M. Hall
2nd   W.H & K.M Robinson
3rd    M Robinson
4th    A.H Ritson
Marleycote Lucky Man
Winbrook Diamond
Whitefalls Royal Event
Cotley Custodian
Class 9 A
Best bull on inspection
1st    M.J & J.A Dobson
2nd   C.A & J.M. Hall
3rd    J Teasdale
4th     A.H Ritson
Lisnamulligan Starr
Marleycote Lucky Man
Kirkbride Royal Event
Ireby Monarch
Class 9 B
Best Bull on inspection and production
1st    A.H Ritson
2nd   N Barker
3rd    J Teasdale
4th    M. Robinson
Ireby Monarch
Middlebankend Digger
Brafell Royal Lad
Lisnamulligan Fergus
Class 10 A
Best Cow on inspection
1st    M/s G.A & D.W Dent
2nd   W.H & K.M Robinson
3rd    M/s G.A & D.W Dent
4th     C.A & J.M. Hall
Winbrook Peeress Rose
Strickley Lily 5
Winbrook Vi 117
Whitchester Stelbound
Snowy Bell
Class 10 B
Best Cow on inspection and production
1st   W.H & K.M Robinson
2nd   M/s G.A & D.W Dent
3rd    M/s G.A & D.W Dent
4th    W.H & K.M Robinson
Strickley Lily 5
Winbrook Peeress Rose
Winbrook Vi 117
Strickley Starbud 35    
 As you see the Strickley Herd had a good night and we brought home three cups to squash onto the piano. The herd competition was very well supported this year with sixteen herds entering, and 113 (I think) entries for the judge to look at.
And we even won a bottle of whisky in the raffle!
Apologies for the slightly offset columns - I just cut and pasted from a word document.

Friday, 14 December 2012

A winning streak?

On Tuesday Henry won £25 in the Westmorland Show 200 Club draw, and yesterday James got an email to say he had won a prize by completing an online survey (20 kg of rat poison!).

Will our luck continue tonight when the results are announced and cups presented for the North West Shorthorn Herd Competition?

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Back down to earth

We've had the downtime, but we're back to where we were - a very pedestrian broadband speed. Apparently there is a fault somewhere along the line (maybe underground) and that means a different engineer.

What you're never had, you should never miss; but, sad as it is, I was getting excited about catching up with the rest of the technological world.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Possible downtime

Just to warm you - we will be without Internet access for a while tomorrow afternoon. So the weather feeds will not be updated here on the Blog, on Twitter, and on the main Strickley Weather website.

But then - if all goes according to plan - it's To Infinity And Beyond!

Currently our broadband speed languishes about 1.59 mb/s download (and upload is much worse), but BT Infinity has reached us and we're promised 20.2 mb/s! Time will tell if we reach those dizzy heights, but anything will be an improvement.

It's handy being at home. . .

. . . so when Henry comes to the door and asks me for a tape measure, I can find one instantly. And a workman's retractable steel measure was no good. It had to be flexible. Why? Well, to measure a bull's testicles of course!

The vet was doing some of the pre-movement checks and tests before Strickley Maximus goes of on his "holiday" to Red Cattle Genetics.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

At last . . .

. . . I'm getting organised. I've bought all the presents and cards (just need to wrap and write!), vaguely thought about menus (turkey, ham and beef in freezer) and today I'm making a Christmas cake. My cooking is a mixture of traditional and hi-tech; 50+ year old Aga (no other cooker or microwave); old balance scales with imperial weights (in fact I have three sets to cover all eventualities from half ounces to several pounds of potatoes), but also the latest digital scales (the sort you put your mixing bowl on and zero etc); large Kenwood mixer and Magimix processor; bread maker (used every night). But today I used the most basic of equipment - a large stone bowl and my hand. The mixture for the Christmas cake won't fit in the Kenwood bowl, so once a year I use a very large stoneware bowl and beat and mix with my hand.

Then scoop into into an old cake tin, that my grandmother had made by a blacksmith. I've been making cakes in it for over forty years, and as far as I can remember, with no disasters. All I have to do now is to remember to put it in the bottom oven of the Aga to cook overnight (about ten hours or so).


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Ready for the roof


In the deep mid winter

Strickley otters are still out and about (these videos were captured about 9 at night).


Weather Report

Click HERE to see the latest statistics from Strickley

Friday, 30 November 2012

Hidden Treasure

We have a large chest freezer, which is always too full to get anything in, but there's never anything I need for the day's meals (at least on the top bit I can see). In a burst of activity (and the need to find some space for a turkey etc) we emptied it this week  and did a bit of a stock take. This year may have been a poor one for fruit, but I found a stack of plums and damsons, and sliced apples and pears. I don't need to buy any meat for a while (several joints, plus bags of mince and stewing meat). And we've had some easy meals from the various Pyrex dishes I found in the depths - all mainly recognisable for what they were. So I'm now super organised - large strong carrier bags for each type of food. It's not always what it looks like though - I lifted out some lamb to make a curry tonight. But it seems it will be a beef curry.

Ever hopeful we have kept the caravan ready to go at a moments notice. But we know now we won't get away again till Spring. It's protected form the elements to a certain extent (in the "sheep building" - yes, I know we haven't had sheep for years, but old habits die hard), but still subject to heavy frost (see posts of June 2011 about the havoc it can cause), so we studied the manual carefully and followed the "winterising" instructions to the letter.

And a rummage in the caravan cupboards and lockers found more hidden treasure. As well as crisps and chocolate biscuits, a goodly supply of gin (3 types), whisky and whiskey, wine and sparkling wine. We could maybe have left them there till next year - but what if they froze and went to waste?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

It must be Winter

The sun is shining.
The temperature is dropping.
Hedging tools are out.
And there's an definite agricultural whiff in the air.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Weather

What can I say about it? We've not had the floods that have affected the South West, and Furness area, but the fields are so waterlogged that it's very difficult to travel round the farm. We've a few heifers still out, so thank goodness for the quad bike that means we can get across the grass to feed  them. The slurry pits are filling up and we could really do with some hard frost so we can get some muck spread.

The wet weather has also delayed Henry's decorating. On fine days he's been repainting the house windows, and yesterday he finished the last one (15th I think).

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Worrying needlessly

For the past couple of weeks I had been worrying about Sunday night. We had tickets to see Bellowhead in concert at The Lowry (Manchester). We hadn't seen them live since April 2011, and with much regret and a certain degree of bitterness (on my part) had to forego our planned trip to see them at Harrogate in July (see the post here) when the rain stopped and the sun shone. So I had high expectations of this concert. I had the latest album, and had read "rave reviews" of the first week of their tour, but was secretly worried that I was expecting too much.

How wrong could I be - it was the best concert I had ever been to. It helped that we had seats in the middle of the front row, only a couple of yards from the band (and even closer when they danced on the very edge of the stage). They didn't just sing the songs, or even just perform them, they did so much more than that. I can't describe the experience, but for an nearly two hours the stage was a whirl of eleven musicians and twice as many instruments, waving arms and leaping feet.

We won't get a chance to see them again for a while, so I sneaked a couple of photos as reminders of a wonderful night.

Sorry, we were so near that I could only get 9 of the 11 in this photo!

Sunday, 11 November 2012


At last the new classroom is emerging from a muddy hole.

So, next week it's onwards and upwards

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

What does it mean to you?

Last week on Twitter I mentioned STP.

Two people assumed they knew what it stood for - based on their lifestyle.

Strickley True Perfection
Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Or does one describe the other?

Don't worry if you missed the Tweet - I very rarely Tweet (though the Weather software sends a Tweet every 3 hours), so you're not missing anything.

Click here for one STP

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Yesterday's Sale

Click here for a link to a report of yesterday's Dairy Shorthorn Show & Sale.

Monday, 5 November 2012

A Good Day Out

James has just come back from the Dairy Shorthorn sale at Chelford - with an empty trailer and a cheque in his pocket. As this was a Show & Sale, the cows were judged before the sale. Strickley Starlet 114th was Reserve Champion, and realised the highest price in the ring.

Many thanks to the Malkin family at Stone, and I hope they do well in your Organic herd.

But if you missed out and want come see what other stock we may have for sale, just let us know!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Cows for sale

The Autumn Show and Sale of the Dairy Shorthorn Society will be held at Chelford on Monday 5th November. The catalogue can be viewed online - click here. If you would like any more information about the Strickley entries, please let us know.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Weather Report

Click HERE to see the latest statistics from Strickley

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Autumn at Strickley

We've had our camera down by the pond for the past week. James brought it back up today and the when I looked at the SD card there were 105 10 second videos. Looking through them, I found 4 with anything more than moving grass. I think we need to reconsider the position.

Looking at the published video, I must apologise for the quality - it looks much better on my PC!

Friday, 26 October 2012


The tiny little workshop is no more - some delicate and precise taps with a hammer and a few less delicate, (but just as precise) nudges with the digger, have given us this -

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Strickley's latest project

Never ones to hang about taking it easy by just running a dairy farm, we have another project on the go. At the beginning of the year we built a small handwashing and toilet block for our school visits. If we are lucky with the weather most of the activities can take place outside. But sometimes we want to extend the season, and some activities are better suited to taking place indoors. We have been using a cleaned out pen (though the front is rather open to the elements), but that's no good when it's occupied. So we applied for planning permission to turn a workshop/store into a small classroom (if you search you'll find the plans on the SLDC website). Now that planning has been granted we're ready to go. The builder is coming to start the stripping and demolition tomorrow, so we have been busy removing years of "stuff" and finding homes for it. It's just across the yard so there's no excuse for me not to take loads of photos. Here's a few "before" ones, and you can probably expect to be inundated.



In another life . . .

. . . I was driven through forests, down rough tracks, over bleak hills in a small grey car. We usually finished intact, but just occassionally some parts had to be replaced. We're clearing out our old workshop/store prior to it's transformation to a small but perfectly formed classroom (more of that in coming posts), and trying to be ruthless. It's the third time in the past 20/30 years that we've moved some of this stuff, and some also came from Over Bleaze when we moved here 16 years ago. One less than useful item hung on our garage wall, and subsequently on this workshop wall. Maybe it's time to let it die a natural death with the heap of scrap.

I've got a few picures of it it action (though they're pre-digital and need finding and scanning), so here's a couple. Note - it's always the navigator's side that gets damaged (but never the naviagtor).


Monday, 22 October 2012

Here Today. .

. .  and gone tomorrow (or here Saturday and gone by tomorrow).

A few Movements Off happening at Strickley  -

On Saturday we sold 4 cows and heifers to another Organic farm in Staffordshire.
This morning we sold a young breeding bull to a farm in North Cumbria
And tomorrow eleven cows and heifers, aged between 2 and 12 years are making their final journey

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A few photos

These were taken by our friends who were staying with us. Luckily it was a rare sunny day and they were able to wander round the pond and wood, though attracting quite a bit of interest from our youngstock.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Rushing around this morning. . .

New tyre fitted on Discovery.
Defender washed off and taken to garage for fixing.
Paperwork almost complete for cows to be sold tomorrow.
Supper almost made - just to put in oven and/or assemble.
Fires cleaned out and lit.
Dust moved and round and disguised with a quick spray of polish.
Lamps lit to hide dusty corners.
Checked guest bedroom (one of).

Almost dinnertime - no preparation (ham and cheese).

And then, it's relax with longtime friends before an early supper and we whizz down to the Brewery Arts Centre for Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party. Maybe followed by a few nightcaps.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Farming News

After my non-farming posts I though I ought to tell you what's been happening on the farming front. In a few words "not a lot". That's not to say we've not been as busy as usual, but that it's mostly been routine day-to-day stuff.  The weather is a major issue of course, and more stock has come inside earlier this year. It's not so much the amount of grass, and the feed value, but the state of the fields. Strickley has never really suffered in dry spells, so conversely a lot of fields are very wet. There's been a lot of movement of stock from one field to another to maximise the available grass without paddling up the ground. And we've abandoned hope of getting some more big bales from The Lots, and there's now some fat lambs wintered up there.

 This week the weather has been better (today marks 4 days with no rain!), so yesterday we got a bit of slurry spread. There was definitely an agricultural whiff in the air! Making the most of a dry day yesterday Henry and James painted the shippon window frames and fixed a few slates on the roof. Michelle has had a few school visits which went well despite the uncertain weather.

 Today is Routine Visit Day by the vet - a regular visit so we can be proactive in keeping the herd in the best health possible.

The cows have settled well in the new cubicles. We sold the old cubicles for scrap and never really though about what happened to the metal after we unloaded. But this week someone told us it gets crushed and baled and taken to Glasson Dock, where it is loaded onto a ship and sent to Spain - where it is used for such things as sardine tins. I'm not sure how true any of that is, but it puts a new slant on "swords into ploughshares".

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Naked Painter

Worried about getting paint on your clothes while you paint the bathroom?
Easy - don't wear any!

Sorry no photos available!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Weather Report

- or maybe I've nothing more important to do (not true)
- or I just want to keep my hand in (as it's nearly two years since someone paid me to produce reports)

However, this latest effort shows not only which is the wettest year (so far) since 2006, but also which month has statistically fewer wet days (i.e. some rain fell at some point). So if you're planning a summer Fete, it might be a good idea to go for June instead of August. You can read the data in tabular form, or go to the next page for multicolour graphs

As ever, this is a work in progress and I probably can't refrain from fiddling with it.

Click HERE to see the report - note it's a two page pdf in glorious Technicolour.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

Out, in, out, in

Last Monday and Tuesday the cows stayed inside, but as the weather had cleared by Wednesday, and there's still grass (in wet fields) to graze, they went out again. But by yesterday they were back inside. And this time it's for good  - till next Spring. It's going to be a long winter.


Click here to open a pdf showing yearly rainfall up to the end of September 2012.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

September wildlife

We've had the camera setup in the wood most of September and I've finally put together some shots of deer. We've also had the camera positioned near a badger sett. Last week we had a school visit and were looking at where the badgers live. They obviously left traces of themselves as the badgers have been doing an awful lot of snuffling about. Apologies in advance for the extreme closeups.

And - apologies for the low resolution videos - our upload speed is abysmally slow and I had to reduce and reduce the size of the file.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Is this the wettest year this century?

As you know we've been observing and recording the weather for several years now. If you look at the statistics on our weather page it will only show details since June 2011. From December 2010 to May 2011 we had increasing problems with our weather station and the PC on which the software was running. So when we took the plunge and bought a bigger and better weather station, and connected to an up to date reliable PC, we decided to start with a clean slate and a new data. The old data was not entirely lost as I had most of it backed up onto an old laptop. This week I have been looking at that data, and especially the rain totals. I've put them in a spreadsheet - along with the corresponding details from the new setup - and created a Rainfall Report. I will update at the beginning of each month, but as a preview, click here (it should open a pdf). As I said the yearly totals for 2012 are only up till today - there's another 3 months yet!

The report is still a work in progress, and I'm not sure if the link will always work, so if this post disappears you know why.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Would you like to be outside in this weather?

Winds up to 46 mph (and increasing)
Rain - 0.32in since midnight (and getting worse) - Edited at 5pm - now over an inch - and rising
Temperature not so bad if you can stand the wind and rain.
Grass - wet and muddy.

So, would you like to be outside? No, neither would the cows. They are coming inside now, rather than wait till milking time.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Uncle Wilson

Henry's uncle Wilson has written a column for the Nostalgia section of The Westmorland Gazette.

Different place - same weather

On Sunday we set off for a few days in our caravan. The weather was atrocious as we drove down the motorway, but the farther south we got the better it got. By we got to Buxton and unhitched and setup it was fine and sunny (but not exactly warm).

And by we got down to Rob's in Belper it was warm enough to go out and admire the garden. But, driving back up to Buxton the heavens opened and that set the tone for the next few days. Bright sun (lovely and warm pouring through the caravan or car window - not so warm in reality), interspersed with torrential rain. It didn't really stop us doing anything - as we had planned to to nothing anyway. We drove around some spectacular roads and sometimes the views were visible - eg Ladybower reservoir. If you look closely, you'll see I didn't venture out of the car. Lazy photography!

Based on this very short holiday - a few recommendations (or not)

Grin Low Caravan Club Site
A quiet campsite (apart from the colony of Jackdaws in the rocks above us). Wikipedia says the collective noun is "a clattering" - very apt. But be advised, the mobile signal is about the same as in our house (i.e non-existent).

Buxton Tandoori
Very good takeaway - just the job as the skies darkened and the rain poured down.

M & S and Waitrose in Buxton.
Next to each other and both offering "dine in for a tenner" deals - ideal for trying to to nothing on holiday. Waitrose just edged it by offering the choice of starter or dessert, instead of just a dessert.

Chatsworth Farm Shop Restaurant.
Very busy, but fitted us in. Friendly service, good food and wonderful view (including beef on the hoof destined for the shop)

Matlock Sainbury's
A non-recommendation - mainly because I couldn't find any red onions (for the night when I was actually cooking)

Snake Pass Inn
Another non-recommendation - almost empty, yet a wait of 40 minutes for what was really just a Ploughman's Lunch (called a Ramblers Platter as they don't get many passing ploughmen).

Buxton Opera House
A wonderful over the top venue. Comfy seats and for us, uninterrupted view of the stage.

And finally
Live music - especially Spiers and Boden. Go to see them if you can - in venues as grand as Buxton and as humble as Arnside Educational Institute.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Wartime Farm

Have you been watching Wartime Farm on BBC2? We have, making comments such as "we used to have one of them" and "we've still got one of them" etc.

If you click here - the website for the company making the programme - and then on Your Stories on the right, you may come across something you recognise.

Interbreed results

Taken from the WCAS website, overall dairy results. We can't remember Strickley doing so well (but maybe my memory is not as good as it was!). I'm sorry about the formatting - I cut and pasted.

Overall Dairy

Home Bred Champion - Carrs Billington Dairy Stakes

JD & JA Holgate Aliann Empire Sonya

Home Bred Reserve Champion - Carrs Billington Dairy Stakes

Messrs WH & KM Robinson Strickley Dairymaid 5th

Procter Trophy (GPC 14) - Home Bred Dairy Champion

JD & JA Holgate Aliann Empire Sonya


Messrs WH & KM Robinson Strickley Dairymaid 5th

Ellis Trophy (GPC 15) - Overall Dairy Champion

D & M Holliday Whiteoaks Julian Nonette 2


JD & JA Holgate Aliann Empire Sonya

Windermere Agricultural Society Trophy (GPC143) - Overall Junior Dairy Champion

JD & JA Holgate Aliann MX Elegance


Messrs WH & KM Robinson Strickley Dairymaid 5th 



Friday, 14 September 2012

Thursday, 13 September 2012

A Grand Day Out

Henry, James and Robert are back from the show (Westmorland County Show) laden down with cups and rosettes. Briefly Strickley Shorthorns (all 3 for them, it was a quiet year for us), won all the classes they were in -

     Heifer in Milk (having calved under 3 years) - Strickley Dairymaid 5th
     Cow in Milk (having calved twice) - Strickley Lily 13th
     Cow in Milk (having calved 3 times or more) - Strickley Starbud 35th

We also won -

     Champion Shorthorn - Strickley Dairymaid 5th
     Reserve Champion Shorthorn - Strickley Starbud 35th
     Junior Shorthorn Champion - Strickley Dairymaid 5th
     Group of Three Shorthorns
     Best Udder - Strickley Starbud 35th

and, in the interbreed -

     Reserve Junior Champion - Strickley Dairymaid 5th
     Reserve Exhibitor Bred - Strickley Dairymaid 5th

 I hope to get copies of some "professional" photos, that show off the cows.

It was the first time since Henry's father was alive that we've had three generations showing. Robert did brilliantly and here's a couple of photos to show him in complete control.


Read all about us - at last

Back in the middle of June Jennifer MacKenzie visited us  to talk about an article she was writing for Northern Farmer. The article was duly published and we eventually saw it. It's now online at Stackyard - so read all about us by clicking here.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A better photograph

And here's a photo taken with a better camera, and pointed in the right place. Courtesy of James.
Click on it to see it full size.


All go at Strickley

Tomorrow is Westmorland County Show, so today was always going to be a bit hectic. We are cutting back on our entries this year, so it should be manageable. Because the show is fairly near, and we can take stuff down the day before, and then the stock the night before, we have tended to take more each year. It does mean there's a good show of Dairy Shorthorns, but it's hard work - especially for James who sleeps in the cattle tent overnight. So this year we decided to be sensible and just take a few. In the end, the few is only three (the in calf cow calved a couple of days ago) and we've made the radical (for us) decision not to take the stock the night before. So Henry and James have just gone down to the showfield with a landrover and trailer full of straw and other essentials. And James will take the cows down tomorrow morning (4:30 am). Henry will milk and feed and follow on about 8.30 ish with our youngest team member (Robert). The food is ready packed (we didn't like to leave that on the showfield overnight) and we're hoping the weather will be at least fine (sunny and warm would be good as well).

Most of today has been spent getting the cows ready, but we took time out after an early dinner to go down to the road and watch the Tour of Britain whizz past. The rain had stopped by they got to us, but they looked a bit wet and mud spattered. We stood near St Sundays Bridge to get as good a view as possible. James and I both took cameras - mine rather basic (to go with my skills), and his more souper douper (to match his skills). I pointed the camera up the road and kept my finger on the button. It all happens very fast - dozens of police bike and marshalls flash past, then the breakaway and then the peloton. There's no time to refocus or change the zoom, just click. Out of the vast number I took, here's a small selection.
One of the many police bikes

The breakaway

The Peloton (6 minutes behind)  - with stage winner Mark Cavendish surrounded by the Sky Team
Lots of cars, imcluding Commissaire President
and then the last police car