Sunday, 24 August 2008

Stock Gaylard and an interesting day....

Strange day yesterday. It began as a "come and collect your stuff" day and ended up with a very clever piece of wood engineering plus a bottle of very acceptable award winning Chianti. I shall elucidate.

After 8 years, Border Reiver is a single man again. So yesterday was a bit of a sad day, collecting the remnants of his life in a bin bag. I wonder why when everything goes pear shaped, bin bags feature prominently in one's life? Why not a suitcase or a wicker basket?

So by early afternoon, car packed, nothing else to say, we parted. Didn't fancy going straight home, so popped to the the 4th Stock Gaylard Oak Fair, North Dorset.

I'm not 100% sure what Gaylard is, or why it's stocked in North Dorset, but I'm sure someone will tell me it's uses. I like this Fair as it's small, has a purpose (for all of those interested in timber, woodcraft, countryside and conservation) and set in the gloriously English landscape of mature broadleaved trees in a parkland setting. Sadly I didn't get the photo the Fallow Deer here as they'd moved over to the far side. Not literally you understand.

So here's a photo journey of the hour or so I spent there (as ever, click to enlarge).

Throwing out time from the Cider Tent, mind you they seem to have thrown out some strange looking furniture. And do you think this Spaniel is having a good time? My dog was never as obedient as this, he'd have been out and chewing your leg by now!!!

A felled Oak. Why have I photographed this? Well here's a story, the Oak had died (Ahhahh) and needed to be felled, so along came Adam's Axemen, who felled the tree in the morning (boo hiss, leave it for wildlife). But no, this tree will now be "Hung, Sawn and Quartered (sorry) to return in the form of furniture, turned bowls and many a myriad of the woodmizers artform next year (August 29th).

Hold me back with these two photos. Aint's she a beauty.... I could crush a grape seeing this. Back when the old King was on the Throne and I were nowt but a pimply lad, I used to work on Harry's farm. Harry's dad, old Mr Gibson (never seen without a shirt and tie on) had one of these for leading hay and general light duties around the farm. It was the very very first motorised vehicle I ever drove, (the next was a Diahatsu fourtrack - explains a lot about my driving technique). To see this classic example was a reet bobby dazzler experience. I may just have to visit the Gt Dorset Steam Fair next weekend.

Two photos of a Little Grey Fergie powering a man with a plank of wood.

Traditional Shepherds Hut with the skeleton of a Yurt. Dorset Yurts (sort of canvas tent) are becoming popular and as such they had demonstrations of how they were made etc. And on the right, the Shopping Mall. Why can't all shopping be as civilised as this.

Eyes left; Heavy horses, part of the British Horse Loggers Competition. Eyes right; either someone has left some toast on too long, or this is Charcoal Burning. Can this really be environmentally friendly? Smoke from this small oven, engulfed the Fair. Talk about a carbon footprint, more a carbon overcoat. Good to see though.

Ahhahh, serious Boys Toys. None of your namby pamby, well guarded, cut off switched, so safe they're boring machinery here. Make a mistake with this beast and it'll not half smart. I used to use one of these mounted on a Tractor PTO, and believe me without a guard in place, a 3 foot circular saw revolving 6 inches from me IS respected, no day dreaming when working one of those!!

But what are these two strange wooden objects?

Mike Taffinder makes these jolly ingenious wooden tea towel holders. Using Archimedes first principle of "jam some cloth into a wooden peg using a glass marble", Mike has honed this craft to perfection. Brilliantly simple, and wonderful at only £7 each. We bought one last year, so as a pick me up today, I bought two. I know, I know, it's the wild side in me, can't help myself.

And so home, left the binbags un packed, opened a rather robust bottle of Italian Red, and glugged the evening away listening to Radio 4 on the trusty old Roberts. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day.


  1. Border - so sorry that things haven't worked out for you :(

    However - I've been fascinated reading about your time at Stock Gaylard Oak Fair - what a wonderful event!!

    I agree about the Oak though - much wildlife could have found a new home in it - hey ho.

    So thanks for the day out :)

  2. Blimey Tricia, that was a quick comment, and up so early on a Sunday too. The oak at least will live on for many years and still be loved and cherished. Stock Gaylard Estate do leave a lot of standing wood for wildlife, so not all bad.

  3. First of all, I wish you well...and everything you wish yourself, Border Reiver :)

    Next off, I love the towel holder..I like anything lovingly/skilfully made by someone else's hands...better than 'ten a penny' machine-made things...because yours is unique :)

    Lastly, I love the romantic look of all your photos in this post...long may country ways/practises/crafts be kept alive :)

  4. I'm really sorry to hear that you two have parted and hope that things go ok for you. The post about the fair is great reading, I feel like I have been there too after reading it. I love those towel holders, really ingenious.

  5. Thank you Wildlife Gardner and Goosey. And yes those wooden tea towel holders are rather splendid

  6. Nice to see a report from another Oak Fair visitor! Did I see you there, I wonder?! It's a wonderful event, and we've been to them all, living just a couple of mile sup the road. I really enjoyed seeing the heavy horses this year; the cider wasn't bad either........

    I love your blog, by the way, just found it today, so will be back for another visit.


  7. Thanks for popping by Mrs, your blog is great too. Hope to see you back one day.