At the end of yet another year, a significant one in my life, I decided it was time to get started on a project that has been long in my thoughts. I’m going to tell you a new story about the other side of my life; my long running blog www.welshwaller.wordpress.com has told of my work in the hills of Wales as a dry stone waller. It includes some extra elements such as my various excursions and voyages and also includes some of what will appear here, my fascination with the historic artefacts of past farming. But now it’s time to get going and begin the long process of packing items away for the winter ahead. Tractors and implements, tools and clothes, books and pamphlets all need safe keeping to hold at bay the attacks of mould and damp, frost and ice.
It is only when I start to put the items which have appeared on my exhibition stands at the various shows I attended in 2017, back into their winter storage sheds that I realise just HOW MANY there are. It has always been my plan to share this collection with as many folk as possible and thereby preserve the heritage of our farming past. When I say ‘OUR’ farming past I am primarily talking of the ‘werin‘, the true and ancient folk of the hills of Wales but many of the items have, of course, their origins in the agricultural worlds far from the wet Welsh uplands. Some, on the other hand, are specific to that area and whilst they may have certain similarities and evolutionary DNA with other zones, their ergonomics are indeed particular to a small geographic area.
I will also be linking my artefacts to old photographs and describing the uses to which they were put. Mainly my collection consists of tools and implements of a pre-WW11 era, some came onto farms in the 1950s but for most, they may well have been on Welsh farms (and indeed any of the other Home countries) for centuries previous, for slow was the change in the tools and techniques of upland pastoral farming.
In addition to the catalogue of items I will also describe how I restore and maintain the items which in some cases are lengthy restorations of larger items such as carts and wagons, tractors and implements.
I hope you enjoy the journey with me and please feel free to comment or ask any questions for, if I can, I will be pleased to respond.
Watch out for the start of my new posts in January 2018