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February Newsletter 2016
February Newsletter 2016 James Foster
Hello everyone, a New Year is upon us and despite the doom & gloom in the newspapers, all is well in this part of the world, the sun is shining in the clear blue skies above us (or has been for a few days at least) and we were lucky enough to escape the biblical floods that plagued other parts of the country, despite what seemed to be a month of continual rain.
Progress with the various building projects has been slow, but I am happy to report that the new shower rooms in the Byre & the Old Dairy are now finished and look fantastic. Certainly an upgrade on the previous models, they now offer more space & can easily accommodate a rather plump 6ft 4inch individual (me), although anyone significantly larger than that may have to use the hosepipe outside.
Garden cottage is still a work in progress, but what used to be three bedrooms & bathroom on the first floor has now been changed to a large master bedroom and bathroom with views over the garden and out across the fields. This apparently is how the bedroom was originally laid out until the 23rd April 1949, when it was sectioned up. We know the exact date as the builder had signed a piece of wood with his name and the date as he did it, which was revealed when we took it apart. Rather charmingly the builder in question is still alive, well into his 80's and lives in the local village, we plan to return the piece of wood to him in the near future possibly on the 23rd of April, 67 years after he put it there as a young apprentice, 2 years before my father was born.
The Orchard is also now planted at High Barn, though the trees are very young, so we don't expect any fruit for quite a few years yet. In fact some of the trees are so young that you can barely see them, but trust me they are there. We have also replanted large sections of Hawthorn hedgerows, but again these will take a long time to establish themselves.
Bridlington is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance as the majority of the filming of Dad's Army took place in and around the area. The Old Town is still dressed up as 'Walmington-on-Sea' and in turn some of the filming took place on our land, whilst quite a few of the locals supported the main cast as extra's. Off the back of this the area has already seen a surge in visitor numbers and we have been lucky enough to have articles in a number of papers from journalists that stayed with us as they wrote pieces on the upcoming film. I am hoping that the Old Town capitalizes on this, as there are some beautiful Georgian properties & wonderfully traditional shops there that need to be preserved and repaired.
On the farming front, all the animals are under cover and the wheat & barley has been drilled with the beans & potatoes to follow. The grain sheds were finished in December (9 months late!!!!!) so we are now playing catch up in terms of drying last years harvest. We are also on the look out for more chickens, as the five we currently have for our morning omelettes are looking a little lonely and quite frankly are not pulling their weight on the egg laying front One egg a day from five well fed, fat chickens is pretty lazy if you ask me and certainly not an example of sustainable agriculture.
Finally, we are thrilled to get through to the finals for Visit Hull & East Yorkshire (VHEY) 2016. Both High Barn & Field House have been nominated in the self-catering category so please keep your fingers crossed for us. We have won four awards in five years & would love to win it again, especially because this years awards ceremony is at The Bridlington Spa, our home venue.
Next update, will be late Spring/Early Summer. Until then, all the best.
James, John & Angela