Spring has sprung (at least in this corner of Gloucestershire) with the appearance of the local native Newent daffodils and work is continuing apace with furnishing a 2 person holiday flat (dogs very welcome!) to be ready for early May. It has been a very rewarding experience because along the way we have met all sorts of craftspeople, one of whom is Alex Wilkins. He runs a truly wonderful forge at Stretton Grandison; it is a joy to visit. Full of old machinery, heaps of oil, dirt and grease and just how businesses used to be – Alex is making some sets of “monkey tail” window furniture for us and, for me, he is the perfect example of how traditional can blend with modern. Our modern way of life can often discard the past as irrelevant, but I think it is becoming increasingly vital to maintain these skills.
Dave “The Carpet” will be laying carpets for the holiday flat “The Granary” at Briery Hill, just as he has done all of our carpets in the past, and just as he does everyone else’s carpets in the area. He has a small local business that knows its customers intimately, and no one, in their right mind would go anywhere else. Dave also offers tradition, in terms of his service and modern, in terms of product. If only less people shopped with large chain stores, and more people supported local artisans and businesses, our feeling is that the economy would begin to recover again. Needless to say the holiday flat will be furnished with lovely, soft, warm wool bedding and this will be a chance for guests to “try before they buy”.
The project has made us realise just how much there is of interest in this little corner of West Gloucestershire; tucked between the Severn and the Wye….