Diggers and Dibblers' 'Gardeners Query Time'

Written by Christina Wakeford on .

A keen audience for Diggers and Dibblers' 'Gardeners Query Time' absorbed a wealth of information and advice given by our experts for the evening.

(photos by Su Leavesley,
  click photo for slide show)

Our panellists were Charlotte Philcox, garden consultant and designer, broadcaster and teacher; Ben Potterton of Blacksmith's Nursery, with a string of horticultural and ecological titles to his credit, and Ian Roofe, gardener at East Ruston, and well known for his regular spot on Radio Norfolk's 'Garden Party'.

There was plenty of easy banter with witty interjections, (mainly sotto voce from Ben), as well as serious, in-depth discussion of people's gardening dilemmas, which ranged from Brian's invasive Carex taking over his lawn and Fiona's massive attack of ground elder, to lots of non-fruiting blueberries, plums and gooseberries and leaf dropping figs.

Lady Mole Catcher - Diggers & Dibblers July meeting

Written by Margaret Hickman Smith on .

Louise Chapman, BA Hons burst on to the D and D meeting in a whirl of information and hilarity! Louise started her talk with information about how she began her extremely unusual job. From Garden design to finding a gap in the market for a lady mole catcher! She made a film about what and how she caught moles and suddenly she was front page of the Wall St journal followed by The Daily Mail, the Jeremy Vine show, ITV news, The Times and the Telegraph. Her fame then spread as she went from mole catching to Brisbane to be in charge of Pest control! But moles are everywhere so Louise came home and set up her business!!

lady mole catcher

During the next part of the talk there was a great deal of hilarity and interaction! Lots of facts about moles were given to us so here are just a few! Moles are everywhere!! They eat 20 earthworms a day and if they are starving they come above the surface and die. In a population of 64 million people there will be 35 to 40 million moles! They have no natural predators as they are bitter to the taste. Traditional mole catchers were wealthy as catching moles was lucrative. Their breeding season is February to March, this year being early February. The female is in season for only 24 hours, governed by the soil temperature with the moles moving around during the mating season. Louise gave us a vivid description of courtship and mating.

St Edmund's Fete 2017

Written by John Webster on .

Owing to a torrential thunderstorm the afternoon session came abruptly to an end!

The Ice Cream 'van' with Sonia and Philip (SL)

for more pics click the one above - photos by Su Leavesley (SL) and John Webster (JW)

Nevertheless the skies brightened and visitors began to gather for the evening session, eventually exceeding 150 to hear various performers: Elliott’s group ‘MODE’ making their last public appearance as the sun set in a clear sky and the full moon rose. The show ended on cue at 10.30 pm. Full details and acknowledgements will be published in the next Forncet Flyer. 

Puzzle for the FHG

Written by John Webster on .

At the latest meeting of the Forncett History Group an item noted on Ebay generated a great deal of discussion. The postcard – acquired in the end by another party unknown to us – showed a young man with a pony and cart/trap.

 
  

Click pic to enlarge

Closer analysis of the image showed the name ‘J. HUMPHREYS’ to be on the side of the trap. The Chairman then explained how Dennis Ludkin had been quite challenged by this and set about comparing older larger scale maps to see if a similar range of buildings to that on the photo could be found. Dennis had pinpointed a small group near Chestnut Farm as being comparable. Discussion then turned on the shape of the buildings and established that the building in the foreground might well be separate from the main range, which would correspond with the representation on one of the maps (see detail of map of 1906). One would have to bear in mind that the angle and direction of the photo would mean that Chestnut Cottage was obscured by the other buildings.

Thanks to the detective work of Dennis L. and useful discussion at the FHG it would seem that the location has been reasonably established. We still do not know for certain who the young man is and why he was photographed at this place. James (‘Jimmy’) HUMPHREYS was the baker at Forncett End at Harley House. With evidence from copied documents referred to by the Chairman it was shown that J.H. had fallen on hard times and by 1924 was declared bankrupt. It was pointed out that his fate reflected the social problems of the times. His assets included various fixtures and fittings and ‘pony, cart and harness’, valued at £25.