agricultural Business social networking

Hreodburna – a Twittersphere tour with farmer Christopher Day – some images not for those with weak constitutions

The Red Lion Inn in Redbourne Lincolnshire has a fire stationI met Christopher Day on Twitter. I’ve no idea when.The wooden cross on the green in Redbourne People follow you. You follow people. You start to connect. Connect often enough you begin to notice and engage with them which is what I’ve done with Christopher. His Twitter name is @themanorhousebb.

I’ve met him a couple of times before today, once at LincUpLive and then again at LincsTweetMeet. During some online conversation I mentioned that my favourite vegetable is the pea.  Christopher grows peas and he invited me to see some pea picking in action.

Hreodburna, which in Old English means reedy burn, is as you may know, the historical name for  Redbourne in Lincolnshire. Redbourne is your idyllic English village and was to me only previously known for its pub.  The Red Lion is a wonderful  17th Century coaching Inn and a stopping off point for LincolnThe old Hadley, Simpkin and Lott fire engine in redbourne RFC on the way back from away matches in the North of the county.

The car park of the Red Lion on this occasion was the place that I had arranged to meet Christopher to go and see some vining action.

What I would never have noticed in my rugby playing days was the fact that attached to the Red Lion is a fire station containing an original horse drawn fire engine (click on the header photo for a better view of the fire station). Made in 1831The paddock at the Red Lion Inn in Redbourne Lincolnshire used to hold the horse that pulled the fire engine by Hadley, Simpkin and Lott of London the engine is manually operated with bars on either side that were raised and lowered to pump water.

The sign in the fire station window informs the enquiring mind:  “The rural disturbances of 1830-1 provoked at least 28 cases of Arson in Lincolnshire. The owner of the Redbourne Estate, the Duke of St Albans certainly owned an engine by 1834 and it is reasonable to presume that this is the same engine, bought to protect his property. There was no county fire service in Lincolnshire until 1948.”fishing in Lincolnshire

The horse for the fire engine lived in a paddock at the back of the Inn and the first job the firemen  had before attending an incident was to catch it.

Things have moved on from those days. We moved on to see the pea harvest which is going to be the subject of another post. In the meantime Christopher was kind enough to show me around his farm which includes some carp fishing lakes. I offer here some photos of one of the lakes – a hugely relaxing place to spend a day. Note the bait set up. Click on the thumbnail photo for a close up shot of somebait (maggots) do not click if you have a medical condition of the bait – not for the faint of heart.

Alternatively watch the short video (18 years and over only). Amazing where you can get using Twitter isn’t it?

Cloud End User fun stuff


The leaderboard for the Wales Open at the Celtic Manor as I arrived at the hospitality areaI may flatter myself in thinking that the readers of this blogthe view of the 18th green on the 2010 golf course at the Celtic Manor taken from the hospitality area are savvy intellectuals, sophisticates, oozers of erudition, people of the world – both real and ethereal. They appreciate the finer things in life. I can tell by the standard of comment. That being clearly and undeniably the case I am pleased to be able to present, for your entertainment, a further series of photographs very much representing me enjoying the good things in life.

Before I go any further however we should clear the air. If you are of a jealous disposition you should not read on. Alsoatrium at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel during the Wales Open golf political views are not part of this debate. After all even Aneurin Bevan MP, socialist hero and creator of the National Health Service, used to save up so that he could indulge once a month in a seriously hedonistic night out at the Savoy Hotel. The envious should leave now, reading no further, and immerse themselves in the cold bath of self pity. Go.

Today’s photographs are a selection taken from an extensive collection assembled over two days of my stay at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel whilst watching the Wales Open Golf Tournament. I was there as a guest of Wesley Clover, the Terry Matthews VC business. Note there is a megaprize competition at the end of this post – haven’t had one for a while.

I have included a range of subject matter that gives you the best flavour of the experience. I warn you now, if you expect to see anything of the first 17 ½ holes then you will be disappointed for most of the action takes place from the corporate hospitality tent overlooking the 18th green. For the cognoscenti the 18th is a monster 575 yards par 5 and if you don’t hit the green with your approach shot you are knackered. Your ball will either end up in a bunker or if it falls short, the water. You need to know that the front fringe is mown short and slopes steeply back into the lake before it.

After a hard day of watching golf I retired to the relaxing comfort of the spa. There are no photos of this bit as it would not have been appropriate. Also the steam from the steam room would probably not have been good for my phone.

Later we were ferried by Keith in a Mercedes limo to the excellent Clytha Arms near Raglan to participate in theirthe roof of the atrium at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel annual Cider and Perry Festival.

The Clytha Arms is great. If you have never been you should make a detour to visit. In fact the same applies for any of the locations I mention herein. The Clytha is a classic country pub and the meeting place for the local hunt. The food is great though we didn’t partake, saving ourselves for the curry at the Kings Arms back near the Celtic Manor. The Kings Arms as some of you may know is sadly no longer a pub but at least it has been replaced by a purveyor of fine curries. Before I finally leave the subject of the Clytha I should tell you thatClytha Arms cider  festival near Raglan most of the attendees at the cider festival seemed to be staying in tents at the back of the pub. There are 100 pitches available. A bit crammed in it looked to me but hey…

Btw I make no apologies for being photographed drinking at a cider festival. We all have to let our hair down sometimes (#2 back and sides – mine).the view from my room at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel - ensuite golf course

There were plenty of small souped up cars with big attention-seeking exhausts in the car park. Apparently a regular feature of the country life if you are a young man. When we turned up in our Celtic Manor transport it must have seemed quite a contrast. We were obviously not camping. Incidentally I’m a bit dismayed that I left my Cider Festival souvenir glass in the limo on the way home. Ah well.

I should also mention that one of the reasons for going was thatone or two recognisable faces amongst the people listening to the Molinari brothers at the Celtic Manor 2010 course one of our party was Simon Gwatkin (seen wearing jacket in the pic). The Clytha used to be Simon’s local and he wanted to taste one of the Gwatkin Ciders on offer at the festival – never tasted it before. We all had one. We needn’t have bothered. It was rough as anything!

After lunch on the first day we were treated to an interviewdelicious gourmet food on offer at the Celtic Manor 2010 course with the brothers Molinari. These boys were part of the victorious Ryder Cup team from last Autumn. Having seen the course (18th green), the hospitality area and hearing stories of hte celebrations I wish now that I had made the effort to go.

Before I finish I have a little competition for you. Who are the two guys I’m being photographed with in the last photo? Usual prize. None of those in attendance at the golf are eligible to enter in this case.

The last photo is of me in front of the Bentley Mulsanne used inside the Bentley Mulsanne with chauffeur Michaelto ferry me to the railway station at Newport. That’s Terry Matthews’ chauffeur Michael in the photo with me. The car is a very nice 7 litre twin turbo job (not that I’m particularly a car person) that retails for £259,191.07. The seven pence seems a bit petty to me but who am I to say???

Oh and by the way Miguel Angel Jiminez was waiting in reception with me for a car and I was with Gareth Edwards in the lift though we didn’t speak – the lift was full and someone else was chatting to him 🙂

who are these guys I'm with? Megamug prize competition
who are these guys I'm with? Megamug prize competition

Bentley Mulsanne - you should try one :)