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A local history and genealogy site for Wimpole, a village and parish in South Cambridgeshire
- The Wympole & Wratsworth Archive -

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A Misty Morning on the Wimpole Estate
Wympole & Wratsworth
From March 2012 until October 2018, Simon Damant (writing as ‘Sadeik’) wrote an occasional blog named ‘Wympole & Wratsworth’ about his experiences working on the National Trust’s Wimpole Hall estate.
I write ‘occasional’ but Simon (with some ‘guest’ blogs) posted 465 listings in those six-and-a half years, covering his experiences and observations working on the farms and the grounds of Wimpole Hall. Everyday tasks were duly reported, together with an entertaining mix of events, national scything festivals, people, the passing of the seasons, rural craft competitions, Wimpole wildlife, stunning photography, and some overseas ‘adventures’. Simon even found time to become National Scything Champion! Twice.
In September 2020, Simon was kind enough to hand ‘Wympole & Wratsworth’ over to ‘Wimpole Past‘ to ensure the site’s safe keeping in uncertain times. Although ‘Wympole & Wratsworth’ is somewhat archived at present, nothing has been switched off. Everything should work as normal. Comments are still encouraged and 'Wimpole Past' has added this new Archive Index to help visitors navigate around all 465 posts.
The archive also holds over 3000 photographs*. Most of the later photographs can be opened as super-high-resolution images.
There’s even a possibility that Simon will be posting some new blogs. Go explore!
Some Very Small Print:
(a) Although it is now the day-to-day custodian, the 'Wimpole Past' website is not responsible for statements or opinions as expressed on the 'Wympole & Wratsworth' blog, archive or in any comments area.
(b) The 'Wympole & Wratsworth' blog and archive remains copyright © Simon Damant.
(c) *All photographs on the 'Wympole & Wratsworth' blog and archive remain copyright © Simon Damant except where stated otherwise. Permission to use Simon's photographs will generally be granted for educational or non-profit applications if a suitable credit is given.
Archive Index (March 2012 - October 2018, newest first):
'Wympole & Wratsworth' Home Page
'One Thousand Trees in Ten Years'
October 2018:
 Burwash Manor Apple Day 2018
      Gale, NT tent, shingle making, spoon carving, relief carving, bodger, Bic, Raptor
      Foundation, Tim Radford, 2018 National Hedgelaying Champion

 Wimpole Estate Produce Fair
      Rural craft group, portable forge, iron age axe heads, split hazel baskets, oak
      roofing shingles, bowls, lathe

 Wimpole Scything Festival 2018, Part 3: Sunday
      Wimpole estate, mowing, scything, 2018 festival, 5m x 5m sprint mow, 10m x 10m
      Blue Riband mow, competition, results, winner's crown, winners' chairs

 Mowing Poems
      'Mowing' (Robert Frost), 'To Autumn' (John Keats), 'The Tuft of Flowers' (Robert Frost),
      'Sonnet XII' (William Shakespeare), 'The Scythe' (Stanley Snaith), 'The Way Through
      the Woods' (Rudyard Kipling)
September 2018:
 Wimpole Scything Festival 2018, Part 2: Saturday
      Wimpole estate, mowing, scything, mowers, 2018 festival, greenwood workers,       ladder-back chair, Sue Holden, Will Wall, Simon Lamb, Alan Reeder, Jon Warwicker,
      Jim McVittie.

 Wimpole Scything Festival 2018, Part 1: A Throne Fit for a (Scything) King
      Wimpole estate, mowing, scything, mowers, 2018 festival, Simon Damant, National
      Scything Champion, Jim McVittie, traditional scything, greenwood crafts, Harston
      Shed and Dining Club, Wympole Strippers Steamers and Benders Association,
      throne, one-acre mowers.
August 2018:
 The Wympole Strippers Ride Again! (Working with Elm Bast)
June 2018:
   Making a Tudor chair - Trying Something a Bit Different
   'The Land' - Rudyard Kipling
March 2018:
   Estonia, an Excursion into Mosquito Valley! Part One
February 2018:
   Here we Come a Wassailing
December 2017:
   Wimpole Park and Home Farm 1828
   Greenwood Group on Tour at the Burwash Manor Apple Day
   Lower Winskill Farm, Yorkshire Dales
August 2017:
   Wimpole Estate Update (17 August 2017)
   Romanian Traditional Rural Life Ebbing Away
   Ancient Trees, Forest Law and Foresters
July 2017:
   You Sow the Seeds and Wait and See What Turns up in June
   Making Hay with Vikings, Norway
   Wimpole Scythe Festival 2017
   May and the Mulberry Tree
June 2017:
   The 13th West Country Scythe Festival 2017
   Part Two: The Estonian Nedrema Wooded Meadow
   Part One: A Trip to the Estonian Forest Meadows
   A Head of Steam at Wimpole [an Aveling & Porter Steam Roller, no less]
   May in Bloom
   Cambridgeshire’s Local Environmental Heroes
   April Showers
May 2017:
   April Tulips in the Wimpole Gardens
   Wympole Bodgers in Framlingham
   A Bridge Too Far
   Pasque Flowers
April 2017:
   Wild Spring at Wimpole
   March - a Time for Tree Surgery, Hedgelaying and Spring
   The Big Farmland Bird Count (10 February 2017)
March 2017:
   Spring Bloom in the Wimpole Gardens
   An Interesting February
   Wimpole Estate 2017 Hedgelaying Competition
February 2017:
   Simon Damant has Ruined my Holidays Forever! by Shane O’Reilly
   January’s Log
   The Wympole Green Woodworkers Review of 2016
January 2017:
   A Murmuration of Starlings
   December’s Log
December 2016:
   November’s Log
November 2016:
   October’s Autumn Delight
   Wimpole at War (errrrrr 1940s!)
   September’s Work
October 2016:
   Hedges, Berries and Birds
   Jordan
   Barn Owl Monitoring
   Summer’s Report
September 2016:
   One Man ('Person', sorry) Went to Mow a Meadow or Maybe a Few More Actually
   Wympole Green Woodworking Matters
August 2016:
   What Bloomed in August?
   Thatching the Great Barn at Wimpole Home Farm
   The 2016 Wimpole Scything Festival (Video)
   The 2016 Wimpole Scythe Festival
   Moths Continued
   Odds and Sods from the Spring
July 2016:
   July Bloom
   Lepidoptera
   A Belated Blog on the Tree Surgery at Wimpole
   Flowers So Far and Road Verges Again
June 2016:
   Badger Cubs On Wimple Estate May 2016
   Moths and Moth Traps
   Insects, Spiders, Arable Plants and Birds
   Kingfisher on the River Rhee
May 2016:
   The Web, Salad and Spiders
April 2016:
   Marsh Harriers with Red Kite
   “Boys like Axes! Oh and Swords” by David Owen
March 2016:
   Mad as a March Hare
   What Were We Up to Before Spring Arrived
   A Trip to Wales and Oh My, What on Earth is Brussels up to?
   Equinox – Time to ‘Spring Clean’ Meadows
   Farming in the 19th Century on the Wimpole Estate
   The Hedge
   Barn Owls at Cobbs Wood January 2016
   Tipsy Badgers at the Gloucesters Wood (Video)
   A Winter’s Tale
February 2016:
   The Manor Farm …
   Ernest Whydale (1886-1952), a Local Artist
   Subsidies & Desperation of the Hard Working
January 2016:
   Wet days & Imagination
   Happy New Year
December 2015:
   A Photo Review of 2015 [610 photographs...!]
   A Fond Farewell to Two Stakhanovites who will be Sorely Missed
   The Challenges Ahead
   A Warm Christmas
   Stop Press: New Species of Deer Found at Wimpole
   A Big Dream with a Twist
   Christmas in the House
   'Steam, Grease and Apples' by David Owen
November 2015:
   Hedging your Bets for Biodiversity
   New Paper: Synthesis of Biodiversity Drivers in Central Romania
   'Well Deserved Custard Creams' by Shane O’Reilly
   Well Bowl Me Over!
   Stop Press: There have been Murmurs of Murder on Wimpole Estate
   'Steam' by Shane O’Reilly
   Bang, Pop and All That
   Something Fishy Going on Here!
October 2015:
   A Stairway to Heaven (Not Quite!)
   Middle Eastern Food and Modern Art
   Of Trees
   Stop Press: That Elusive Azure Pimpernel has been Seen
   Have I Spelt their Names Right?
   From Sunrise to Sunset
   A Path to a Brighter Future: Degrowth and Deglobalization
   Fair Maidens under a Red Moon
September 2015:
   The Fly Catcher, the Wasp & the Pansy!
   Time to Call it a Day!
   They Hit a Brick Wall!
August 2015:
   Mugwa
   Onwards towards the Great Balkan National Park
   The Great Balkan Trail: Kom to Emine
   Hoverflies and one Butterfly
   Palinka Time
   A Bear Behind
   The Nag’s Abode and the Lazy Dog
   Silver Washed Again
   Alone in Heaven with the Queen
   Thirty Acres Mown in Five Hours- Result!
   The Homestead
   Shepherds, Bears & Boy did we Get Lost
July 2015:
   The Hangman
   Toad in the hole
   Botanical Heaven (better picture resolution, the last was rubbish)
   The Wood Fair at the Weald & Downland Museum
   The Last Episode of the Great Escape
   The Great Escape, Episode 2
   The 18th July Random Photos in Passing
   The Great Escape
   The Wood Fair at the Weald & Downland Museum: Gallery
   Hot, Hot & Hotter
   The Wimpole Scythe Festival Blog and Results
   One Man Went to Mow a Meadow (along with a lot of others)
   The Lynchmere Nightjar & Shingles
   Wimpole Insects No.3
   Muscle vs Fossil Fuel
   Tinkers Bubble
June 2015:
   Can you Spot Poldark?
   A Good Time was had by All
   Up is Down, Down is Up!
   The Big Mow
   The 11th West Country Scythe & Green Fair Video
   A Photo Gallery of the Scythe Festival in the West Country
   A Swarm in May is Worth a Load of Hay; a Swarm in June is Worth a Silver Spoon;
    - but a Swarm in July is not Worth a Fly

   Just-a-Jobs Week
   East of England Scythe Festival
   Busy Weekend
   Barn Owl Check
   Poldarking
   Poldark came to Wimpole!
   Got me Stumped there!
May 2015:
   What to do at the Weekend?
   Hares Photo and Video Review
   Riven
   The Idle Bodger
   Wympole Mowers in Action
   The Bodgers Recycling Ball
   Emerald Green
   Reap What you Sow
   Bodging
   Ye Olde Wympole Forge
   Clayton & Shuttleworth Steam Roller
   Full steam ahead
   April Showers
April 2015:
   Bits and Bobs of the Last week
   Willow Tree Blossom and Surprises
   More on Butterflies and Others
   I Hate Concrete!
   Take That!
   Spring Splendour
   Bogged Down
   It’s not just Glass – It’s a Work of Art…
   How to Collect Bark for Weaving and Making Twine or Rope
   Reed Mowing: a burning passion (ha ha!)
   Willow, Reed & Alder
March 2015:
   Stripping
   Finnish the Mowing
   Pure Folly
   Belgian Logging
   Why you don’t Plant Scots Pine on Aalkaline Soils!
   What Happens when Everyone Else goes Home!
   Frizzled
   £25 :-)
   Sarah Black Learning how to use John the Horse for Extracting Timber
   Who’s the New Kid on the Block?
   Stormy Weather
February 2015:
   Time is of the Essence
   Hedging your Bets!
   Hedgelaying Competition on Wimpole Estate 2015
   Let’s play Conservation Spot the Difference at the Folly….
   Pandora’s Box
   The Jagdterrier
   One of Seven
January 2015:
   ‘Tell’ me More!
   So That’s What the Gardeners were Up To!
   ‘Brash’ by Shane O’Reilly
   An Amazing Space
   Spring Arriving Mid January?
   ‘Tree Planting’ by Shane O’Reilly
   Photos not Brilliant, but a Record Anyway
   The Villains
   Welcome Christmas break
   ‘Meat’ by Shane O’Reilly
   WordPress Review of 2014 for this Blog
   A Review in Pictures of 2014
December 2014:
   On Your Bike!
   He Blewit, did he?
   Inside Out and the Outside In! (2)
   Inside Out and the Outside In!
   Bailed Out!
   Rabbits and Holes
   All a Rush and Too Much to Do!
   Where Looking for Screams and Clouds…..
November 2014:
   Moss, Liverworts and a Carr
   Hedges, Trees and Rebirth
   A Hive of Activity inside the Folly
   A Busy Weekend
   Just Like the Isle of Wight
   'Bradfield Woods' by Shane O’Reilly
   Farming without Fossil Fuel
   Polecats At The Badger Sett
   Snake in the Grass!
   Oh Deer, Oh Deer, Oh Deer…
October 2014:
   A View from the Balcony
   How Big is your Elm?
   Weeding taken to a New Level…
   100 Million Records help Create One of the Largest Wildlife Databases in the World
   Rolling out the Green Carpet for the Environmental Awards in the East
   Hedging your Bets
   Whoopsie Daisy!
   New Doors and Windows
   Follow the Yellow Brick Road…
   The Association of Professional Foresters (Show)
   Gathering Pace as We Head Indoors…
September 2014:
   Keystone Cops and all that!
   Every Day is a School Day
   Wimpole at War
   Who’s Working at the Gothic Tower?
   Corn Maidens and Smuttiness
   Gothic Tower Conservation Project
   'Bodging' by Shane O’Reilly
   Autumn has Arrived and the Evenings are Getting Colder
   'A Wassailing we will Go' by Shane O’Reilly
   Bleeding, Chickens and Stone!
   Fickle Weather
August 2014:
   Jaspers… Loads of ’Em!
   'The Mighty Massey' by Shane O’Reilly
   'Sweat, Toil and Dragonflies' by Shane O’Reilly
   'Good-bye Dan' by Shane O’Reilly
   Who Dunnit?!
   From Stools to Thrones – Take a Seat!
   'Reflections of a Mower' by Shane O’Reilly
   Racks, Fibre, Spindle and Work
   Harvest
July 2014:
   Golden Meadows
   Life is Never Dull (only if you let it be)
   A Lepidopterists Day
   Elvers Galore
   Mr O’Reilly’s little tale of One Man went to Mow a Meadow
   The Clear Up
   Scythe Festival: Part Two
   Scythe Festival: Part One
   Mowing Results for the Seventh Scythe Festival at Wimpole
June 2014:
   Marbles
   Grass, Sunshine and a Mowing we will go
   Wild at Heart
   Nailed It
   Sheep, Flowers and Views
   What’s in a Job Title?
   Arizona, Here we Come
   Bodgers’ Ball III
   The Uncarved Block
May 2014:
   God, St Francis and Fossil Fuel
   Miss Piggy
   Bill and Ben and Weeeeeed
   How does your Meadow Grow?
   Strewn with Gold
   Bodgers Ball II
   Bodgers’ Ball I: Pimps, Faggots & Benders
   I Hate Painting!!!!!!!!!
   Tabitha and the Owl
   Whistle the May Blossom in
   Douglas AEC 1950’s Timber Tractor
   Full Steam Ahead
   St George and the Dragon
April 2014:
   Walkabout on the Estate
   My Kingdom for a Horse!
   The Cycle is Starting all Over
   More Butterflies
   Green wood of the Month; English Walnut
   Wild Wimpole
   Taking Stock
March 2014:
   The Hail Storm
   Off to Market
   Just-a-Jobs
   The Primrose
   How Much?!!!!!
   Jim Doing Quite Well
   Tree Surgery Week
   A View from a Tree
   Cupid’s Arrow
   Hedgelaying Competition
   Rainbows Everywhere
   Dan has been Looking for some Affordable Accommodation…
February 2014:
   Winter is Slipping Away :-)
   Busy Week
   The Clear Up
   Trees Down Everywhere
   Ashes to Ashes
   Stop Press: Just When you Don’t Need Any More Work!
   Dan Trotted off to Find the Pot of Gold!
   Thrown to the Ground in the Great Storm
   Rain It Rained …
   Wet, Windy and by the Sea
   Stop Press: A Heavy Night of Rain
   Framed by Beech
   The 6th Hedge Laying Competition on the Wimpole Estate
   We’ve Been Spoilt, Three Days without Rain
   Friday Night’s Rain and Saturdays Lake
   Oranges and a LEMON
January 2014:
   Scythe Association of Britain & Ireland
   Stop Press: It’s Raining AGAIN
   CAFG
   Fairy Dust
   So That’s what the Gardeners have Been Up To !
   Today’s Weather was Extreme (here are some of the better parts of the day while
   planting trees in the park)
   Mud, Mud Galore
   The Folly in Late Afternoon
   Wimpole Hall in the Morning Light
   Rain, Rain, Rain… When Will it Stop?
   Happy New Year :-)
December 2013:
   Windy Season!
   Mutton not Lamb - Cook it Long and Slow
   A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush
   Jill, Hob and the Rest
   Hedges, Drives and all Wrapped Up
   Gamlingay Wood
November 2013:
   The Rats are Back :-(
   Christmas Craft Fair and Rural Goings On
   Winter is Upon Us :-)
   Pressing (part 2)
   Bonfire, Hedges and Fungi
   A Pressing Day (part one)
   Special Ooperating Procedures and the Bryce Sumo
October 2013:
   Fungi Foray and some Rarities
   Hospital Jobs and Ecological Oranges
   Apples, Hedges and Pike
   Uncovered
   Fungi Galore
   And I Thought the Week had been Quiet !
September 2013:
   One of those Weeks you could do Without…
   The Weather has Broken
   Autumn Meals for All
   Autumn Seems to have Arrived
   Mechanised Hand Spinning with Simons Wool
   Ducks, Hounds and Gooey Pets!
   Mist in the Morning (Early)
   Midnight Murder!
   Devils, Ergot & Chickens
August 2013:
   Butterflies Fight Back the Moth PR Release
   Poor Relations
   Nothing to do with Work!
   Up the Creek without a Paddle
   Barn Owlets Days Five to Seven
   Pole Lathes, Revet Wheat & Wild Flower Seed
   Yesterdays’ Elusive Migrant and a First
   Migrants Arrive
   So what Happened Last Week ?
   Barn Owlets on Wimpole Estate
   Revival of Ancient Barley Variety Thrills Fans of Old Beer Styles
   Headache - so Much to Do
   Weekend of Odds and Sods- but Interesting!
July 2013:
   A Bason Full Of Birds
   Odd Week
   Meadows, Flowers, Bees, Butterflies and Moths
   More Moths , Butterflies and Bees Getting Together
   No it Didn’t!!!!!!!!
   Meadows, Bumble Bees, Butterflies and other Friends
   Ragwort, Work Experience and Hot Weather
   What’s Happened over the Last Few Weeks?
   Mower, Blacksmith, Rake Maker, Bodger, Spinner, Shearer, Stick Maker, Hurdle Maker
      and Peg Maker- to name but a few, Part 3
   Mower, Blacksmith, Rake Maker, Bodger, Spinner, Shearer, Stick Maker, Hurdle Maker
      and Peg Maker- to name but a few, Part 2
   Barn Owl Table Manners
   Mower, Blacksmith, Rake Maker, Bodger, Spinner, Shearer, Stick Maker, Hurdle Maker
      and Peg Maker- to name but a few, Part 1
   Butterflies by the Billion
   Barn Owls Bucking the Trend
   Disaster
June 2013:
   And a Trip Overseas!
   Very Changeable Weather
   Shearing Day
   What Happened in Somerset this Weekend?
   Folly Field
   A Few Cold Wet Days at the Beginning
May 2013:
   Bank Holiday Weekend! Not a Time I like …..
   Adam’s Last Wweek
   A Catch Up on the Jobs Done Before the Bodgers Ball
   Ever Wondered about Bluebell Woods?
   Lawnmower Men
   The Bygone Bodgers’ Ball II
   The Bygone Bodgers’ Ball I
   The Threshing Restaurant
   Only a Day Away
   Hot, Damn Hot
April 2013:
   The Bodgers Bygone Ball
   Tree Surgery! What the Hell is That?
   Is that a Badger?
   Ooooops!
   Warmer…. Just!
   Easter and Maybe, just Maybe, the Icy Claw of Winter is Losing its Grip
   Still Very Cold But!
March 2013:
   Arctic Weather, but the Blossom is Coming Out...
   March 22nd and Now it’s Spring... or is it Winter Again?!
   Mr Anderson Actually Working can you Believe That!
   Test Pits 101
   Wimpole Pole Lathers March
   Who am I?
   Spring, NOT !
   Aggggggghhhhhhh Those Deer
   What Happened to Last Week’s Work?
   Hedge Laying Course (2nd March)
February 2013:
   Sometimes the Beginning of the Week is Better then the End of the Week
   Reed Buntings
   Corn Bunting
   The Wimpole Lathers
   Mr Anderson Mis-behaving
   Jobs Galore
   Cambridge Road Farm Tree Planting
   Justin Andersons hedge laying photo video
   Tree Planting in the Parkland
   Fabrication of the Metal Tree Guards
   Wimpole Estate, 2013 Hedge Laying Competition
   17 Holes Left to Dig :-)
   Hawfinch Causes a Stir at Wimpole
January 2013:
   Test Pits and the Regional Archaeologist Hard at Work
   Vincent Talleu’s Sourdough Bread Recipe
   Bread Making
   Just General Goings One before the Thaw
   The Big Gun Brought in to Hhelp
   Finishing off in Cobbs Wood
   OW
   Common Buzzard Feeding on the Remains of a ‘Cold Storage’ Fallow Deer Carcass
   A Good Day Out
   A Thousand Trees for the Parkland
   Icy Cold Grip, how’s the Wildlife Doing?
   Snow Snow and More Snow
   One Man’s Waste is Another Man’s Treasure
   A Winters Walk on Wimpole Estate
   Two Days of Cleaning Up and Making Everything Ship Shape
   What’s the Treen?
   Snow Joke
   Coppicing is Progressing
   What’s the Point ?
   Ravens at Wimpole
   Coppicing in Cobbs Wood
December 2012:
   Where did all this Rain Come From?
   Spot the Birdie
   The Forester’s party
   Planting the Wildlife Hedge for the Myfarm Vote
   The Last Day of Work before Christmas
   Yellow Hammer
   Hedge Laying Competition 2013
March 2012:
   Two Kilowatt Hours
Going Home
Frosty Reception
Small, Medium or Large, Sir?
Munch, Munch, Munch
Four Wimpole Treescapes from 'Wympole & Wratsworth'
Copyright © Simon Damant, all rights reserved.

This page was last updated on: 24 September 2020.



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