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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher



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24 May 2022

    Bluebells at Rushall Farm I first met...


June 2016

June 2016

9 May 2016



Painting the corrugated roof on the Black Barn was on my LIST.  I bought the paint, had a special, inherited four-inch brush last used by my father pre 1983, and it was going to be dry.  The Victorian lean-to roof was bigger and steeper than I had imagined.  Undeterred, my ladders were soon in place, tied carefully, with my pickup strategically placed to stop any slippage.  Jokingly, I had given Lindsay my funeral arrangements before leaving home.  She suggested that since I had not written my will, I’d best come home for lunch, reminding me also that I was due at the Radcliffe for blood donation that afternoon.  As I viewed the task in hand, I was afforded wise advice by passing, but senior folk walking their dogs in this “spring and summer all in one week” day.  It varied from the inherent dangers of combining older age and ladders to an almost detailed Health and Safety requirement when approaching such a dangerous and hazardous task.  This session concluded with a description of the man who lived opposite, who had fallen off a ladder and never been the same since, AND several others including a well-known local builder in his mid-sixties who is apparently banned from putting a foot off terra firma.  Encouraged by Job’s comforters I crawled gingerly up the roof and put the first blob of black Bitumastic paint on the now hungry for action corrugated iron. I was, after all, defying all reasonable counsel and unlikely to survive the project.  It was not easy, but making progress, I felt pleased that against all odds paint was going on the roof.  As my confidence grew, I became somewhat disappointed that, in spite of a number of people walking past, nobody even noticed my heroic efforts, or was any source of encouragement.  Then it happened!  A Muslim lady on a school visit from Whitley Wood sneaked round to where I was working to have a fag.  She told me she was from Pakistan, prayed five times a day and read the Koran, but at home.  We talked about bringing up a young family in such a confused world and how her faith and mine both have their origins through Abraham in the Bible. She finished her cigarette, smiled and said, “The roof looks good.” And it does! John Bishop