Patent Love

Our neighbour, Gordon, who lives in Old Rode House, Downton Lane this morning gave us this typed version of an article from The Mansfield and Sutton Times of 29th June 1928:

The highlighted paragraph is the one that specifically features our little hamlet, and is, incidentally evidence that our house was certainly built before the 1930s, as we had been given to understand. I have also scanned the next two pages which describe the life of our area a hundred years ago. Apart from the volume of motor traffic this has not changed much in the intervening years. We do have electricity, but not gas. We are not on mains drainage and dispose of our waste by means of a septic tank. These continuation sheets can be enlarged by access to their gallery.

The few fluffy clouds creeping away from a clear cerulean sky above our garden earlier heralded the cold, bright, day that we were to enjoy. The last image in the above set was produced by looking down on the kitchen skylight from our new first floor sitting room.

We began with a visit to Pilley’s lake where my usual seasonal view bore signs of autumn and a number of ponies

drinking and reflected in the clear, still waters.

Some of the animals wandered across Jordans Lane until a woman left one of the cars and shooed them off.

This was Jules who called her pony over from the far side of the lake and gave him treats – this soon had me surrounded by other equines hoping for the same from me. I had engaged this friendly person in conversation in order to ask her about the foal with the stick in its collar that we had seen yesterday. She had obligingly parked behind Jackie where we enjoyed talking. Jules thought it likely that the small branch would become dislodged. The love between pony and owner was patent.

Assorted equines gathered on the other side of the water.

Donkeys with a foal gathered at East Boldre, where

robins flitted about.

More ponies, casting long shadows gathered on the verges of the beginning of South Baddersley Road. These, we thought, were the group that we often see at St Leonard’s Grange, with their little attached Shetland,

today enjoying an extended scratch on a post, while

one of its taller companions was able to use its hoof.


  1. Your little Hamlet sounds beautiful both then and now. I’d love to live in a place like that. πŸ™‚ I remember when Norm worked on crystal sets as a bit of a hobby at work back in the 1980’s and they were way outdated then. I wonder what happened to them. Perhaps he could start up the hobby again but then again…our house wouldn’t have the room for such a set up.

    1. When we moved to Newark in 1987 Sam chose his bedroom on the strength of 18 power points left by the previous owner who was a Citizen’s Band Radio enthusiast. Thanks very much, Chrissie.

  2. What an interesting article – both in terms of the glimpse into life in your hamlet all those years ago, but also the glimpse into the holiday options of the day… Funny, too, that it was the ex-smoking carriage that was reclaimed as guest accommodation!
    Beautiful autumn sunshine – so lovely to see Jules’ connection with her pony. And the fact that she did not need a coat today – a treat for December!

      1. That’s too bad. Every village or hamlet, not matter how small, benefits from a village shop and post office. Provides a center. I would also add a library to the mix.

  3. The blues and the depths of those first two sets of images ae amazing, Derrick.

    I am SO glad to hear that the “owners” of the ponies are attuned to their needs. I was never sure, as they all seem to be wandering about wily nilly. But, of of course, that’s what anyone would want to do, as long as they are cared for.

  4. Adore your donkey and pony photos Derrick, the are calm and soothing … ouchie, my elbow is aching a bit this morning .. and reading about your wonderful hamlet area is definitely a good distraction for me…

  5. I like the instruction to holidaymakers to be early to bed and up with the lark. I like a bit of a holiday when I go on holiday so I leave the lark to it.

    The three studies of the tree and Pilley’s Lake were my favourites today.

  6. Really lovely to chat to Derrick today
    Fabby pics of the ponies and the beautiful forest that was just revelling in glorious winter sunshine. Such a beautiful day . The ponies are all looking super healthy – well fattened from summer and autumn grass ready to take on whatever winter throws at them – hopefully it will be kind.

  7. I loved the description of the coach/cabin. I’ve spent a couple of lovely weeks in an old railroad bunkhouse, and I know someone from the Texas panhandle who used to stop after school to get fresh tortillas from a woman who lived in a repurposed railway car. I daresay the lifestyles had some similarities!

  8. So many ponies! If I lived there, I’d be drawn to make friends with them. They seem a bit like big dogs, but more independent. I like the cerulean skies, too!

  9. What a wonderful article! Such great history! Love the part about the music of the birds. πŸ™‚
    You know I love the donkeys! And the robins! And the ponies! (all having a good hair day! πŸ™‚ )
    So nice to meet Jules and her pretty pony! πŸ™‚
    Love the little Shetland scratching what itches! πŸ™‚ What a cutie! πŸ˜€
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  10. There seems to be virtually every possible combination of colours and patterns on those horses. I like the white one with a brown face, I’ve never noticed one like that before.

  11. Your little hamlet is to be envied!! Of course then being surrounded by ponies of all breeds, horses with their auburn coats glistening in the sun and friendly neighbors!!

  12. You certainly live in a beautiful area. I particularly like the first set of ponies at Piley Lake photos.
    It looks like it was a very pleasant day for walking around.

  13. Your home has an interesting history. Those idyllic photographs are fruits of immaculate exposure and framing. The one captured looking down the kitchen skylight is ingenious. The equestrian population is enjoying being themselves, unbothered by the business of the bipeds, odd treats notwithstanding.

  14. How fun that 1928 letter was! I love tht you keep learning about the history of the Old Post House!! Great photos of those wonderful ponies, {{{Derrick}}} !! Have a great week. I’m busy trying to catch up on my WP reading. I got a little behind as I was working on writing Christmas cards and buying, wrapping, and mailing off gifts to family overseas.

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