Domesday Reloaded Border Collies

The Domesday Book of William the Conqueror

In 1085 William the Conqueror commissioned a survey of England and Wales to “find out what or how much each landholder had in land and livestock, and what it was worth.”  It was an accounting of the lands and assets that the Normans had captured for use in taxation of those valuables in order to pay for the privilege of being conquered.  The work garnered the title “Domesday” because the valuation was likened to the final accounting of the Judgement Day: no appeals, no evasion, all decisions final.

The original survey did not include Northumbria–a birthplace of the Border Collie–as the Normans failed to conquer the Scots and the border regions were subject to one of the most brutal border wars in history leaving few people and little assets left in the region to tax and tenuous Norman influence in the region.

“Hic Domus Incenditur” – Here a home is burned, a scene from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Harrowing of the North.

The winter campaigns of 1069 to subdue the north of England resulted in widespread destruction of property, farms, and social institutions like churches and abbeys, amounting to the death of over 100,000 people.  The veritable scorched earth policy is known as the Harrowing of the North and the lasting effects of the depopulation are still evident in the accounts of the Domesday Book some fifteen years later.  Many of the towns from Cheshire and Staffordshire northward are listed as “laid waste,” and no accounting of Northumbria was even made.

As the Domesday book contains an exhaustive account of economics and society in England, and is the largest and most comprehensive source of such data from any Western culture until the modern era,  it’d be a fascinating source to examine the history of dogs in England should the book contain enough of that sort of data.

Although the full text of the Domesday book (originally in Latin) is hard to obtain online, a modern recreation of the effort done almost 30 years ago has now been published to the web.

In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.

People were asked to record what they thought would be of interest in another 1000 years.

The whole of the UK – including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man – was divided into 23,000 4x3km areas called Domesday Squares or “D-Blocks”.

Schools and community groups surveyed over 108,000 square km of the UK and submitted more than 147,819 pages of text articles and 23,225 amateur photos, cataloguing what it was like to live, work and play in their community.

This was about documenting everyday life – the ordinary rather than the extraordinary.

The  complete “Domesday Reloaded” project is searchable for free and I’ve enjoyed data-mining the content for information on Border Collies.  I suspected that there would be a geographical bias on where the mentions of Border Collies would come from, specifically the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, the area from which the dogs derive their name and trace their origin.  What I found was a near uniform representation of Border Collies from all over the UK, from the northern most regions of Scotland to as far south as Jersey, an island that is closer to France than England, from Northern Ireland in the West to the suburbs of London in the East.

The types of Border Collies mentioned include working sheepdogs, a show dog, and pets and while the brilliance of the breed is reinforced there is also mention of their susceptibility to hip dysplasia and eye problems.

Here are those excerpts and a map I created showing where the anecdotes were submitted to the project. I’ve arranged them in roughly North to South order.

Map of the “Border Collies” of the BBC’s Domesday project from the 1980s.

* KEIG, BENNACHIE, DINGWALL, BRORA

FARMING

Alexander Moir of Pond Croft, Keig, is a noted breeder and handler of Border Collies. He grazes a flock of stock ewe hoggs on ground rented from Harthill Farms from the end of September to the 1st. April the following year when they are sold. Mr. Moir usually has four working collies – at present these consist of two bitches, Fan, the eldest at seven years of age, and Meg plus two dogs, Moss and Glen. Most of his dogs begin to work at about nine months old but Mr. Moir has a bitch puppy who is learning her duties at four months which, according to her master, is the earliest he has ever known a collie to start working. Mr. Moir wins many prizes with his collies which are attractive animals in top condition.

EVENTS – SHEEPDOG TRIALS

A hill trial for sheep dogs was held on the lower slopes of Bennachie on Sunday, 13 October, 1985 (organised by Alexander Moir, Pond Croft, Keig). The entrants were limited to 30 - all collies working singly. The trials began at 8 a.m. with each competitor being allowed a maximum of 15 minutes to complete the course. The dogs were expected to herd 4 sheep on a 650 yard uphill outrun also to shed and pen. Competitors came from as far afield as Brora. The judge was the previous year’s winner, Hugh MacKenzie from Dingwall, and the prizes were presented by Lady Forbes. The weather was ideal for the event – blue skies and brilliant sunshine (see slide B).

* NEWTYLE

HENDERSON FARM

It lies S. E. of Newtyle and Mr. McVicar is the tenent farmer. He has 750 breeding ewes and 67 beef cattle. He buys his sheep at Fort William in the late Summer and keeps them for lambing in the Spring. He has 5 or 6 working Border Collies. He has two big bulls and the calves are sold at Perth and Stirling. He has pheasants on the farm but doesn’t rear them. They belong to Kinpurnie Estate. Mr. McVicar grows crops for animal food not for cash except for oil seed rape, peas and some barley which goes to the maltings in Arbroath. The rest is used to feed his animals. Alan McOwan Primary 6.

MILLHOLE FARM

Millhole Farm is situated at the top of the Glack of Newtyle. The Glack is the narrow valley of the Newtyle Burn which forms a pass through the Sidlaws. It isn’t a very big farm. Mr. I Steel the tenent buys 50 ewes at the market in Kirriemuir in October. The lambs when old enough are grazed on the higher slopes of the Auchtertyre hill. He has two Border Collie dogs to help work the sheep. He also fattens cattle. He grows barley, potatoes, peas and grass for silage. Most of his crops are used for fodder during the winter months, when the cattle are kept indoors. The peas are sold. There is a big quarry called Burnside Quarry which is no longer used on his farm. Robert Burns once lived in a house called Millhole but it was not this one. (Kerry Youngson P7)

* INVERSNAID

CLIPPING AT INVERSNAID

Clipping is very arduous. You have 2 lots of clipping-eild ewes and hoggs in June, and milk clipping in July,when you work with double the number of sheep. (Scottish Blackface x Swaledale) You usually get up at 4:30am. You gather the sheep first. You can’t gather if it is misty or raining since you don’t want wet fleeces. Most shepherds work with at least 2 good border collies. After gathering you take the sheep to the fank and shed off hoggs and eild ewes and put them into pens for clipping. The ewes with lambs are dipped and put into parks to mother up. Croggers take the sheep one at a time to the clippers. Some one rolls the fleeces and puts them into large bags to be taken to the Wool Growers in Paisley.

* HILLFOOTS

FARMING IN THE HILLFOOTS

Most of the farms are family run units with suckler cows having cross Simmental, Charolais, Limousin and Angus calves. Blackface ewes with Blackface or Greyface lambs. Rams used are Black faced, Blueheaded Leicester or Suffolk Lambs sold at Stirling Market. Border Collie dogs are used to work the sheep. A few goats are kept to supply milk for orphan lambs. One Dairy of Freisian cows. Milk lifted by tanker lorry. Tractors used in all farm work with turbo mowers, reversable ploughs square and round balers and silorators. Combine Harvesters for the grain crop of barley. Hay, Rape and silage are also grown. A few hens for domestic use. Four wheeled drive trucks are used for transport.

* ARNPRIOR

FARMING IN ARNPRIOR

All of the farms keep some fat stock cattle although one of the small farms has only 8 such animals. Typical herd sizes vary between 40-60, but two farms have 200 and 150 beasts respectively. Herefords are the basic breed, but these are usually crossed with such other breeds as Charolais, Limousin, Simmental, Aberdeen Angus or Friesian. Only one farmer has a pure herd – Simmentals – for stock rearing. Altogther the farms have more than 700 fat stock cattle. There is also one small breeding herd of 20 Friesian dairy cattle. Few other animals are now kept on the farms – two farmers have 20 or 30 hens, one has a few ducks and geese and one keeps two horses. All, of course, have working dogs – border collies.

* HOWNAM

WORKING DOGS–BORDER COLLIES

In the area around Hownam, in Scotland almost all the dogs are rough coated border collies, which mostly do a full days work with cattle or sheep. Some old dogs past working are quite often kept as pets. Television has made a star of the collie,and at last every one can appreciate the power these dogs have, the understanding with their masters. The help of a good dog is invaluable, the power of his eye can turn the most stubborn of sheep. However now some shepherds prefer to check their flocks on motorbike, or in a landrover, and one wonders if the collie will become obsolete. The International Sheepdog Society keeps a record of most collies, thus breeding can be traced back for many generations. It is wize to have dogs eye-tested at 2 years old for retina trouble, and if it is found breeding from this dog is bad policy.

TYPES OF ANIMALS NEAR HOWNAM

It can be expected, with people living in a rural enviroment, as do those near the village of Hownam in the Scottish Borders, that animals play a large part in their lives. Apart from farm stock a number of pets are kept too. The 12 permanantly occupied houses have between them 28 working collies, 7 pet dogs, 21 cats and four horses. Of caged pets there are six rabbits,one guinea- pig and one hampster and 2 people keep a budgie. Also kept in the area are 96 hens and one goose, six goats and a milk cow. Wild animals too are seen in abundance, with foxes, hares and mice top of the list. Next come rabbits, weasles, moles, shrews, hedgehog and deer with rats ans stoats not far behind. More than half the population have seen badgers in the area, and a few less had spotted mink, adders and squirrels.

‘SPARE TIME’ AROUND HOWNAM

Most of the people living round the village of Hownam in the Scottish Borders, when asked what they did in their spare time, answered,”What spare time?” There are no ‘Gentleman Farmers’ here, and no nine to five jobs, and so called ‘Spare Time’ is as likely to be used exercising a pup, or nursing an ailing animal, as doing anything solely for pleasure. However,everyone does spend some time watching television, and almost all listen to the radio or to records. Reading is a very popular passtime, and the area has the service of a good mobile library, once every 2 weeks. Most ladies find some time for knitting, and about half of them do sewing, crochet work or embroidery too The majority of the population spend some time gardening, producing fine arrays of flowers, but good vegetables too to supplement the winter larder.

* HOBKIRK

FARMING

FARMING is the dominant industry : 9 farms come into this block. These are Tythehouse, Howahill, Harwoodmill, Cleuch Head, Braidhaugh, Hartshaugh, Highend, Langraw, and Hobsburn. Crowntailrig is a smallholding with stables. SHEEP for meat and wool are the main product of the area. The most common breeds are Cheviots and Suffolk, and a few Jacob’s sheep are kept for fleece alone. Much of the grazing is on high ground and a great deal of crops grown are for extra fodder. Stock is sent to market in several nearbye towns to be sold, and a great deal of the fleece obtained at shearing is used in the Border knitwear industries. CATTLE are also important to the area’s economy. They are almost invariably raised for beef although a farmers wife will occasionally keep a cow for domestic milk. A mixture of breeds is kept: Ayrshire, Galloway, Hereford and cross-breeds. Continental Breeds have also been introduced, e. g. Charolais and Limousin. As most of the farmland in the block is part of bigger estates it is hard to be precise about numbers, but at the time of our survey Hartshaugh for example had 340 of various kinds of cattle plus two bulls, and nearly 1000 sheep in our area. Much hearding and shepherding is done with the help of skilful trained BORDER COLLIE DOGS. HENS are commonly kept for eggs but not on a commercial scale-similarly some GOATS are kept for milk. HORSES are kept for transport on some hill pastures, but mainly for fox-hunting and pleasure.

* HARBOTTLE

HOME LIFE

The children in Harbottle School have cats, dogs, birds, mice, fish, and rabbits as their pets. The kinds of birds are budgies and peacocks. The kinds of dogs are terrier, collie, and spaniel. The dog is the most popular pet in our school. There are 8 working dogs owned by families of children in our school. The working dogs are in the main Border Collies and they are used in the movement of sheep. They are controlled by whistle commands or shouts. Phrases used are ‘way by’ and ‘Come by’. These orders control movements to the right and left. Some dogs are trained to retreive game after shooting. Young foxhounds are kept on farms to get used to farm animals before they go out hunting.

* EWES

THE LOWER EWES VALLEY

The area is a typical example of Scottish Border uplands countryside, nestling between rolling hills covered with grass, heather and braken with small woodland plantations. Occasional rocky outcrops show where the fast flowing streams have gouged their way between the hills to open out into grass and scrub lined valley. The people work on large hill farming units rearing beef cattle, and cheviot and Blackface sheep, with the shepherds and their collies a common sight tending the flocks on the hillsides. Cultivated areas produce the main sources of feedstuffs for the livestock and fields of barley, hay and root crops cover the valley floor and lower hillsides.

* CASTLE CARROCK, BRAMPTON

ANIMALS IN THE ECONOMY

One farm, situated within CASTLE CARROCK, was taken as a typical example of the type of animal farming carried on in the area.

This farm totalled 136 acres, and rented another 40 acres for summer grazing.

There were 65 milking cows and 140 young cattle. The 50 sheep were kept for lambing and several hoggs were also reared.

Other farms within the area keep hens, ducks and geese for eggs and table birds. Horses are also kept on some farms, although only one pony trap is regularly driven – by a Fell Pony. All farms employ working dogs, usually Border Collies.

BRAMPTON – AN OVERVIEW OF LOCAL FARMING

The area is primarily agricultural in character and supports eleven farms. Most of the land is pasture and meadow with a few fields of barley and turnips grown for animal feeding. Though there is still some rough grazing, the cultivation of selected, nutritious grass has improved the quality of the herbage. The grass crop is stored as both hay and silage. Herds of British Friesian cattle are the commonest dairy cows. There are also dairy Shorthorn cattle. The Welsh Black is a popular choice for beef cattle. Sheep are widespread over the area, with Suffolk Sheep the commonest breed. There are also some British Milk sheep.

Generally, hedges reinforced with wire fencing bound the fields. In the Farlam and Tarn area dry stone walling is also used. Many of the hedges are layed or trimmed regularly and well maintained. Very few have been taken out, and by modern standards the fields are small. The farms are family concerns employing very few other people. Border Collie dogs are used to round up sheep. The farm houses and out-buildings are mostly stone built. The milking parlours, though clean, are not of modern design or equipped with the most modern facilities. All the farmers own at least one tractor and do their own hay-making and harvesting.

* DRUMMORE

HOME LIFE

Whereas the beef farmer can organise his hours to a respectable time the dairy farmer has a vastly different day. It starts at 4:30am with milking and with herds of 200 cows takes till 8:00am. Breakfast is usually large and hot especially in cold weather. From 9:00am to 3:00pm -general farm work and 3:30 till 6:00pm milking. The food is mainly basic but nourishing and includes quite a bit of home baking. Many farm houses have a large vegetable garden in which varieties of vegetables and fruit grow.

Housing normally the stock is consumed quite rapidly but any excess is frozen and kept in case of emergency. Not many pets are kept but of those which are dogs and cats are favourite. Dogs, however, tend to be border collies and are working dogs.

* HIGH LORTON

FARMING

Farming is the main industry in this area. Most of the farms are hill farms rearing sheep. Breeds have to be tough to withstand the cold and wet on the fell and also to live on fairly poor grazing. The most popular kinds are Swaledale and Herdwick, plus Cheviots, Blue-faced Leicester and crosses between them. Some farmers also keep cattle for milk or beef. Most grow their own winter-feed: grass for silage or hay, and turnips. Fields are mostly in the valley at the bottom of the fells, usually with dry-stone walls around them. The sheep spend most time grazing on the fell, but are brought down nearer to the farm-buildings for lambing, dipping and shearing. Because the land is often so rough and steep, the farmers use dogs, usually border-collies, to gather their sheep.

* BECKERMET

PETS IN BECKERMET

From a survey carried out in school, the most popular pets were cats and dogs. The most popular breed of dog was the Border Collie. Other people keep farm animals as pets such as horses, hens, lambs and calves. Other pets which are popular are gerbils, goldfish, budgerigars, rabbits and tortoies. The majority of pets are fed on tinned food, some such as budgies eat dried food. I have a horse. In the winter I have to feed him on hay in the morning and night and in the afternoon he has hard feed called Coarse Horse. In the summer he does not need any extra food because the grass is enough for him to eat. In the winter I brush all the mud off his coat. When it is casting time I brush all his coat off.

Farmer Wilson Boow and his family train a collie sheepdog to gather Herdwick sheep for shearing near Ulpha Church, 1986.

* ULPHA

FARMING IN THE VALLEY

Farming is the main occupation in our area. I live on a farm and we have a friesian pedigree herd. There are Herefords, Shorthorns, Ling and Simmental cows on other farms. Most farmers have a lot of Herdwick sheep and there are Swaledales, Cheviots, Suffolks and Teasdales. Most people have border collie sheepdogs and they are clever with the sheep. A farmer has a busy year. In April he is lambing, in May he is smitting, in June there is silage and hay, in July shearing and dipping and in October there is tupping.

* DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN

BALLACHRINK FARM

Ballachrink Farm was built in 1860 though Mr. Crowe, his wife and two small children live in a house built in 1954. The farm is 450 acres and is made up of 74 fields. There is one Forestry Board plantation on one field is occasionally used for motor-cycle scrambling. Mr. Crowe has 650 ewes which are Scottish Blackface and they produce 1000 lambs each spring. The sheep are dipped twice a year in July and October. There are also 170 beef cows, mostly Friesians. 3 sheepdogs make up the rest of the animals and one. Nan was given to him as a ‘Wedding Present’. It is a Border Collie. There are 3 barns on the farm and 4 other out houses. Mr. Crowe puts as many animals as he can in these in winter and then has to feed them.

This can cost as much as £1, 000 per. week. THe farm has quite a lot of machinery including :3 tractors, 1 muck spreader, 1 baler, 2 trailers, 2 mowers and a hay turner and the cost of this is roughly £40, 000. Mr. Crowe gets up at 7:30am. and likes to be in bed at 11:30. He is lucky because he can take the occasional holiday as his father, who owns the farm comes to take over. There are also two other part time workers. The farm costs about £50, 000 a year to run.

* SLIEVER MEELBEG, NORTHERN IRELAND

FARMING, cont’d

This fodder may be hay or silage but farms at this altitude are mainly pasture. Since the 1985 Summer was so wet and cool, many farmers who would have enough hay, are having to buy it. Each farmer usually works his sheep with a dog – often a Border Collie. Virtually none of these upland farms have any dairy cattle. A few might keep a couple of pigs. There has been an increase in the number of goats kept for their milk – perhaps a response to the increasing diagnosis of allergy to cows milk. Many farmers wives keep hens; a few fatten geese and ducks for sale at Christmas. Most farmhouses, whether attached to working farms or not, have been modernised, often by adding a second storey and/or a kitchen extension. Some have only been connected to the telephone system in the last 5 years.

* NEW FERRY

MY FAMILY AND MYSELF

My name is Alison Cropper, I am 11 years old, I have a sister called Beverly and a brother called Stephen. My mum met my dad at a dance. I go to Church Drive School, my form teacher is Mrs. Skelly and the Headmistress is called Mrs. Roberts. My best friends are Jenni, Jessica and Toni. My mum works at a Post Office in Birkenhead, she cleans the offices. My dad works at Van Den Berghs. My sister works in a hairdressers and my brother works as a security officer in London, he has met Bob Hope and he has held the Milk Cup. My pets are a dog called Shep, a Border Collie, who has lovely markings around his eyes. When we got him he was very thin because his owner didn’t feed him or take him out. My other pets are 2 Goldfish. My dad’s hobby is collecting first day issues and he now has 3 books full.

* BRADBOURNE

WINN FARM LAND USE

The farm comprises 140 acres of permanent pasture land – no crops are grown. This is used for grazing for the dairy herd which is made up of 107 Fresian cows, 70 calves and 3 bulls. The farm has its own milking parlour. This produces 350, 000 litres of milk annually which is sent to Northern Dairies at Nottingham. Also on the farm are 60 lambing ewes, 12 hens and the farm dog, a border collie. The farm land is fenced off by low hawthorn hedges, with posts and barb wire where there are breaks in the hedging and some dry limestone walling. A rubble-laid road, with a cattle grid, leads down to the farm from the B5035, the main Wirksworth to Ashbourne road. The landscape surrounding the farm is slightly hilly with many trees. The area is covered by Electricity pylons.

* COWBIT

THE KENNELS

We went to the kennels, which is a place where people leave their cats and dogs when they go on holiday.We saw 4 cats and 5 dogs. Mrs Barnes the owner also has 3 dogs of her own, they were all border collies. The dogs are only let out one at a time because they may start fighting, so Mrs Barnes plays tug-of-war, ball or lets them run around. There are 17 kennels for dogs and 9 for cats and these are kept very clean by being scrubbed out each day. The animals are given the same type of food that they enjoy at home.

* THORPE LANGTON

MRS. GARDNER

Mrs. Gardner keeps boarding kennels for cats and dogs. She lives at West Langton Lodge Farm. She is the widow of Jack Gardner, the famous heavy-weight boxer. She gets up at 6 o’clock to take her own dog for a 2 mile walk, then cleans and feeds the cats. Two helpers exercise the dogs while she cleans the 30 pens in a big shed. She then checks the fencing for the sheep and cows, does the gardens and has lunch, followed by another exercise for the dogs. She feeds them once a day and sometimes grooms them. At the moment she has 3 labradors, a border collie, a whippet, an alsation and 2 cats. They come when their owners are on holiday or are ill. They come from all over Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and even from London. They must have injections for distemper.

Sheep grazing at Trellwyion Farm, Looking across the Ithon Valley from the village. Fields of intensively managed grassland, moorland on the top of the hill. J Mackinnon, Sept. 1985.

* LLANBISTER

SHEEP DOGS IN LLANBISTER

The Scotch Border Collie is best for both work and trials. the points look for are a medium sized dog with a good friendly temperament, not shy or nervous. Must be a “wide” worker with plenty of power and stamina and obedient. Spotting a good dog is a gift. The three month training starts at six months old. Hard work, patience and skill are essential. Dogs are indispensable in this hilly area, it being imposible to collect sheep without them. The dogs are well looked after and fed on a high protein diet. Sheep Dog Trials are very popular and a local farmer achieved national fame in 1982 when he won the BBC’s “One Man and his dog” singles title with his dog Rod. Such dogs are well sought after both at home and abroad, Rod is now in the United States.

* TIBBERTON

THE KENNELS AND CATTERY

EMPLOYMENT

The kennels are run by a man and his wife with 1 part-time helper. The busiest times of year are during summer and Christmas hoildays. The working hours are 6:30a.m. to 8p.m.

BREEDING

Great Danes are bred at the kennels, but Border Collies and German Shepherds are the most popular breeds.

CARE

There are 64 dog pens and 50 cat kennels. The dogs are exercised in the morning and at night in a 3 acre field then, they are put in large runs before going back into pens. The pens are cleaned once a day and whenever necessary.

AREA

There is no problem with noise from the kennels, as they are situated away from other houses. The kennels have a total area of 11 acres. Some of this ground is taken up by several fields

* WILMCOTE

FARM IN WILMCOTE

The farm has 160 acres, 90 acres of it are covered with arable crops , 47 acres are grassland and 23 acres are covered with buildings, hedges, ditches and roads. The farm grows crops of Wheat, Barley and oats. They sell only the Wheat. The Barley and Oats are fed to livestock . The farm also have Fresians Bulls, Border Leicester Sheep, Brown Layer Chickens, White Eating Chickens, Cross Breed Turkeys, 2 Border Collies and 5 cats. The farm buys young bulls every other week and they are put in single pens. The farmers work the farm themselves and they have this machinery 1 Tractor, 1 Combine, 1 Trailer, 1 Mower, 1 Rotarer, 1 Sprayer, 1 Vari Spreader, 1 Wofaler, 1 Hay Turner, 1 Set of tines, 1 Bailer and 1 Elevator. The farm has 7 cow sheds and 1 old farm house.

* BUSHEY

MERRY HILL FARM

A farm has stood here for 200 years. Upto 1920, hay was grown for London’s vast horse-drawn traffic. Between the wars pigs were kept. In WW2, many stray bombs fell on the farm, including 2 V1. Today it is a mixed farm of 300 acres. 75% is barley, rape, and hay. The rest is pasture for cattle. Every Spring, beef cattle are bought, “fattened-up”, then sold in the Autumn. The farmer, whose family has lived here since 1880, jokingly calls himself “a stick-and-dog farmer”. He and his border collie are inseparable, and his small herd of 35 is easily managed. In his lifetime, technology has changed farming dramatically. His 2 tractors “do everything”. The largest and most modern, has 32 gears, pulls 10 ploughs, and allows him to drive in “armchair comfort” in the wildest of weathers.

* WORLINGTON

A TYPICAL FARM

Hensley farm, covering 150 acres, has a herd of 42 Friesian dairy cattle, milked in a herringbone parlour. 30 heifer calves are kept as substitutes. Another 30 Hereford & Friesians are kept for beef. In summer, the cattle graze grass, and are fed silage while they are housed during winter. 70 Closewool & Border Leicester ewes are crossed with a Suffolk ram to produce lambs for meat. This year, 120 lambs were reared. The ewes are fed grass, supplemented with barley and mineral additives 6 weeks before lambing. There are 2 collie sheep dogs. This year, 16 acres of winter barley have been grown. Beef cattle and calves are fed crushed barley in winter, straw is used as bedding and food and 16 tons of surplus barley has been sold. 14 hens are kept for eggs and 2 pigs eat the waste. 2 cats help control rodents.

* SOUTH PETHERTON

PETS

The pets I have are a black and white border collie, a cat, two kittens and four guinea pigs. I love all my pets. Nelly my dog is a little pest. Sometimes she gets my family’s slippers and runs off with them. The colours of my guinea pigs are black, ginger and white, grey and last of all multi-coloured. The cats are black and tabby. I have got 3 bantams, their names are Betsy, Bert and Bunty. They are Pekings and have feathers over their feet. They were show bantams, but as they are tri_coloured they are no good for showing anymore. Betsy is grey and white, Bert is a black cockerel with patches of shiny green, and Bunty is black with bits of brown. They have corn as their main food plus scraps of leftover food. They live in a rabbit hutch with a metal run in front of it.

* HENFIELD

FARMS AROUND HENFIELD.

My Dad’s Farm by Karen. My dad is a farming contractor. On our farm we have got lots of animals such as calves, cows, sheep, lambs, chickens and we have one border-collie sheep dog. My Dad has plenty of different farm machinery including some different sorts of tractors. My Dad keeps silage, hay, straw, beans and corn. Barrow Hill Farm by Kirsty. On our farm there is a shop but we only sell organic produce. We have geese, chickens, dogs, goats, a donkey, cows, cats, sheep, pigs and calves. We have a few tractors, two combines, a harvester and other machines. The buildings are the granary, mill house, egg shed, Sussex Barn, Tin Barn, Goat Shed, pig-sty and the shop. Some people come and help us on the farm.

* ILLOGAN

FAMILY LIFE

We found that families make visits, and here are some examples: When we went to the Isles of Scilly we took our car to the car park in Penzance and went on the Scillonian. In our Summer holiday our family went to Gosport to our Auntie Pat’s place because it was her daughter’s wedding and my sister was a bridesmaid. It was Christmas when my family went up to London in a car. It took over six hours. We went to see Big Ben and the sights of London. The Royal Cornwall show is held for 3 days early in June. Once I went there with my Auntie and Uncle. My Uncle has 2 dogs Radiar a German Shepherd dog and Glen a Border Collie and he took them to a dog show. Glen won a prize. Then I went to look around the stalls. They give you stickers, hats and balloons. There are fair rides too.

* JERSEY

KEEPING A PET

Most people these days like to keep a pet of some kind. The most popular pets are dogs, but people also keep horses, cats, guinea pigs, mice, snakes, gerbils and many other types of animal. I have a Welsh Border Collie called Sheena. I have had Sheena for nearly seven years now. I walk her about two miles most nights; she really enjoys it. She loves playing football on the beach as well. Sheena’s diet consists mainly of fresh meat and biscuits. If we don’t have any fresh meat she is given ‘Minced Morsels’. She will not eat any tinned meat. Sheena is not able to have any puppies because she was born with a disease called hip displasia and she had to be spayed when she was 14 months old. I think everyone who can should have a pet of some kind. by Selina Grove

Although dog-sport Border Collies don’t appear in the catalog, I was surprised to find just how ubiquitous and diverse the interest in Border Collies was in the UK. Working dogs, pet dogs, and even a fancy one too. It’s also surprising that issues such as eye disease and hip dysplasia would be included in the reports which were meant to focus on things people in 1,000 years might find of interest regarding the culture of the area.

A search of the archive for “working dogs” produced even more results than appear here, so I’ll be sure to follow up with another post on the UK’s Border Collie history.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.