Tuesday 1 August 2017

A Yorkshire Shepherd on Camera

The Yorkshire Dales National Parks 'Every Barn Cowus Tells A Story Project' is well under way and several local people have been chosen to tell their stories and share their experiences of what life was like when the Cow Houses were in use on a daily basis.

 Chris has many memories of working with stock in Cow Houses and Hogg Houses at Hoggarths, Harkers, Firs and Thorns.  Here he is getting 'mic-ed up' ready to be interviewed.
 From an early age Chris helped his father on the farm and when he left school he wanted nothing else than to be a farmer.  On a daily basis, throughout the long winter months he helped fodder the stock in these off-buildings known in Upper Swaledale as Cowus' and Hogg Houses.
 Sussing out the location of one of Chris' stories with the film maker.
Firs Hogg House stands at approx 1400ft above sea level and is where, in the winter of 1979, Chris and his dad and their neighbour and his hired man where 'holed up' for several hours sheltering from a snow storm.  Firs hogg house is less than a mile from Hoggarths (we can see it from Pry House) but the weather was so severe and visibility so bad it wasn't safe to walk back to Hoggarths along the road for fear of getting lost so they made their way down the pasture to the River Swale in the bottom and followed the river, crossed the bridge and finally walked back up the house.

Filming at Harkers Cow House and Hay Mew.
I was asked by the YDNParks to interview people who had memories to share and to get their stories on tape.  I talked with over 25 people; present residents of the dale and those who now live far away.  It has been a marvellous project to be involved in, hugely interesting and I have learnt such a lot.

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