Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ceramic Sunday, milk churn

This commemorative pot, the shape based on a milk churn, serves no useful purpose whatsoever. It belonged to my mother, who was never a member of the Women's Institute but nevertheless acquired this object and kept it on a shelf, gathering dust. It is so ridiculously useless that I am rather fond of it and have it on my kitchen window ledge in the Dales.
Sadly the image of cows contentedly grazing in the fields does not accurately describe what was taking place on our visit last week. 
New farming practices now mean that some of the local farmers keep their livestock in sheds throughout the year. It is viewed with dismay and disapproval by our own farming friends, who regard the action as unnatural and unkind. Last week the talk throughout the dale was of the farmer of contained cattle losing one hundred and forty of his animals, possibly as a result of contaminated fodder. I am sure that such a devastating loss would not have occurred had his cows been outside eating the pasture.

There is a plate rack around the walls of my Dales kitchen, just the place to put my motley collection of  pottery.

This stamp pot is another country inspired ceramic, decorated with running hounds and a contented looking farmer with pipe in his mouth and trusty dog at his feet. You can see how small the pot is, tucked into the corner of the plate rack.

It is clearly stamped and numbered, informing us that the maker was Doulton of Lambeth, England.


  1. Dear Rosemary - welcome back from your sojourn in Yorkshire. It does seem inhumane to keep cows in sheds all year round. You would think life would be much easier for the farmer if they were kept in the fields, less mucking out for a start and fresh food under foot. I know they need to be indoors for the cold winter months, but if you have ever seen cows let out in the Spring, they jump for joy around the field.

  2. Interesting Rosemary as I had never heard of that happening up here in the Dales - I shall talk to the farmer about it tonight. Interesting though that our insurance broker told us that he had had two cases of botulism in cows, caused by the spreading of chicken manure on the grass, which the cows then ate. Seems you can't win either way these days with modern farming practice.
    In Canada, where we go quite frequently, it is quite unusual to see cattle outside - they are almost always kept in open-sided sheds.
    Anyway, I shall look into this business and let you know what I find out.

  3. Dear Rosemary and Weaver, botulism was apparently the cause of the one hundred and forty deaths; a devastating number, and, I think, without any financial compensation available for the farmer.