Monday, 3 September 2012

Scarecrows invade gory Gorefield

Monday 3rd September 2012
Every year the nearby village of Gorefield holds a scarecrow competition and this year the theme was the Olympics. We couldn't explore the whole village as we had a trailer on the back of the car, but here's a selection of some of the creations which lurk over the hedges and in the front gardens of the village.

If you want to see them, you'll have to be quick. They are on display until 9th September. For details of next year's show, and other Gorefield village news, visit their parish website at

And the reason we were in Gorefield? ... Well, with a name like that it should come as no surprise that this is the location of our local abattoir! And today the two boars were off to meet their maker. Already settled into the trailer, dropping them off went pretty smoothly.  Once off their home turf, pigs are remarkable timid creatures, stubbornly sticking in the trailer which has become their temporary home. But the staff on hand handle livestock every day so soon get them moving down the ramp and into their allotted stall.

The abattoir in Gorefield is in a quite bizaar location, right in the middle of the village and bang on the doorstep of the children's playground. Apparently you can often hear the squealing pigs above the squealing children, and it's not unusual for an escapee to be running around the streets with owners in hot pursuit (pigs, not children).

Amazingly, the trailer behind us in the queue held their three brothers, which we'd sold to a local smallholder four months ago. I guess, being boys, they had to go off at pretty much the same time, before their half a year birthday. They were much fatter than ours!! That's OK unless they've simply been turning all that expensive food into too much fat. A healthy layer of fat is crucial for the flavour of slow-grown, traditional pork, but several inches is not good. It will be interesting to see what the meat comes back like.

We are trying a different butcher for our meet this time, as the previous one was further away and seemed to have put their trainee onto our pigs with a blunt axe!

The day a pig gets earrings is not good news for the pig!

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