I was privileged to hear from a customer this week who had bought one of my Ram's Horn Crooks as a replacement. His much treasured Crook had been presented to him by Prince Charles. An opportunist thief stole it when he momentarily leaned it against his car at a very respectable event. It had a Thistle carved on the nose and an engraved Solid Silver Collar. The assumption is that the reprobate who stole it will have the inscription polished out and use the Stick themselves, or sell it on. If any one has any information or if the criminal perhaps has second thoughts, please contact me, or if you are the latter, send the Crook to me anonymously, I will ensure it is reunited with it's rightful owner.
I received an order today for 20 Buffalo Horn Crooks, 13 Ram's Horn Market Sticks and 20 Cow Horn Knob Sticks with novelty resin tops. The customer was located in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Thank goodness I no longer send to addresses outside of the United Kingdom.
Today I took delivery of some splendid Ram's Horn. They came all the way down from the Isle of Mull. I'm hoping I can do them justice and create some equally splendid Crooks.
Every now and again I send a stick to a destination, or customer, that conjures up a intriguing image of it in use. About a year ago the wife of the owner of Duntrune Castle ordered a stick for her husband, the head of the Malcolm Clan. The castle was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest continuously occupied castles in Scotland. It is supposedly haunted by a piper who met a gruesome end and whose skeleton was discovered during repairs to the castle.
I was lucky enough to sell a Crook to the current Duke of Wellington and was asked to send it to Apsley House his address in Piccadilly. The three Buffalo Horn Crooks that feature as the header on the 'Crook' page were made extra long to be used as Croziers. They were ordered by a lady Bishop in America ahead of her ordination. She was coming over to stay in London, visiting Derbyshire to have her vestments fitted. She travelled out of London and I picked her up from our local station, she selected an additional three sticks and I took her back to the station with a very large package.
Today I have dispatched two sticks to the Duke of Roxburghe at Floors Castle in the Scottish borders. What an impressive destination that is, a really spectacular house and estate. I feel very honoured and humble that people get attached to their sticks using them in in a whole range of wonderful locations.
TODAY I HAVE UPLOADED 'WILSTONE - A HISTORY OF OUR VILLAGE'. DICK GOMM RESEARCHED THE HISTORY OF WILSTONE OVER MANY YEARS AND GAVE FREQUENT ILLUSTRATED TALKS IN THE VILLAGE HALL. HIS VALUABLE WORK WAS AT RISK OF BEING LOST. IT IS NOT THE BEST OF FORMATS AS IT IS REPLICATED FROM AN OLD HARD COPY. IF YOU VIEW IT PLEASE BE SURE TO KEEP SCROLLING OVER THE BLANK END SECTIONS. TO GET A FULL PICTURE OF WILSTONE'S HISTORY, READ THIS ALONG WITH THE EXTENSIVE RESEARCH IN THE SPLENDED BOOK 'THE STORY OF WILSTONE, BY JOHN PAINTER. PLEASE ALSO VIEW MY LINKS PAGE FOR MORE VILLAGE BUSINESSES AND INFORMATION.
I really must get on and replenish my stock of Ram's Horn Crooks now. I have a delivery of seasoned horns on the way to boost my depleted numbers, so I've no excuse. Good crop of onions though, keep us going through the winter. The Kite above the allotments looks as if he is choosing his dinner too!
On Sun June 23rd we trundled the sticks across the road setting up the stand alongside the plant stall for our Open Village Day. We have always held a traditional, annual village fete but this was only the second occasion that the road through the village was closed and the street filled with stalls and attractions. There were multiple food and drink outlets, live music outside the Half Moon pub, donkeys and farm animals. The usual stalls were supported by many local crafts and producers. Doris our knitted village resident waited in the bus shelter, with all her knitted accessories, for a bus that wouldn't come. Thankfully, after an unsettled spell, the weather was kind. We had a successful day with the sticks and we virtually sold out on the plant stall. All the proceeds from the day were for the Save the Village Shop fund, Wilstone Community Shop. The lease of the shop will expire soon and the race is on to secure it's future. With the long awaited day, praying for dry weather, behind us, it's back to the stick making, allotment and garden and hoping for rain.