Yesterday we braved the gloom and steady rain to test out the Ghost Cow route and make final adjustments to the order of ceremonies. While the rangers were busy banging in guide posts with reflective discs on along the chosen route we tested out the electrics on the cows and calves.
We ended up drying off back in the Winter self-service tea facilities in Keld Public Hall – we can thoroughly recommend the banana bread!
After rather a long wait (it’s a long way from Hebden Bridge to Keld), our Ghost Cows and their calves (and not forgetting the dog) arrived last week.
They are now safely stored away, appropriately enough in a nearby empty cowhouse awaiting the big night.
This picture reminded us of a description of a local dog that we recorded in one of our audio sessions with four local women.
“When we had these little cow’usses they did get out to drink twice a day but the rest of the day they were tied up with a chain ..in the booses. Calves, they were all kept together , they were loose, you might have 4 or 5 in a calf box. Same building, they were bedded out …you used to milk the cows, to feed it back to the calves ..they didn’t seem to think to let the calves suckle!” “No, they were too wild. The calf didn’t like it out of the bucket so you put your hand in and in its mouth to get it to drink. You tried to lead them if you wanted to show them at Muker Show. You put a halter on them. They weren’t wild like today. You took a dog to round them up…you don’t go with a dog today in among any cows. Then you used your dog. We used to have a dog that used to swing on cow’s tails!”
We have been busy turning Helen Peyton’s lovely ‘Ghost Cow Night’ artwork into items for local visitor businesses to use with their guests. First to arrive today were sets of coasters which we really like.
These were requested as additional items to the mugs and placemats we’d already planned. Businesses intend to use them in guest bedrooms.
We think they will look really stylish matched with a mug using the same design
We’ve already distributed nearly 100 free walk packs to local visitor businesses and organisations for loan out to visitors. We were delighted to see this blogpost from Bed & Breakfast owner and project stalwart Glenda Calvert about one of her regular guests. She told us:
“My guest from the Netherlands who has visited Pry House and the Yorkshire Dales many times took a walk booklet out with him yesterday. Until now he had no idea the buildings were cowhouses and on return from his walk said he now looked at the cowhouses with fresh eyes and a new interest”
Our retail staff have just uploaded details of the rather fabulous ‘Every Barn… ‘ walk packs onto our online shop so anyone can now own one wherever they are in the world! Follow our ONLINE SHOP link to secure a set of our six colourful walk booklets based on all the stories and historical research that we’ve gathered over the past two years.
All packaged inside a branded waterproof plastic wallet. There are hand drawn maps of all the routes and every stopping point is illustrated with a clear photograph. A wonderful souvenir of the project even if you prefer your holidays sat beside a nice log fire in the local pub ;0)
Our final community event last week went with a swing – nearly 50 people turned up during the morning to have a look at all the work we’ve done over the past year and a half. There were also samples of the ghost cow mugs & place mats available to order for businesses. We got lots of great feedback on these with the suggestion that we also offer coasters so we are currently investigating costs.
We put together a Powerpoint presentation of all the things we’ve achieved which even we found was quite amazing seeing it all together in one place. A real achievement for everyone concerned.
We gave away nearly a hundred walk packs to local visitor businesses and their guests which was very satisfying.
We were also really pleased to see the Children’s walk leaflets that Glenda has produced and lots of these were handed out too.
She also brought along some of the original art and craft work that the children had made as part of the project.
We have been madly getting ready for our final community open day event tomorrow in Keld. We were so pleased that the plastic wallets for the trail booklets turned up in time for us to get them ready for the various businesses and organisations that have already ordered them.
We have also made up a couple of boxfulls to go out to our Reeth and Hawes National Park Centres where they will be on sale shortly at £4.99 a pack. We will also be stocking them in our Online shop within a couple of days.