A 'new fangled' machine which replaces manual bale wrapping is ruled out by the 'chief bale wrapper' at the farm on the M62

I’ve seen very little of Paul this last week. Occasionally we pass on the stairs, bleary eyed, a few mumbled words between us. A quick catch-up whilst waiting for the kettle to boil before we both go in opposite directions.

John William is taking his baling responsibilities very seriously
John William is taking his baling responsibilities very seriously

After several months of lambing and the accompanied sleep deprivation, a week off would be most welcomed! I dream of white sandy beaches and azure blue seas stretching as far as the eye can see. No pens to muck out, no iodine stained hands and endless traipsing of the lambing fields. Not a cade lamb or bale of straw in sight.

A big lover of the bucket and spade, John-William would be more than happy to join me on that distant beach but I think right now he’d be as equally happy if his school disappeared without trace into a giant sink hole.

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Paul on the other hand would just like to sit in his chair watching endless re-runs of Heartbeat and to not have to answer his phone! Alas, the dream of a holiday is a very distant one, the good weather has meant sheep need clipping and fields need mowing. With Paul’s knee still causing him grief, a team of shearers were employed to clip the hogs at Farnley.

The Stott Hall hogs were in and clipped in good time, some by Casey and some by Paul’s cousin who had been running a shearing course with the Wool Board.

This had proved popular with both complete novices who had never picked a handpiece up before and the more experienced keen to improve their technique. Despite not officially being on the course, the mini shepherd had lurked in the background, taking in all the relevant information, his face attentive.

I wonder if he shows such a keen desire to learn in his classroom!

As much as John-William enjoys lambing time, his enthusiasm goes into overdrive at baling time. Last year he ceased to be just a passenger in a tractor, hopping between fields, sometimes with his dad, at others with his uncle.

He was assigned the role of chief wrapper. Now to most, sitting in a tractor, hour after hour in a twisted position wrapping bale after bale after bale is a mind-numbing and back-breaking job. Not to the chief wrapper. He takes his responsibility very seriously, proudly climbing the steps into the old Case tractor to start his shift.

Knelt down on the seat, little hand gripped around the levers, he watches the bales spinning round, wrap after wrap, one after the other. As most of us have no desire to sit with a crick in our neck wrapping bales, his enthusiasm for the job has been greatly received.

He’d been quite horrified last year when on a visit to my sister’s farm in Driffield he’d discovered their bale wrapper didn’t need a driver, it did it all by itself.

Whilst my brother-in-law had been most proud to show off his latest acquisition, John-William had been less than impressed.

Robbing him of his role, he announced this new-fangled idea would most definitely not be coming to Stott Hall any time soon!