Saturday, 9 June 2012

crooks and drovers

  During the years I was dealing in folk art objects for a picture gallery selling naive paintings in the West End, I was often asked for English smocks to go with the beautiful shepherds' crooks that I  found - usually at Ardingly Fair in Sussex, but also several in Lincolnshire - typically each had a different curl to catch the legs of the lambs and sheep, so quite a lot of collectors were interested in them and even I got to know some of the shapes.  
The rarest were the goose crooks, very long and with a very small crook to catch their slim legs, used for driving the geese to market from Lincolnshire to London - a very long walk for the poor birds on the rough roads.  At the beginning of their long journey, the geese were driven across some tar which stuck to their feet and then over some sand, so they had little 'shoes' to protect their feet and arrive live in London markets.  
   Just at the moment there is a huge interest in artisan work costume, workrooms, sheds, tools and the older traditional work -wear of the English countryside - smocks!  I will feature my latest model in a  BLOG when I have taken its portrait.


  1. I always learn so many interesting things from your posts. Thank you for this invaluable knowledge and TFS in general.

  2. Fascinating! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and knowledge with readers like me.
    I love your blog!