Thursday, 20 January 2011

Edwardian Farm

Alex, Ruth  & Peter  from BBC2's 'Edwardian Farm'
Last night saw the end of Edwardian Farm on BBC2.  I was sad to see the series end and I won't lie - I was a little bit misty-eyed when they went off in the boat at the end.  The programme was filmed over a year at Morwellham Quay in Devon and showed the trials and tribulations of life on a farm at the turn of the 20th Century.

I loved every minute of Edwardian Farm.  It was beautifully shot and Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn did a wonderful job, just as they did in the equally brilliant Victorian Farm.  I have learned so much from both series.  Ruth Goodman's historical knowledge is vast and she somehow manages to make the most grim tasks seem appealing, be it tarting up an outdoor loo, making a brown paper duvet, sewing long johns, charring a dead pig or spraying crops with antique machinery.  She has a wonderful way of making it all utterly captivating.

I first watched Ruth, Alex and Peter in Tales From The Green Valley a few years back.  That series - also marvellous - saw them running a 1600s farm.  Then between Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm there was Victorian Pharmacy which was absolutely fascinating.

Peter Ginn
Peter and his goose.  And his sideburns.  His lovely sideburns.

I will admit that seeing Peter Ginn in his period costume has been a weekly highlight for the past twelve weeks and I am going to miss that but I do have the DVDs of Victorian Farm and Tales From The Green Valley if I find myself in need of a Peter historical fix. There isn't long to wait for the the DVD of Edwardian Farm which is out in February.

Apart from enjoying learning about all the farming, cooking, clothes, daily routines and old machinery I was also gripped by all the old crafts such as basket weaving, lacemaking, thatching, hedging and blacksmithing.  In last night's episode they had an expert called Simon Summers making a beautiful copper and iron weather vane.  It was just amazing to watch and the finished item was gobsmackingly beautiful. Such skill.

Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management

Inspired by Ruth Goodman I bought myself a copy, albeit a modern one, of Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management.  I have been dipping in and out of it and it's wonderful - a real glimpse into the past.  I'm quite surprised at how relevant a lot of the book's advice and information still is today.  Some of the recipes look good although I have had to research some of the ingredients.  Mrs Beeton had a bit of a thing for isinglass and that was something I'd never heard of before.  If you've got a Kindle or a Kindle app you might like to know that you can download the book for free from Amazon.

I'll stop waffling about historical things now.  I just wanted to write a little post about my love for the wonder that was Edwardian Farm.  If you enjoyed it too you'll understand.


Helga Hansen said...

You inspired me to download it, but I've not yet actually read any of it... will start soon, though! :)

Cassandra said...

I love your blog: not only do I learn lots about glass and see how colours come out, but I get useful info about other stuff. I have told my daughter, who got a Kindle for her 18th in August, to download Mrs Beeton for herself. Will be useful in her coming independent years.

Utterly Scrummy said...

I must say I admire Peter Ginn too, in a purely academic sense, NOT! It is a fantastic program and I have watched all the other series they have made too. They actually offer a fascinating insight by actually living the life and totally immersing themselves in it. Can't wait for their next series :o)

Kimberly-Ann said...

I stumbled across your blog month ago and check in every so often to see if I can 'catch' your beads before they are snapped up. You've inspired me to go for a lamp work class in the summer...

So imagine my surprise when completely unrelated I was looking for more information on Peter Ginn after watching 'tales from the green valley' and developing a small crush and finding your post!

I'm definitely going to look up Edwardian and Victorian Farm now, thanks for the info!

Annie said...

Not sure if this will be read as the series finished in the UK some time ago but over here in Canada we have just watched episode 9.
We have really enjoyed the series, so far it has inspired me to bake a simnel cake for Easter and also found out why here in Canada we have a holiday the third Monday in May which we call Victoria Day but obviously from this episode it dates back to Empire Day.
We have not seen "tales from the green valley" maybe it will make it's way here some day.