Easter Tour: Day 9 – Sheepland

Our final day dawned very cold, another night in the yurt, but as bright and crisp as ever. We were up early to pack our things back into the car and head out. After a quick look on the internet we had decided the night before that it might be wise to try to wear Lucan out and give him some fun time in the morning. This was so that that he could be on best behaviour in the afternoon, when we were off to visit Sheepland. We duly headed off to the town of Somerton and had an excellent breakfast at a traditional English tea house that served a fantastic home-made blackcurrant squash!

We moved on for another rather chilly morning in the Somerton Industrial estate and visited Safari Fun. This is an indoor play centre and was the perfect size to allow James and I to sit back and relax for an hour as Lucan bombed around playing, climbing and wobbling through the maze of plastic covered foam. After another pit stop back in Somerton for some lunch we headed out for the very short drive to Sheepland.

Sheepland are a manufacturer of various sheep skin products but are well know among their faithful customers for their fabulously warm slippers.

When we arrived we were met by Laura Gibson, self proclaimed “Assistant Manager” and full time daughter to owner David. She had a big pot of tea in hand which I was delighted to see and invited us in to see the workshop. Ever since we first had contact with Sheepland Laura and her Dad have been worried that they are a very small company (working out of a one room workshop in their garden) and that there wouldn’t be much for us to see. In all honesty it was this set-up that really interested us, so we were really excited to see them.

We were by no means disappointed as we entered. Laura had called around to some other local businesses and had set up an amazing spread of the local Somerset produce to go with their superb display of Sheepland products.  These included bottles of Fosseway Cider, E.Howe Somerset Honey & James Chocolates. But what really stole the show was a fantastic cake and display by Cakes by Samantha, who had gone to the trouble of making a white choccy cake decorated with a Union Jack and flowers similar to our adopted logo.

However, this was not all. Laura had called in two local photographers/journalists  to document our visit in the local papers. She was clearly very pleased that this had gone well, as she admitted that it was not something the company had ever done before but it was something that she really enjoyed doing. We had been warned that we were in for a proper Somerset welcome but for someone to go to this much care and trouble for us was incredibly humbling. We thank Laura from the bottom of our hearts.

Once the pictures and chatting were done we had the chance to meet Katrina, the long-suffering seamstress for Sheepland, and find out more about the actual production. Katrina is an obvious asset to the business. While we were there, sat perched at her sewing machine, she ploughed through a pile of sheepskins which, while we were there, began to take to form the of their signature slippers. It’s skills, like those contained in the deft fingers of seamstresses like Katrina, that are severely lacking in the UK. I feel a soap box moment coming on so in an effort to avoid that I will move on with the account of our day…

In all we spent about 2 hours at Sheepland, chatting and looking at some of the fantastic products beyond the slippers but we were never going to leave there without a matching pair of Sheepland slippers of our very own. However, we came away with more then the slippers, we also came away with a very warm feeling and the idea that these guys are truly British cottage industry.

Tonight we are staying in a budget hotel, close to the historic Stonehenge, before we make our final leg back to Kent. On the way we are stopping off at a steam Railway as a special treat for mega-train-fan Lucan.

It has been a fantastic holiday and we thank everyone we have met so far for being so hospitable. We are now looking forward to our Summer holiday even more when we are going to visit the great manufacturers that exist in the Midlands. Bring on the Summer!!!

 

 

Comments

  1. Peter says:

    Awesome!
    What a fantastic Easter Break!

  2. Their slippers are comfortabe and look great, ideal for the cold weather. First class service as well

  3. Gordon Smith says:

    It’s really encouraging when someone from the local newspaper comes along, publicity is what is needed to shew there are lots of people who care about their country and want to help make it great and bring back a pride in supporting British produce if products made here are marked as such.

  4. Liz Riley says:

    What are your plans for the Midlands? Where exactly do you intend to visit? May have a couple of suggestions. Safe journey back to Kent!

  5. Nicola says:

    My husband would love a pair of their slippers – I’m off to forward this post to him!

Leave a Reply

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed