Sunday, 9 April 2017

Encouraging caterpillars into your Garden - for Butterflies

I, like most people love last Summer was sad with hardly any butterflies in my garden.  I thought that I had everything needed but daftly I had the nectar plants sorted but not necessarily the plants for the dear old caterpillars.
...So here is a little list of the plants that the caterpillars like...Its not too late to plant some.

Painted Lady - Mallows , Thistles and goosefoots
Painted lady caterpillar

Green veined White and Orange Tip - Ladies smock and Garlic Mustard

Green veined white

Orange tip

Common Blue - Birds Foot Trefoil...I know it as egg and bacon.
Common blue

Holly Blue - Holly and Ivy Holly Blue
Holly Blue
Red Admiral

Red Admiral - Photo Jim Black


Peacock caterpillar
Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoishell and Comma - Sunny clumps of nettles, left until mid summer before cutting down.

Small Tortoishell
Small tortoishell


Brimstone Caterpillar

Comma - Currants, Elm, Hop and Willows.
Comma caterpillar

Small Copper - Docks and Sorrels.
Small Copper
I'm going to leave some patches of cleavers for the painted ladies and a small patch of nettles. ....and try to make sure that the nettles by my workshop are left longer before cutting. It's not easy to leave docks ,nettles and cleavers but it will be worth it to see lots of butterflies back into my garden. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

My Magazine feature

In the summer my workshop was featured in the Landlove magazine. It was beautifully written by Kerry Fowler and fantastically photographed by Sussie Bell. It's a few months since it was published so I'm hoping that it is OK to show the scanned pages. 
If It's not legible then please  click here for link to The Bothy Shop - Wordpress.
The Bothy Shop -

The Bothy Shop -

The Bothy Shop -

The Bothy Shop -

The Bothy Shop -

The Bothy Shop -

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Demon Drome

Quick update....Last Sunday we had a glorious day at Goodwood Revival,....and were pleased to see the Demon Drome there putting on a great I thought I'd upload the blog that I first wrote in 2011 again.

Today we drove over to Prescott Hill Climb for their last main show of the Season. It was a great day ,Hot rods, Bikes and of course the Famous Hill Climb races. In one corner was The Demon Drome...The Wall of Death.

 You first walk up some wooden steps and enter a circular show, you are basically stood on a wooden ledge at the top of a large 32ft approx wooden barrel. When the show starts motor bikes are ridden up the wall,not only do you find yourself inches away from the wheels of the bikes with the noise and fumes but to add to the excitement the walls move !

The first Motordrome was built in 1911 at Luna Park in Coney Island. It was a board track quite long with sloping wooden sides. Unfortunately as the bikes became more powerful terrible accidents happened. The races also became more predictable with the first bike to lead often being the winner. With this motordromes became less popular..But the riders found that with increased speed ,centrifugal force made it possible for them to ride sideways on a vertical wall. By 1915 the walls had become vertical and were initially known as silodromes, later to become known as The Wall of Death. The first silodrome was based on the dimensions of the diameter of a grain silo which was approx.20 to 36 feet at the time.
The Indian and BSA Motorbike Companies realised that the shows were great advertisements for their bikes, and as you can see The Indian is still used today...a favourite of mine.

George 'Tornado'Smith is credited to have brought the Wall of Death to England from America. The link to George Tornado Smith is well worth looking at. ''Fearless Egbert'' was also one of the earliest riders working in ''Collins Famous Death Riders and Racing Lion'' in the 1920,s and 30's. The tame lions rode alongside the drivers of racing cars...and apparently one lion in particular used to roar if the rider didn't keep going !  An old film of a Wall of Death
Margaret Gast was one of the earliest female stunt riders and was known as the 'Mile a Minute Girl' after a world record in 1900 travelling 1000 miles in 120 hours.

This Demon Drome was believed to have been built in 1927 and was originally ran by Pat Collins Funfairs. There were no lions today but there was a girl rider . The Demon Drome is run by a few families who all 'live' the 1950's

If I heard correctly the one chap bought the bikes first and then bought the show, almost as a paid hobby. Dave 'Dynomyte' Seymour, his son 'Duke' and some more of his family are the stars of the show. The whole set up is great, from the outfits to their outside airstream catering, stall selling shirts etc and their cars.  If you are ever near a show then its well worth visiting. Years ago after seeing Alan Fords show I'd said I'd love to sit pillion, I almost had the chance but I can't remember why it didn't happen, a bit like when I was asked if I'd be interested in being a Rat Girl at a circus sideshow...I'd have had to sit in a large cage letting rats run about...I seem to remember that I had to get on with a painting job, but sometimes now I'm older I wish I had given them a go. There is a link to the Demon Drome Site below below.

They will be performing at Prescott Hill Climb this year on the 1st and 2nd October at the American Autumn Classic.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A link between the church and the fair at Govan Church, Glasgow

This summer I was in Edinburgh visiting family. I was only there for a short time and really wanted to revisit Glasgow.....a day is not long enough!
As well as visiting Kelvingrove Museum, the transport museum and walking part of the amazing graffiti trail I made a point of visiting Govan Church.

Govan Church, Showman's Yard Glasgow
Govan Church and Showman's Yard

Inside are some of the most striking stone carvings that I have ever seen, The Govan Stones, Viking Hogback stones.  Large black curved burial stones looking like upturned boats or the humps of whales, they gave me goosebumps! I thought they were magnificent....stunning. I would have loved to have seen them all those years ago when they were in their original positions.

viking hogback stones,katie morgan
Three of the five Viking hogback stones in Govan Church.

Whilst walking around I noticed a little galloper painted and part of a stained glass window. The curator said that the fairground families that had the yard next door had paid for the restoration and had added the galloper into the glass. Now that I'm home I'm enjoying trying to find more out ,of the link between the fairground and Govan Church.

katie morgan
Galloper decoration on stained glass in Govan Church.

This area was once the home of Fairfield, a massive shipyard.

Picture by Hawkeye Aerial Photography courtesy of BAM

 When it finished two old fairground families set up quarters but were never allowed to live on them full time. Now the area across the river has had the beginnings of development with the building of The Transport Museum ( Riverside Museum),the land around is starting to be more valuable. Tara S Beall was Artist in residence at Glasgow's Riverside Museum and tried to promote the knowledge, history, culture and modern life of the two local fair families, the Stringfellows and the Johnstones. In 2013 there was a three day event and I think that she is still involved with helping fight the causes of these families.
For over 50 years Govan Church has been important to the show folk holding weddings,christenings and funerals. When restoration was needed the families had six windows restored.. ‘

The inscription added to the base of the St Elizabeth window reads:
Inside Govan Church,Glasgow

It appears that cultural traditional events, lives etc are sometimes classed as intangible which means that they are not protected in the same way as 'tangible' such as buildings etc. In 2013  the UK had not signed a UN charter to help protect cultural heritage and the 'intangible. Social events and craftsmanship is 'intangible' but the vehicles,buildings and tools are 'tangible'. Now that we are heading for leaving Europe will any of this change? I think a big can of worms are being opened. If anyone needs to correct me or knows more, then please comment, Thank you.

There has been a fair in Govan for 260 years, and at some a bit of local folk lore arrived. A sheep's head is carried at the head of the Govan Fair procession every year. The story goes that a young man was once refused permission to marry the ministers daughter so he came back at night, cut the head off the ministers prize ram and carried it through the streets of Govan on a pole. On the first Friday in June this event takes place with the grudge being 'put to bed' with the minister crowning the Govan Fair Queen.

Well I'm not going to delve further in this blog post, but I will say that Govan is worth visiting. There is a huge community spirit and a lot of voices who need to be heard and all care for the area. I loved visiting Govan Church and of course being a fairground decorator/painter, I loved finding the little stained glass galloper.

You can find lovely stories and images on this site -Govan Reminisence Group


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