GG built all his own fences. It must have been a labour of love because in those times you couldn’t pop down to Wickes to get a few fence panels and posts. Everything had to be made by hand. My mates at fencinghorsham.co.uk would be appalled at the time and energy expended to make and repair fences in those days.
The Fencing Saga was a story handed down by Grandma Sylvia that she recalled from her childhood. It wasn’t really a particularly interesting story, except that she remembered it all her life, which made it special to me.
It started one summer’s day when GG was out in the garden as usual, when he spotted a hole in the fence. It wasn’t readily apparent because some shrubs had grown up in front of it. But GG wasn’t pleased. He liked his garden to look neat and tidy and a big hole just didn’t go along with that look.
GG headed to the shed and his old wooden toolbox to fetch hammer, nails and a saw. Then he went to the woodpile to find pieces of wood which would be suitable to mend the fence. The woodpile was a motley collection of wood of all shapes and sizes, from dismantled crates to old floorboards, the oak from the pergola that once adorned the garden and all manner of other scaps. All the wood was carefully stacked on bricks to keep it off the ground and covered with a tarpaulin. This was a treasure of wood for proper recycling.
After a good rummage, GG found some suitable timber and set about the task of mending the said hole.
It took a while by all accounts because it wasn’t a nice neat hole but had ragged edges. Grandma clearly remembers his mumbling and grumbling as he sawed off the edges and neatened it to prepare for the wooden patch he had prepared.
GG always worked methodically and took his time about his tasks, but the outcome was always an efficient piece of work. In this case he spent a considerable time fitting in his patch and after a couple of hours he had a job to be proud of.
But it was still a puzzle how the hole had appeared in the first place. No-one was quite sure but the dog next door was a pretty boisterous young thing, so perhaps he had jumped too energetically at the fence.
The next day, GG was out in the garden again tending to his vegetables when he heard a loud crash! Never one to panic, he did at least jump and turned to look at the source of the noise. It came from the direction of his patched fence! He walked towards the fence to investigate when another, louder crash occurred and the whole fence panel tumbled into the garden!
It was the dog – chasing a ball in a rather over-enthusiastic manner and crashing into the fence. Goodness knows how he made that big hole, but GG’s patching was all in vain when the entire panel fell. Now, though, the culprit was known and it was with some relief that the neighbour agreed to pay for the fence to be mended properly!