Those of us who have that all done and dusted are somewhat selfishly praying for rain! Here in Sussex, other than a few hours a couple of weeks ago, when we had steady light rain, we have had no rain since March.
The ground is like concrete, the fields are brown and devoid of anything resembling grass, and the cattle are chomping their way through the straw which was destined to be their bedding this winter. This we liberally coat in molasses to make it more palatable and adds protein.
The arable fields are a dusty desert, but are prepared for when timing and conditions allow to direct drill the crops for next year’s harvest.
With the temperatures soaring to very un-English heights, everyone looks exhausted as energy is sapped as we go about our chores.
Last Friday as the temperature rocketed, an electricity pole in one of our fields caught alight as the transformer overheated. Three Fire tenders turned up to put it out and ensure it did not spread towards Baldocks Garage. They were then diverted up the road where the neighbouring farm’s hedge was also on fire, and another electricity pole became enveloped in flames.
That fire and another on the same day on Heaseland’s Estate, where woodland was alight, were the result of casually discarded cigarette butts. The countryside is like a tinder box; one discarded match, glass bottle or spark can cause untold damage.
PC Andrew Harper was 28, and married to his childhood sweetheart Lissie Beckett just four weeks before being struck by the car driven by Henry Long, with his two accomplices Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, from the Traveller community. The officer was then dragged behind the vehicle for several miles at speeds of up to 60MPH.
When his fellow officers found his body, which was unrecognisable as his skin and flesh had been ripped from his bones, he was barely alive. He died at the scene shortly after.
PC Harper’s killers were given sentences of 16 years and 13 years respectively, and will probably serve just half. These violent, ruthless and sniggering thugs, who showed no remorse, acted in a far more aggressive, cruel and deliberate manner while killing this young innocent policeman, than the US PC Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of George Floyd.
Chauvin probably was unaware that his restraining tactics were killing this man. However, by all accounts the three criminals who slaughtered PC Harper, would have known exactly what they were doing.
After Floyd’s death, protests against police violence quickly spread across the USA and internationally. Many would like to know why following the savage execution of an innocent British police officer, there have been no protests or marches against the traveller community.
This is not the first time members of this community have killed indiscriminately, and no doubt it will not be the last. Why have the public not taken to the streets to show support for PC Harper’s family and disgust at the behaviour of these vile individuals who slaughtered him?
In October 2010 my friend Julian Gardener, a decent, honourable, hard-working farmer from Robertsbridge was run over and pinned against a wall and left to die by the Bristow brothers from the traveller community. Julian was trying to prevent them stealing from his property and Land Rover repair business.
They showed no remorse, Marcus Bristow shouted at Julian’s distraught 93 year old mother who also lived on the farm, when sentenced for manslaughter: ‘Eleven years? I’ll do it standing on my head.’
Rural crime is on the increase; farms and rural businesses are being targeted daily. If you see anything or anyone suspicious report it to: firstname.lastname@example.org