You no doubt remember that our lane is closed to everyone but the six families who live on it - four of them farms, one haulage contractor and one an ordinary house. The sign at the top of the lane says 'Residents Only'.
It is closed for the simple reason that they are putting in a new gas main. Today they reached - and passed - our farm. There are still huge piles of soil on the sides of the road, waiting to fill in the trench once the soil has sunk. But to all intents and purposes it is now clear as far as our gate.
The men who are doing the job - three of them with an assortment of diggers, wheelbarrows, pipes, welding equipment and various other machines which are a mystery to me - have worked seven days a week, the weather has been awful - strong winds and an awful lot of heavy rain- but they have systematically worked through it all.
They have been courteous, helpful, pleasant - I can't fault them and I now intend to write to the Gas Board to tell them so.
It is easy to think of manual workers as somehow less intelligent than those working in offices, financial institutions, the arts and the like. This is ridiculous and I came across an interesting quote today which summed it up so well.
Rider Haggard once spoke of the big landowners and the men they employed in huge numbers in those days to do the manual jobs on their land. He criticised anyone who saw these men just as 'hands'
saying, "Let any one of those landowners try even the easiest task done by the hands, such as 'drawing a ditch' and I think they would change their views.
So well done to the three men working our lane. I don't even know what much of the machinery you are using is called, let alone how to put in a gas pipe so that every house gets its gas supply without interruption.