on 30 July 2011
If you are in your 50-60s.You will almost certainly remember this old fella on tv. With his eccentric countryman grandpa like approach.Teaching the 'townie uneducated' from his garden shed the old customs and ways of an England now almost gone.
These videos are Jacks legacy to us. A delightful selection of his hundreds of weekly broadcasts that ran for years on TV in the 70s-80s. They are very anecdotal, often quite amusing and always tearfully nostalgic. If you are interested in invovled with or just care for the future and protection of the british countryside we all love, then this series of DVDS is an absolute must!
I loved watching Jack Hargreaves on TV many years ago, when he presented from that atmospheric shed in his garden in the New Forest. It evoked another era, and you could almost smell the country in the air as you watched. Jack's films have become even more valuable with the passage of time and they are a priceless glimpse into a rural past that has been lost. His memory went back a long way and he had a genuine love of all country matters which comes through strongly in all these episodes. They are all equally watchable if you are interested in old country ways. Jack Hargreaves commentary is wonderfully natural and idiosyncratic, which matches the films perfectly. He has captured a countryside that has now all but vanished. His enthusiasm and wealth of country knowledge is obvious. Most importantly for us is that he wanted to pass that on. These films are his wonderful legacy to us.
This one contains the following: Episode 22 Freeze Branding/Cider Making. The old hot branding iron is out of favour and in comes the more humane freeze-brander. Jack also shows us how cider is made in the traditional way, and enjoys a few samples. Good man! Episode 23 Trammel Nets/The Coach Builder. Jack explains the method of fishing with trammel nets, and also shows us a factory where bespoke wooden wheels are made. A fascinating insight! Episode 24 Big Skate/Pannage. Jack fishes for big skate with Shetlanders who are all members of the 'ton up' club, which means they have all caught fish over a hundred pounds. Thats a lot of fish to batter! He also explains about the ancient New Forest right of pannage, where locals are allowed forage for their pigs in the Autumn. They are as happy as a pig in muck, as Jack politely puts it. The episodes are all hugely enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed 'Cider Making' which looked great fun! Even better now than when they were first shown. Now is a good time to buy them. They have dropped in price considerably from when they were first released, and can be picked up for a bargain price at the time of this review if you are prepared to buy used DVD's as I do. No regrets there! I am currently working my way through the whole series and am simply devouring them. After that there are the lost episodes to look forward to. Best watched with a pint of strong bottle conditioned beer in front of a wood burner on those long winter nights. A purely personal choice of course, but one I am sure Jack would have approved of.