17 May 1996

The one in the leather gaiters

DORSET farmer and shepherd John Randall is probably one of the best known men along the sheep lines and around the judging rings up and down the country. Those who dont know his name will probably recognise him if you say, "Hes the one with the polished leather gaiters."

The gaiters feature in the title of this respected countrymans autobiography* which also reflects village life and farming practices in the south of England since the 1920s.

Johns farming life involved far more than sheep and his skills are pretty diverse. They also include a deft hand with the pen since his autobiography, which is illustrated with a nostalgic selection of photographs, is a satisfying read. AR

* Wattle Hurdles and Leather Gaiters by John Randall, Farming Press Books, paperback (£4.95). Available from farmers weekly Offers, PO Box 261, Slough SL2 3RU (Add £1.50 p&p).