When my wife Cindy and I brought No3 Forsham Cottages in Forsham Lane at the bottom of Sutton Valance hill, Kent. A third of an acre garden allowed us to start our Good Life, life. Chickens, ducks, goats, veg patch, log pile, compost heap, and one crazy collie dog.
Next to No3 Forsham Cottage, primarily to get Cindy a horse, but it enabled us to expanded our Good Life with still more chickens, ducks (dug a duck pond), a second goat, bigger veg patch, greenhouse, bigger log pile, bigger compost heap, cider barrels, a horse and a second crazy collie dog..
When we need to generate more income to help pay for the field. Having made our own housing we thought to started making and selling chicken houses
When I lost my job in print (industrial dispute) and as Forsham Cottage Arks was morphing into a full time commitment, with Cindy’s backing I took the plunge and went full time coop making.
Commission two bespoke wall mounted dovecotes for their unique breed of chocolate brown doves.
Because Forsham Cottage Arks had outgrown our garage and lean-to, so sold up and moved Forsham Cottage Arks to Goreside Farm Great Chart.
Now sell Forsham dovecotes.
Buy and install a Forsham twelve nest dovecote.
Despite a substantial waiting list Forsham are allocated a stand, on our first time of applying. We are allotted a highly prestigious stand in The Main Avenue amongst the show gardens. Our first stand obviously met the exacting standards required, because we were accolade a stand in Main Avenue for the following year and thereafter for a decade.
Was written when Forsham’s main avenue stand at the Chelsea Flower Show attracted the attention of the owner of German company, who on the first hour of the first day placed an order bigger than our entire earnings of the 1990 Chelsea Show. Over the next two years, our German friends doubled Forshams turnover.
Was awarded to Forsham for the standard of our main avenue stand at Chelsea . Ditto 1992, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000 & 2001. In 2000 Forsham Arks are awarded BEST STAND in SHOW.
Asked Forsham to supply a fox proof chicken coop, after a fox raided the hencoop in the BIG BREAKFAST garden. Chris Evans needed a replacement coop for the next morning’s broadcast. Late in day, Cindy and I built Mr E’s coop and delivered it to the sat midnight, ready for the broadcast a few hours later.
Ordered nineteen Forsham dovecotes to be used as tee markers for a new English Garden themed golf course being built in Japan. Mention of which somehow that got into the Daily Mirror
Family presented him with a Forsham dovecote and doves for his birthday. After the birthday, Lord A asked if Cindy and I would come to his home for lunch to talk doves. We had an enchanting day with Lord and Lady Attenborough, lots of stories, lots of laughs.
Phoned to ask if Cindy would be prepared to do an interview about doves keeping, she agreed. They needed Cindy, a dovecote and doves to be at the Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham for 9am . An early start got us there on time. Whilst the crew and I set up the dovecote in the studio gardens, Cindy went to make-up and did the interview. We then reloaded and drove back down to London to continue setting up our stand at the Chelsea Flower Show, which is where we were supposed to have been that day!
Asked if we would set up a dovecote with doves in her private garden, behind Good Wood House. As do a lot of our customers the Duchess invited us to lunch. Her ‘man’ burnt the sausages, but we didn't say anything! Over the years we visited, the Duchess lots of times with various products she needed and nearly always end up ‘down the pub’.
Is awarded to Forsham Cottage Arks for our stand at the Chelsea Flower Show . Needs saying this is 95% down to Cindy who was the forewoman, for once I just did told.
Awarded to Forsham Cottage Arks at GLEE* 2002 for our Peterborough Rabbit Run . (* trade show)
Had chicken for the ‘inmates’ to look after, Forsham Cottage Arks supplied the chicken coops .
Needed critter housing, Forsham supplied just about all the fowl and animal housing for the Channel 4 Jimmy’s Farm series.
Asks Forsham to supply a coop and a mammoth chicken run to a gourmet pub in the New Forest where he was filming an episode of his KITCHEN NIGHTMARES programs. Mr R wanted the pub to boast ‘eggs from our own hens’ on the breakfast menu..
Was filming a series on chicken welfare, as part of the programme Mr H has gets inexperienced chicken keepers rearing and tending poultry for both eggs and meat. Forsham Cottage Arks supplied the coops required for both the layers and the meat birds.
Of the Avian Flu scare, cheap copies of our work being imported from China and a global financial recession, brought Forsham Cottage Arks to its knees. We were issued with a windup order by HMRC. Two weeks later Forsham was sold out from under us for the equivalent of just two weeks turn over . Forsham products are now made in China.
Was hatches when Rob & Cindy lost Forsham Arks and became grandparents within a few days of each other. Rob was determined to carry on and started over again, this time as GRANDDAD ROB DESIGNS LTD. Cindy’s first choice was to go back to stable work, but is now a much sort after gardener.
Buy an Epsom Six Nest Floating Duck House for Windsor Castle
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Forty years’ experience, with approximately 14,000 units made
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