Letter to the Editor: We moved our pottery to Ruardean 28 years ago. We knew nothing about rebuilding and refurbishments and relied on local tradesmen to sort out the basics.

When nearing the end of rewiring part of the house the electrician confessed he couldn’t remember where any of the wires went or came from. But he could remember he was a competent and qualified electrician.

The plasterer was good, turning the shell of a building into a home. He did confound us once. While plastering a ceiling he called out and asked for an “O”. “A what?” “An O!” “What’s that?” “What do you mean what’s that? An O!”. It eventually came through that he wanted a hoe to hold up the plasterboards.

The chippy could solve any problems. Slowly, carefully, and with great focus he replaced the roof, the floors, the doors, put in new windows and built new stairs. 

At one point it became clear that the entire weight of the roof rested on the last single inch of ancient oak worn away by centuries of dripping rain.

The pair of brickies who built our display area kept disappearing to catch elvers. They let us know they could have built us a bungalow with that number of bricks.

Our plumber came to help for a month and stayed for two years. He piped in the oil for the main kiln, completely plumbed in the central heating and the domestic plumbing.

He built walls here, there, and everywhere. How did he manage to do so much, apparently with so little effort? 

All the while rolling cigarettes and telling stories.

And a neighbour who reminisced about his youth, going to Ross on a Friday night to fight the boys from Wales. Another time he told us about a man from the village: “He moved to London. Well, the other side of Gloucester, anyway”.

Many of them have gone now. The days are getting longer. More time to mull fondly over memories.

John and Rose Huggins, Ruardean Garden Pottery, West End, Ruardean