Perhaps it’s a little strange for a topic for a blog but I’ve had baler twine on my mind for a few days. Ever since I came to the Yorkshire Dales, originally to Bishopdale, which was a very long time ago now, it’s always struck me that baler twine has always been here, changing over the years but still here.
Now its usual use, as you know, is to secure hay bales, straw bales and, in later years, large round bales as farm machinery began to cope with heavier loads. Most of the bales you see now are round but for a small farm and horse keepers the small bale is still the first choice as the bales have to be moved by hand. Many is the time we’ve helped in the hay field during the summer, oh what arms the next day after throwing the bales around and if you hadn’t any suitable gloves, you should have known better would be the farmers cry, blistered and sore hands from the twine!
Originally crops were built into ricks, large mounds left in the fields and used as and when during winter months. Then hay and straw was bundled together with twine by hand to secure, some say wire twine was used, but then came the first machines that extruded these perfectly oblong shapes making storage and transport easier and of course then came the round bale. The twine was originally made from natural products, mostly sisal, and then man made synthetic twine.
As you explore the dales you will see bits of twine all over the place as once its initial use has been completed what to do with an amazingly strong length of string? I’ve seen it used as gate fastenings, holding a gate in place, as a belt, bracers, shoelaces, dog lead, great for keeping stiles and gates shut in a big loop over a post, holding fencing together. Tractors used to drip these long strands, probably always on hand for anything that needed a temporary, and some not so temporary repair! What about a ponytail fastened with baler twine, might set off a new fashion! My husband has just said that every home had baler twine in it, whether farmers or not, just in case!
Do keep a look out for it, sometimes it will make you chuckle, some sisal still around but now mostly in a multitude of colours! Come and seek out baler twine! Explore the glorious Yorkshire Dales and stay in one of our lovely holiday cottages! Book online or call me Nadine, or my daughter, Joanne on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice and to book over the telephone.
Written By Nadine Bell