Grandad’s old boots

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Richard Cowap, father of Phil, Ed & Sue and 2nd generation of The Hollies, has worked every day at The Hollies without fail for the last 55 years.  At 81, Richard outpaces many twenty-something and most definitely most of the forty-somethings!  Richard has been a farmer and grower since he was a boy, joining his father in his thirties, who had taken on The Hollies in 1959.  Ewan, age 4, is the 4th generation of The Hollies and puts his Grandad on a pedestal, digesting every word and activity that Grandad is involved in.  Ewan and Grandad spend a lot of time together and Ewan’s thirst for knowledge of the world keeps the pair of them chatting at length on the tractor.

From season to season, Richard’s work is endless.  During Spring he is planting flower plugs of bedding plants and perennials ready for nuture over the coming weeks to bring them to their summer bloom.  During this time, he is also planting seeds of pumpkins and vegetables in the fields and increasing the Christmas tree stocks. During the Summer, Richard waters the plants constantly to ensure they are full and beautiful, ready for your garden.  At its peak, Richard will be watering over 10,000 plants and hanging baskets.  The hanging baskets are created by Richard and his cousin Cyril, who between them have over 100 years of experience.  They lovingly put plants together that will blossom into beautiful hanging basket arrangements. Through the autumn months, Richard will harvest pumpkins & vegetables and during the winter he is preparing the Christmas trees for harvest.  Tractor work is essential, and Ewan tries to be involved in this with Grandad, wherever possible.

With all of this work, Richard’s boots play an essential part in his active day.  His boots must be comfortable, or they will hamper his hardwork, for Richard this would be very frustrating.  Over time Richard’s boots had molded to his feet, the ultimate in comfort, unfortunately that comfort generally comes at the point when they are nearly ready for the bin and so he didn’t want to part with them.  He pushed them to within inches of their lives; where they were no longer waterproof and their soles had worn away, he knew it was time to give them up.

Reluctantly, he bought a new pair, and continues to work on softening them up.  The old pair haven’t made it to the bin!  Instead they have been recycled as plant pots, much to Ewan’s amusement.  The boots and Richard keep on working!

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