It has taken CGI five long years to get to this point of confirmed cooperative working practice with a growing number of Wiltshire/Dorset farmers. This process was an uphill struggle in some ways (naturally easy in others) as pretty much all of the old school G1 front-line contenders wanted nothing to do with CGI choosing not to promote or support our initiative despite a detailed knowledge of it’s brief. Instead the plain and simple truth is that they pursued a course driven by greed, ego, control and self promotion that ended in predictable failure...an irony in some ways as this sentiment does not seem to tally with most visitors I have met. CC people seem to be of a more spiritual, soulful and wholesome nature. Let us hope that the 'penny will drop' and more positively in the future.
However, CGI are now established as a group with a continued commitment to helping without any expectation of reward…purely an altruistic exercise. The reward has been in all the gratitude shown by the mainly G2 or new visitors to the scene and many back-bench G1s .
During the high season we get many groups, some that have paid large sums of money to come along guided, often from abroad. The G1 group leaders have been the ones bringing their groups usually to CGI managed CCs. In other words many of these well known group leaders, despite not wishing to promote, encourage and support CGI throughout its formative years have been only too happy to reap the financial benefits of bringing their charges to these CCs facilitated by CGI. Something doesn’t feel quite right here.
This year has been extremely challenging. Late start to the season, few CCs on the ground to date and appalling weather conditions. Days spent in the camper with howling winds and driving rain wear thin after a while but is par for the course I guess. Amazingly, the visitors just keep on coming, albeit in reduced numbers I have to say, all positive, joyful and full of enthusiasm as usual.
This particular CC we are stationed at right now is the Hackpen Hill Shark CC which occurred a week ago on exactly the same spot as ‘The Dream-Catcher’ CC in 2013. CGI were in attendance then and one morning had the good fortune to have another CC that was to be known as ‘The Necklace’; it sprung up right in front of the camper-van!
From a research point of view the Shark CC is wonderful. Within it is one of the finest examples of wholesale double 'bent-noding' I have seen in a long time. A large part of the CCs area is covered with stems twice bent on each wheat stem, on node one and again on node two, the effect being one of lowering the crop by about 25 cms and adding contrast when viewed from above.
(Important; please do not confuse with the phototropism found in the tramlines due to disturbance of crop, the result of tractor traffic.)
My impression is that most people visiting this CC realise it does not have a simple and mundane explanation even if they have not been to a CC before, unless of course they have been tainted by dis-informers or debunkers. My personal position, unless pressed is that I try not give them a mere opinion, which would seem somewhat arrogant, rather offer the factual evidence here present then discuss the options.
Example: This Shark CC contains wholesale double node-bending on day one that is part and parcel of the CC’s original anatomy as opposed to phototropism (sun-seeking) that would normally take many days, or weeks, if at all depending on plant and weather. Unless one considers seriously this important fact one cannot properly assess the status of this or other similar CCs. Not all CCs have node bending but have other anomalistic features that point towards mysterious origin, of which I’ll not go into here right now.
As I was writing this article a couple of guys from the south of France came to see the CC here. One described how they were at The Barge Inn last night. They were soon engaged by a guy who claimed to live ‘two doors’ away and not keen to give his real name. He was positioned at the bar near the front door. We’ve heard this story so many times before (yorn!) People new to the subject are caught coming in and talked into believing that boards and rope are used to make CCs…complete nonsense and intentionally dis-informing. These types derive pleasure and perceived status from spinning yarns to the uninformed and love an audience. They habitually hang out at this pub and have done for years. The pub itself is wonderful right by the canal but frankly these types are no more than attention seekers telling porky pies hoping to give the impression of ‘an expert’, one of authority, hoping for a free beer and some adoration. (sad!..no, very sad!!) So beware of these chaps if you go to The Barge pub…just enjoy the great beer and keep away from these deceivers!
NB. Many apologies to the French lady who I photograghed with her Celtic necklace exactly the same as in CC. The image ended up on my camera hard drive as I'd forgot to put SD card back after doing this article. I do not have the wire with me. Sorry!