22 FEBRUARY 1952, Page 13


Tim closing of gates is a thing one must not forget when crossing a farmer's land. Round about there are several gates bearing an advertise- ment for a farming journal and a polite reminder to the wayfarer to close the gate. I remember seeing a gate with a verse painted on it. It ran like this :

" Be ye man, or be ye woman, Be ye gan, or be ye comin Be ye early, be ye late, Be ye sure to shut this gate."

The writer was probably inspired by the trouble that travellers had given him. On the track through the sheep-grazing above the village one farmer has contrived a method of shutting his gate. A long length of rope runs from the gate through a crotch of a tree, and is tied to a second tree.- Between the two the rope is looped round a large boulder. When /he gate is pushed open, the tightening rope lifts the boulder. When it is released, •ibe boulder drops, and the gate is pulled shut. Going through in one direction the careless passer-by receives a hearty clump in the back as the contrivance does its work. He remembers to close the next gate, which has no such device attached.