A gate is NOT a postbox!

When we arrived at the farm on Saturday morning (27th September 2014) I jumped out the car to unlock the gates and noticed a rolled up bit of paper had been shoved into one of the gates latch holes.  On closer inspection I realised it was a card from Royal Mail stating they had been unable to deliver some post to us, could I go and collect it from Helston.  Fair enough you might think, but actually that’s a 11 mile round trip from the farm, and even worse than that… we had a perfectly good postbox sitting in one of the containers at the farm just waiting to be put up!!

When the council had confirmed our address and preferred post code, they had advised us to get a postbox put up or Royal Mail would likely delete the new address from their databases. Adrian did loads of research on the best postbox to buy given the weather that a hilltop farm can endure.  We ordered it, received it and then put it away in the container whilst we decided where to site it.  Then we forgot about it.  Until Saturday.

Our original plans for the day were for me to build another gate, whilst Adrian and Finn (our eldest) did mowing and strimming to keep the place looking tidy.  Followed by planting out some willow whips that one of our lovely neighbours had brought us to plant out as wind breaks.  Some of these things happened whilst I shot off to Helston to collect our first item of post addressed to the farm.  By the time I got back, we had all decided it was time to bite the bullet and put up our postbox!  We had a spare strainer post from the fencing and gates we’d had done at the entrance, so whilst the boys dug a deep hole to place it in, I started facing it to receive the postbox.

Both of these tasks turned out to be much harder than any of us had anticipated.  Within an inch of starting to dig the hole at the entrance the boys hit the much harder subsoil.  For me, the task was made harder because the post was slightly damp and not conducive to sawing.   We all persevered with our tasks, even swapping round and taking turns at each other’s jobs.  Not one of us was keeping an eye on the time, until we noticed we were starting to lose the light.  In a frenzy of activity we finally got the post faced, the hole deep enough, the post into the hole with a good bit of hardcore and postcrete, and we were ready to head back to Truro and eat, drink and be merry.  Tomorrow was going to be another big day for us.  We were finally going to have a postbox at the farm!

As we drove up to the entrance of the farm on the Sunday morning, I felt inclined to do the ‘da dum, da dum’ jaws attack build up music, thinking that the post could’ve toppled over whilst we were sat eating and drinking in the pubs and ale houses of Truro.

There was no need for the dramatic music!  The post had stayed up and the concrete had set.  We could finally get our postbox set up and ready to receive mail!  I drilled the pilot holes into the post and we all stood around the post whilst the postbox was bolted in to it’s final position.  It was a real moment for us.  There seem to be endless big moments at almost every turn as we turn bare fields in to a smallholding, but having an address and a postbox for the farm makes it officially there!

So here it is!  The postbox that has come to Cornwall all the way from Sweden, due to Adrian’s painstaking research.  It should withstand the Cornish weather no problem at all.  We love it! Admittedly, we are biased, but it makes us smile just looking at it.  It’s all coming together for us, slowly but surely.  What once were intensively farmed fields, used for growing potatoes year after year since the mid-1980’s, crop sprayed and abused, are now developing nicely in to our smallholding dream!  Having our logo on the postbox will also help people understand why we’ve gone with the name Axe Head Farm, as without the benefit of seeing the land on google maps, it could seem an odd choice of name!