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Jack Hargreaves ~ Out of Town ~ The Nostalgia Trail

Jack Hargreaves ~ Out of Town the TV Show
I’m well and truly on a Nostalgic Trip and these last couple of days I’ve been thinking about good old Jack Hargreaves.
So much so I’ve re-instated my little ‘workshop’ and been making things and pondering . . .

Jack Hargreaves feels, to me at least, like a man that summed up much of what was good about this country, he’s now gone, as have most people like him and his ‘replacements’ sum up much of what is lost.

I’m sure nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, when we look back our retrospective glasses are surely rose-tinted, a lot of things are better now, no doubt but, a lot of things aren’t - we’ve lost a lot we could and should have retained.

Like Jack Hargreaves in his workshop for instance, well these last couple of days I’ve felt a little of that old magic.
It started with making Bee Houses whilst kneeling in the garden, went on to Bat Houses and culminated yesterday into a glorious few hours lost in my newly reinstated workshop and in myself making a . . .
Hedgehog House

No Quite as Grand as Jack’s

I’ve found myself revisiting more and more things from boyhood, is it nostalgia or is it a sign of age?
Were it my age I’d expect to buy an unsuitable car and go chasing after young women in order to try and recapture my youth but for some reason it’s the things of my formative years which resonate most strongly.

It must say a lot about your upbringing when you want to do so many of the things you once did all over again - I wonder how many of today’s kids will feel like that ?!

The Finished Article

Cold logic and common sense told me Old Jack and his shed was nothing like as evocative as my mind was telling me - these thing never are.
Using a tool of the age I went online and was able to see some clips and interviews and I’m right . . . Jack wasn’t the man I remembered . . .
He was even better!

For as old-fashioned as he may have seemed sat there with his white hair and pipe he was saying things decades ahead of their time.

I worry when I realise that television characters and marginal people in my life have had an effect on me which has resonated over the years, helping shape me and even directly influence the things I do many years later.
Perhaps that’s something to think of when we look at what kids look at today . . .

Tonight I’ll raise a glass to great parents and men like Jack
Nostalgically yours,


  1. Little Brother said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 7:41 pm


  2. Mick said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    What a great program that was Rod and one that I rarely ever missed watching.
    There was something about Jack’s unassuming manner and the calm way he talked that really appealed to me.
    In my opinion it probably is an age thing Rod - the older, the wiser eh ?

    Yesterday, I retired to my shed (it was pouring down with rain outside) and made a set of wind chimes out of a hollow stainless steel curtain rod my missus had thrown out. Today, I suspended the chimes from a branch of a red robin shrub we have growing near our fish pond. The missus brought me a cuppa down the garden and commented how subtly beautiful the chimes were, particularly whenever the wind disturbed the branches.

    The truth is Rod, nowadays, I thoroughly enjoy doing these things that twenty years ago, I had not the time nor patience to even consider doing.

  3. Rod said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

    thank you!

  4. Rod said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

    I’m not sure I’ve got wiser as I’ve got older, I probably know more simply from experience and accumulation of knowledge that time gives - I think it’s not so much being wiser but realising what’s actually important in the grand scheme of life.

    The truth is Rod, nowadays, I thoroughly enjoy doing these things that twenty years ago, I had not the time nor patience to even consider doing.

    That’s superbly put Mick and echoes my thoughts and feelings exactly.
    In an ideal world we’d understand things earlier in life . . .

  5. V said,

    June 24, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    “How ?”

    We never missed it ; even my father didn’t object to us watching “How” and “Country boy” Jack Hargreaves was always a reassuring and affirming character.

    Regarding days of skills gone by ;- I would hope that in this terrible financial situation the world is in that these traditional skills will make a come back. I find creating something is very therapeutic in this fast-paced day and age. It is so satisfying to see something we ‘ve worked at.

    I started making traditional Samplers for family gifts, many years ago. A Family Sampler I made for my parents-in-law (RIP ) over 20 years ago, is now in our house, an heirloom to be passed on to our boys.

  6. Rod said,

    June 24, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

    likewise - a great show!

    I think today’s world would benefit from the mutual swapping of skills - “I’ll plumb your washing machine in if you fit a light in my garage” style of bartering.

    There’s certainly something hugely satisfying in actually creating something yourself

  7. Paul Rowe said,

    June 27, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    You know many years ago in my long lost youth when you watched say an American film there would be completely different furniture, domestic appliances, garden furniture, motor vehicles or even plates and cups than you would have in your home.Similarly if you watched a French film or visited Holland . Nowadays everyone where ever they are have more or less the same stuff usually imported from Asia.In your top photo I have exactly the same drill stand,the exact screwdriver and the same saw guide yet live on the opposite side of the world.Maybe my coffee mug is the same pattern that you drink from .In most modern western countries everyone wears the same clothes .The archeologists of the future surely won’t have much joy! Everywhere is getting to be the same!

  8. Rod said,

    June 28, 2013 @ 7:09 am

    that’s a fascinating point, very interesting indeed, something to think about, there’s an article in it I think

    PS. The one thing nobody will have is the adjustable engineers metal square . . . I made it myself :)

  9. v said,

    June 28, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    Good grief gorgeous boy!

    “the adjustable engineers metal square . . . I made it myself :)

    Market it ….and your bee hotels and your hedgehog houses and ……

    You are incredibly clever and talented fhs.

  10. Rod said,

    June 28, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

    to continue blowing my own trumpet :)
    I once made a steam engine too, every single part from scratch, I even mad the spring for the safety valve :shock:

    Making things is good - I like it :)

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