My Silent Protest outside Spindles Farm Hyde Heath
Saturday 12th January 2008 & Sunday 13th January 2008
I watched with utter horror with tears running down my
face, the recent scenes of animal suffering and neglect on the news,
that took place at Spindles Farm, Hyde Heath, near Amersham, I could
hardly believe my eyes, to think this was the lovely quiet village, a
special place to me, as it was the village in which my Mum was born,
also winner of Buckinghamshire Morris Cup for best kept village award
2007 for a village with a population of 500 to 1500, where a village
fete would be considered a major event, a village I was at the other
month with my Dad for the
rededication of the little Church of St.
Andrews, where I met and chatted happily with our lovely Bishop of
It is also only a very short walk away from where my Dad was born, and lived when he was a child.
I thought this sort of thing only happened in places a long way from our shores at the very least, maybe in England in the middle ages but not in 2008. The scenes to which I refer are the utterly horrific and almost unwatchable scenes of cruelty by a meat trader and former traveller to his horses, Ponies and donkey’s. The world’s press quite rightly is up in arms about what has gone on, and so am I, and all of my friends. I am sure I will be forgiven for mentioning his name Jamie Gray, if you type that name into Google it returns in seconds with 261,000 entries, he is being talked about all over the world now!
I cried when I saw some of the images on the TV, and I cried again when I read the details in the national press, it was the unbelievable scale of what went on at the farm that I found so difficult to take in, how could one man living with a wife and three young children, achieve this carnage is totally beyond my understanding, sorry, I must point out that I read a lot, and devour books like they are food for my brain too.
I was picked on at my old school for being disabled, what must their three children be going through at school? The other children now knowing that all the Poor horses on their father’s farm, were left to starve to death, there cannot be a worse way to die for an animal, to be left to starve must have been agonising for them.
This man was running a business selling horses for meat on the continent, and making a lot of money looking at the lovely large house he lives in, and seeing the extent of the land and farm buildings he owns.
To think that this man would do such a thing in my Mum’s birth place, and not be stopped long before this, I can’t understand, I will never be able to go to Hyde Heath again, without thinking about Mr. Gray of Spindles Farm now, he has taken from me, the fond memories and stories my Mum used to tell me about this lovely happy little village, and replaced them with thoughts of a place that I will always associate with terrible equine suffering, and somewhere I don’t feel I won’t to go to at the moment, what on earth must their neighbours be feeling, if I feel this, I would want to move I think?
Why was this cruelty allowed to continue on this scale? My Dad has always said to me, from an early age, if there is one thing this country can’t stand its people who are cruel to animals! So is this no longer true Dad? Mr. Jamie Gray and his wife and members of their family must have seen the suffering on a daily basis, why didn’t they do something? Maybe he was hoping to get a mention in the Guinness Book of Records under a new section headed “cruelty to animals!”
I talked to my Dad about this a lot, and as a 9 ½ year old, there is a limit to what I can do to help in this sort of situation, but I wanted to do something, even if it was just a token thing, just to show what I and my friends think about all this, so I happened on the idea of a silent protest, a sort of vigil for the suffering the horses had been through, I carried this out on Saturday 12th January and today Sunday 13th January, outside Spindles Farm yard I made up a sign saying this is “Hell Farm” and stood there for an hour, on both days in silence thinking about all the suffering the horses must have been through, just to demonstrate how upset I was.
I wrote Mr. Gray a hand written letter telling him what I thought of him, which I delivered to his farm house in person with my Dad, I was scared I might see him, as his 4x4 was outside, and he might be angry with me, but I still wanted to do it for the horses, I was so upset about.
Passing motorists would stop and hoot, and wave in support of my actions, everybody that saw me was very kind about what I was doing, and understood why I was doing it, when my Dad spoke to them.
I sincerely hope something good comes out of this terrible thing, and justice is dished out.
Nothing like this must ever be allowed to happen again, sometimes we have to stand up for what we believe in.
I think Mr Gray has now drawn more attention to himself than anyone could possibly want, and he potentially has all sorts aggravation to look forward to in 2008.
Please let me know what you think, and thank you for reading this
The South Bucks RSPCA have set up a fund, to raise money to aid the veterinary treatment and rehabilitation of the horses & other animals rescued from the Spindles Farm, to learn more or help out click outside link below. All funds raised will go directly to help the rescued horses. - I wonder if Jamie Gray will be donating!
A peaceful group of protesters at Aylesbury Magistrates Court ready to
greet James Gray Monday 4th February 2008
My Head Teacher's Award
"for making a difference"
received 16th Jan 2008
from Mrs. Standage Head teacher
Stoke Mandeville Combined School