As we’re finally heading into spring, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on everything we’ve achieved at Northside Farm during the long winter months.
The Gin Gang
We’ve been busy restoring the Gin Gang, adding a new wooden roof to create a dedicated ceremony room.
A gin gang is a structure built to enclose a horse engine. They’re usually circular and attached to a threshing barn. Most were built in England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The threshing barn would house a small threshing machine connected to the gin gang via wooden gears, drive shafts and a drive belt. This was powered by a horse walking round and round inside the gin gang. The gin (short for ‘engine’) was the motive power driving a small threshing machine, and the horse did the gang, or going.
Now work is complete, we’re excited about hosting our first ceremony within the new space. It’s been a lot of hard work and effort, but we think you’ll agree the outcome is amazing!
We spent an afternoon laying out chairs to see how many guests we could accommodate. After a couple of hours, we found our answer! If you’d like to be married in the centre surrounded by your guests on all sides, we can fit 120 people. If you’d like to exchange vows in front of the doors overlooking the field or in front of the back wall, we can fit 100 people.
Catering Kitchen & Dressing Room
Renovating the Gin Gang meant relocating our catering kitchen as it looked directly on to the new space. It wouldn’t have been a great view for ceremonies, so Ralph has been busy converting the garage on the other side of the barn into a new kitchen, and then converting the old kitchen into a brand-new dressing room and bridal preparation area. I’ve been hunting around for new furniture and light fittings and it’s all coming together nicely.
In the paddock, our joiners have been busy building our new Fairytale Cottages. They’re due for completion towards the end of April and we cannot wait!
Offering a little more luxury, the Fairytale Cottages will feature a small kitchen area and a shower room, so you and your guests can be fully self-sufficient during your stay. We can’t wait to reveal the finished design! In the meantime, here’s another picture taken during construction…
I’ve been involved in every decision for the cottages – from building materials and underfloor heating to tiles, beds, and scatter cushions! The guys making it all come together are doing a fantastic job and we feel incredibly lucky to have such a great team on board. You can read more about our glamping accommodation here.
We’ve also decided to invest in solar panels for the farm. Having been a farmer all his life, Ralph has always felt it’s his duty to look after the environment. We’re lucky to be surrounded by beautiful countryside and wildlife, and we’re very aware of the impact our business could have on this.
We’ve already made lots of small changes at Northside Farm, such as only offering paper straws on our bar and choosing electricity suppliers who source 100% renewable energy. But as we grow and expand, we also increase our demand for resources.
Therefore, we’ve decided to step-up and take more responsibility. Producing some of own electricity seems like a good place to start, allowing us to use less oil and diesel. As a small family business, this is one way we can help futureproof and safeguard the environment for our children.
Sam has been busy booking newly engaged couples, sorting staff rotas, and generally preparing for this year’s wedding season due to start at the end of the month.
We really care about providing the best service and facilities we can to our couples. That’s why it’s so important we invest in Northside Farm and continue to evolve. We want to create the best possible wedding experience we can.
We’re looking forward to an amazing 2019! We can’t wait to show you all the progress we’ve made at our open day in April.
With love from,
Olivia, Ralph, and the Northside Farm family x
Image 1 and 4 – Diane Makepeace Photography