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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Artists retrace 300-mile drovers' trail
Artists Simon Whitehead and Peter Bodenham
The journey has taken two months to complete
Two Welsh artists have completed a 300-mile walk from west Wales to London following the old drovers' roads.

It is part of a project to see what evidence is left of the tracks used to drive cattle from Pembrokeshire to Smithfield market in the 18th Century.


It was interesting to travel at such an evocative time in the countryside

Artist Peter Bodenham

Simon Whitehead, from Cardiff, and Carmarthen-based Peter Bodenham were accompanied by a dog and a stuffed goose during the trip which took two months to complete.

They turned visual images into postcards and sent text messages on their experiences by mobile phone along the way - the work will be displayed in Cardiff and Pembrokeshire.

These helped create a diary of their walk which they undertook at a pace of two miles-per-hour.

The project has been funded by a grant from the Arts Council for Wales and various sponsorships.

Stuffed goose
The drovers used geese to protect their animals

The artists wanted to see if there was any evidence left of the tracks which was used to move animals before the age of the train.

Simon Whitehead said: "We were able to retrace a lot of these roads by staying off main roads and it is possible to walk from west Wales to London on tracks, fields and paths.

"It was quite a shock to arrive on the outskirts of London and we had to walk along the A40."

The pair have said that they did not encounter many people during their journey.

Stories

Peter Bodenham said: "Certainly the farmland was quite deserted.

"You might see a man on a tractor but nobody else.

"When we stayed in places we were given a lot of anecdotes about the drovers - particularly in Wales.

"It was interesting to travel at such an evocative time in the countryside."

The artists will display their work at the Chapter Arts centre in Cardiff and at the Clynfyw organic Farm estate in Pembrokeshire.


Where I Live, South West Wales
See also:

28 May 02 | Wales
22 May 02 | Wales
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07 Feb 02 | Wales
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